Essays

Pour les enfants Vietnamiens qui ont quitté le Vietnam mais ne font pas partie de la grande vague d'immigrants vers les États-Unis après la chute de Saigon en 1975, qui se sont rendus en Nouvelle Calédonie, aux Nouvelles Hébrides (aujourd'hui Vanuatu), au Canada, en France, en Allemagne de l'Ouest, aux Philippines, même en Norvège, nous sommes des graines propagées par les vents qui ont germé et appris à pousser sans que personne ne sache comment nous distinguer. Nous faisons partie de la diaspora Vietnamienne, mais nous sommes encore à la recherche de notre identité.

Speaking in English

Our conversations are limited to my third-grade level comprehension so I can tell you to eat your dinner and drink your milk or to change your clothes, but we cannot discuss the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning. We don't talk about where you go after death because I don't know the word for heaven or how to explain reincarnation.
It is only the failure of the American imagination and perception—a failure and inability to recognize and make space for the full imaginative agency of Vietnamese visions—that has perpetuated the notion of a dearth or naivety of art of the Vietnamese diaspora.
The frightening monoculture of China looms over Taiwan like hurricane clouds. But we have our own history, our own culture, our own ethnic makeup—many Taiwanese have Japanese and Aborigine blood—and our own way of making beef noodle soup. It’s not just niúròumiàn, 牛肉麵 — it’s Táiwān niúròumiàn, 台灣牛肉麵.
Vietnam War movies are all the rage, again. With this, there still isn't any evidence that they show Vietnamese people or specifically Vietnamese women as whole humans.
I sympathize with Book Hunter and with the cause of cultural and artistic freedom that Hà Thủy Nguyên and Lê Duy Nam uphold. It seems that enhanced liberties in Vietnam should ultimately mesh well with current government policies for economic integration. After all, if a nation is open to business with other societies, it follows that everyone will also be exposed to different ways of thinking about the humanities, art, and literature.