We are speaking today with Miss Lujane Jasmin, 6th grade student at R.C. International School, Bangkok.
When did you first come to Thailand?
I was born here at Bumrungrad International Hospital back in November 2009.
So you are a Thai citizen?
No. In some countries like the U.S.A., Canada, and the U.K., if you are born there, then you automatically become a citizen. But in Thailand you have to wait until you are 18 years then apply for Thai citizenship. You have to be able to read, write and speak fluent Thai, take a citizenship test, then finally sing the National Anthem! Actually, I already have dual American and Iraqi citizenship based on the nationalities of my parents. But I will apply for my Thai citizenship in 7 more years! I can already sing the Thai National Anthem!
What has changed the most here?
Traffic has really improved. There are many fewer traffic jams than before. The BTS and MRT has been adding more many lines around the city. The air pollution is a lot less from what I remember. And there are a lot more shopping malls, new office buildings and tall skyscrapers.
What has changed the least here?
The Thai people themselves. The Thais have always been always been very welcoming of visitors, guests and strangers plus people like me. They have also always been very friendly and very generous. The Thai people have always rolled the welcome mat out for everyone. It is also a very great honour for them to have people come from far away to visit their wonderful country. It is also a great honour for me and my family to be living here.
Tell us about your school, R.C. International?
All the teachers and staff members are very nice. I learn Thai, Chinese, English, Math, History, Music, Art, Drama, Computers, and Physical Education. Sometimes we take school trips like to Lumphini Park and school camp outside of Bangkok.
What do you do for fun?
Sometimes we will go down to Jomtien or Pattaya for a day on the weekend with my Mom, Dad, little brother and my favourite Auntie. I also love to watch TV and love to talk to my friends.
Where are your favorite places to visit?
Jomtien, Pattaya and Cha-am, I love going to all these places!
Can you tell us about your family?
My Dad is an American citizen, but he has lived here in Thailand most of the time since 1991 when he was not working on overseas contracts in Central Asia and the Middle East. My Mom is a dual Iraqi and American citizen. She has lived here in Thailand since 2007. She is a freelance English-Arabic interpreter and translator. I have a younger brother named Leonard, or nicknamed Yusef. He is eight years old and in the 4th grade. He is also in R.C. International School. And my favorite Auntie Najood is a medical coordinator and a doctor at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok.
Have you always lived in Thailand?
No, we had to go back to the U.S. for three years so my Mom could become a U.S. citizen and get a U.S. passport. Her Iraqi passport was not good for anything except going back to Iraq. So, we went to stay in Manhattan, Kansas, a small college town that my father used to live in when he went to Kansas State University there. I am still in culture shock as Kansas is totally different from Thailand! But my brother and I did get to see snow, sleet and hail for the first time! But every time we would drive down to Kansas City for any reason, my little brother would ask: “Are we going to the airport now so we can fly back to Thailand?” The day we finally left the U.S.A. to come back to Thailand for good, right before New Year’s Eve, the Chinese government announced they had discovered the virus, so we got out and back here just at the perfect time!
What do you want to be when you get older?
I really don’t know. I think when I get older, I will decide. I thought first I would become a veterinarian and take care of animals, but then I discovered I hated the slight of blood so that idea was out! I will take whatever life bring me.
What is the future for you?
My Dad always says take it one day at a time, so I do.