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Humans of WEGO: The funny, friendly musician, Thang Thang

An in-depth look at sophomore Thang Thang’s life thus far.
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Sophomore Thang Thang is well-known around WEGO for his humor. (Photo courtesy of Thang Thang).

While walking through the hallways of WEGO, a loud, energetic voice rings out. It can only belong to one person, Thang Thang. Thang is a sophomore who is well known for his big, extroverted personality and great singing voice. 

After being born in Myanmar, located in Southeast Asia, Thang’s family decided to move to America in 2019 due to continued violence in the country.

“The reason why my family moved was because there’s like, people with guns who threaten the whole village. This group of people threatened the government, so they [are] basically taking over the whole country now. So it is not safe anywhere in the country,” Thang said. 

While the United States offered safety, When he first got to America, his expectations were high, but soon realized it was a bit “boring”. Thang moved to the suburbs of Chicago since he had sisters who had already been living there for decades.

“We would always have like, dinners with a bunch of people when we first came here,” Thang said.

In the first few months in the U.S. a lot of relatives like his sisters and cousins came to visit his family from different states and would have big dinners everyday for months.

Thang as a young kid dressed as a firefighter, saluting. (Photo courtesy of Thang Thang).

Thang went to Monroe Middle School in Wheaton, and at first school was a challenge for him. It was hard for him to fit in so he felt like he needed to learn as much as he could and as quickly as he could. 

“I barely knew English. So I was put into ESL classes. Then I pass the first year, and then I really studied a lot when I was in middle school, like actually really hard. My greatest struggle would be trying to fit in because like I’m a I’m not from here, or like I barely know any American culture or anything,” Thang said. 

School was rough, but he strived to succeed.

“I managed to get into honors by the end of middle school – like in two years. And yeah, I study a lot,” Thang said. 

Although Thang was having his struggles of catching up with school and trying to fit in, he still remained as his outgoing self.

“No matter what kind of day he’s having, or day I’m having, [Thang] never fails to make me laugh. He has a bright energetic characteristic that can make any class instantly entertaining. He’s always willing to help with any homework no matter if he does not quite fully understands it, he’s never giving up on trying and trying till he gets it right,” sophomore Valeria Ballines said. 

Thang is now a part of WEGO, along with his brother, Mang Pi. Although school is still challenging for him he tries his best to strive through it with his brother alongside him. 

“My brother, Thang Thang, is my best friend, he really motivates me with my dreams, and hobbies, and my day to day life. He inspires and hypes me a lot with my videography and sometimes with school works,” senior Mang Pi said.

Throughout his childhood Thang’s family moved a lot. So switching from school to school made him have to make new friends quickly but it came to him easily and fast since he had to be open to people so he feels like that helped him get into being more on the talkative side and easily be comfortable around new people he meets quickly. That’s also where he got his quirky and sassy attitude from. 

“Especially my dad, he’s very loud and funny. And goofy, and really, we’re just really open to each other,” Thang said.  

His father has supported his musical interests: Thang has long been very passionate about singing and playing guitar. He describes his family as very musical people who liked to sing a lot.

ငယ်ငယ်ကတည်းက တနင်္ဂနွေကျောင်းတက်ပြီး ဘုရားကျောင်းမှာ သီချင်းဆိုတယ်။ ကြီးပြင်းလာသောအခါတွင် သူသည် သေးငယ်သော ဖျော်ဖြေပွဲများတွင် သီဆိုခဲ့ပြီး တစ်ခါတစ်ရံ ဘုရားကျောင်းရှိ ဝတ်ပြုရေးအဖွဲ့ကို ကူညီပေးကာ ကျောင်းသီချင်းသီဆိုမှုတွင်လည်း ပါဝင်ခဲ့သည်။ သူက သီချင်းဆိုရတာ ဝါသနာပါပြီး အသံကောင်းကောင်းနဲ့ သီချင်းဆိုနိုင်တဲ့ မိသားစုထဲမှာ တစ်ယောက်ယောက်ရှိလို့ ပျော်တယ်။,” Thang’s father, Pa Piang, said. 

[Roughly translates to: “From a young age, he attended Sunday school and sang in church. Growing up, he sang in small concerts, sometimes helping out with the worship team at church, and also participated in the school choir. He loves to sing and is happy to have someone in the family who can sing with a good voice,” Thang’s father, Pa Piang, said.

Thang in a Ken box from the new Barbie movie. (Photo courtesy of Thang Thang).

As a child, Thang’s school ended around noon, so he had the whole day to himself. In that free time, he chose to watch YouTube on his computer, following influencers as they vlogged about their daily lives, or listening to songs while singing along. 

“As a child, I wanted to be a really good singer,” Thang said.

This inspired him to be more open to the idea of singing around people so he started to sing more and more whether it would be at churches, parties or just in front of a crowd of people. 

“I just love singing in front of people. And it’s sometimes it’s really awkward, but I love singing,” Thang said. 

His love for singing grew, and he now sings in a lot of shows and concerts like on Zomi Nam Ni, New Year’s, their national day, and Khuado Pawi, which is on Thanksgiving. 

“I love my culture and my people and my food and my dance and everything,” Thang said. 

These are large-scale events where other artists in his community can sing and perform. 

“[I’m] the type of student that likes to have fun in school and love going to school every morning, to see his friends, to see my friends and talk to and be friendly to basically everyone,” Thang said.

His friendly attitude is noticeable, and Thang has quickly made friends in each of his classes and extracurriculars. 

“I’ve only known Thang Thang for this semester but in that short period of time he quickly became one of my best friends. Thang’s energy always brightens my day and there’s never a dull moment when he’s around. I love the way that he randomly starts singing, and how funny he is. He is such a loyal friend and an amazing listener, and I’m so grateful to have him in my life,” senior Adeline Draper said.

 

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About the Contributor
Brianna Romero
Brianna Romero, Reporter
Brianna is currently a sophomore, and is passionate about reading and writing. She aspires to be an English teacher or journalist after she graduates. Brianna currently has a dog, and describes herself as more of a dog person despite previously having 20 cats. Yes, 20! She is very environmentally-conscious and would like to join Club Green and WeGo Global this school year. 
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  • DayanneJan 13, 2024 at 7:25 pm

    This is a well written article, truly an inspiration!