Sitting in a circle, we clapped in unison singing a traditional Tết song welcoming spring and wishing for a prosperous start to the year. I sat in awe of the resilience and joy that I have been able to witness through my experience at the Compassion House, a reintegration shelter for girls and women who have been victims of human trafficking, opened by the Pacific Links Foundation in 2010.
"The tears are built-in to our war stories. Humor provides a back door to sadness that allows for a more gentle, and perhaps deeper, absorption of the story. That doesn't mean I in anyway try to lessen the horror in the story."
diaCRITICS is a blog that showcases voices and stories from writers, artists and culture-makers of the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora on and from all shores. We publish poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, visual art, and more. Our founding editor and publisher is Viet Thanh Nguyen. diaCRITICS is a project of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN).