In the United States, the risk of suicide is higher for refugees. It’s even higher if you’re a refugee from Burma. The trauma of fleeing a country in conflict can often turn into mental illness, even years later. But the Western concept of mental health doesn’t exist in Burmese culture. Words like “depression” often don’t translate. As a result, some Burmese refugees aren’t getting the care they need.
Califonia-based Alpin Hong , a Juilliard-trained pianist with a gift for communication, gained some of his earliest musical experiences living in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Today, Hong is what one could describe as a "narrative concert pianist." Stories and behind-the-music revelations are part of his concert repertoire, along with the classics of piano literature. Beginning Saturday, April 14, Hong will visit a dozen west Michigan venues to perform a series of Gilmore Family Concerts . He and Gilmore Education Director, Adam Schumaker, joined Cara Lieurance to preview the shows and catch up with his Michigan past.