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Lions Roar : January 2017
one. For my Thai family, 8,000 miles from home, Christmas was our holiday. I didn’t know it didn’t belong to us displaced Bud- dhists on the gritty southside of the city. I only knew that the voices of Bing and Pat gave my mother joy. I only knew the care and precision my father took in making our house the brightest on the block. I only knew that when dinner came, we gorged our- selves on basil chicken, green curry, roasted meats from a China- town that never closed, and steaming bowls of jasmine rice. “What a good day,” my father would say. “Thank Buddha,” my mother would say. “Merry Christmas,” I would say, looking toward the fireplace in hopes of a fat man emerging with presents. IRA SUKRUNGRUANG is the author of the memoir Southside Buddhist and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night. LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2017 67