this is for mẹ

I want the British Vietnamese identity to own both identities and values with more ease and less burden than our parents' generation faced.  I would like more British Vietnamese folks to really own who they are and be fearless in that.
"We had ancestors who were food advisors and cooks for royal families in Central and Southern Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, it was harder to hold onto our treasured recipes. As a first-generation American, I want to ensure our family’s rich history and long-lasting love for Vietnamese food will still be celebrated by generations of Vietnamese people throughout the world."
You speak to me in Vietnamese and encourage me to stamp my feet and walk towards you. Are you scared? You ask me. Come on, it’s okay, Ma is here. Ma is here. Thank you for always being there.
In this except of this is for mẹ, Tam Nguyen reflects on a phone call with her mother, exploring how this simple interaction can carry pregnant silences, anchored by words left unsaid, and a love that is textured, ferocious and complex.
While switching between my identities as Loan the Vietnamese refugee and Kim the American professional has sometimes been an emotionally draining, isolating experience, I have grown to become creative, resourceful, resilient, and empathetic as a result of navigating the in-between.
To my fourteen-year-old self, Years ago, when we first came to the U.S., remember how Mom used to take you with her to the houses she cleaned? You’d sit in the kitchens of these houses crammed full of wide empty spaces, feet dangling, too scared to touch anything in case you left a mark.