vietnamese americans for interview : LUSENET : Vietnamese American Society : One Thread

i posted a message earlier and i thank all of you for your responses. i travelled to Vietnam in january of this year and studied at the Duy Tan University in Da Nang. i am a student in the US at SUNY Purchase and am interested in writing a paper on Vietnamese Americans and their experiences. i would be very thankful for any responses.

-- catherine shannon (, September 19, 2003


Nhan danh la duong kim tong bi thu dang cong san VN, toi co vai nhan xet ve bai viet cua mot dong chay dang vien nao do mao danh Vee Veo, Catherine Shannon va Vietkieu USA tren day

- Truoc tien, dong chay da neu ra mot dac tinh cua dang cong san VN chung ta la : cai khong lai thi chui tuc.

- ke tiep, su mao danh cua dong chay neu len dac tinh ba que xo la bat luong luu manh cua dang ta, cac ten cua cac vi tren dang o ngoai quoc trong khi dong chay con o VN trong benh vien tam than lo dieu tri chung benh liet duong do khung hoang; mac cam tam ly.

- Loi le cuc ky dam o chung to dong chay - cung nhu tuyet dai da so cac dang vien khac - tham nhuan tu tuong cua Ho dam tac, phuong cham hanh dong hien nay cua dang ta.

- Dong chay da khang dinh ban nang suc vat cua dang ta voi nhung loi le ha cap, tho bi chua tung co.

- Sau het, dong chay da chung minh mot cach hung hon rang dang cong san VN chung ta dich that la mot thu can ba cua xa hoi van minh loai nguoi.

-- Long dut mach. (, September 20, 2003.

i am sorry if i offended any of you or gave you the wrong impression about what my interests are. i am trying to learn exactly how the veitnamese communist government impacted you decision to leave VN? how did you feel living there and why you chose the US to emigrate? what was life like for you when you were living in VN? how do you find life in the US? do you experience any racism while living here because you are vietnamese? do you try to hold on to any traditional vietnamese customs and how? what in life is important to you? thank you very much for your time.

catherine shannon

-- catherine shannon (, September 21, 2003.

Hi Catherine,

I try to answer most of your question and I hope other people in the forum will support you.

After April 30th, 1975, Vietnamese Communist goverment impacted a lot on people who were well-educated, who were doing their own business, who were very rich, who were relative of the South Vietnamese goverment and soliders. They are in favor supporting the poor and non- educated people who are willing to betray their ancestor, their nationality, to be loyal and willing to work for communist. If you learn in the history, rich people, well educated people, and whoever fight for freedom and human rights have been the "enemy" of all communist regimes from Rusia to China and Vietnam. They mistreat these people. They discriminate these people. They also reverged these people and that's still true today.

If you want to live in Vietnam and you want to be success you need to sell your soul, your spirit, your religious and your dignity to evil and you have to be cruel, ass-kissing, corruption, willing to do bad thing against morality. That's why people have been leaving vietnam for a better opurtunity to be a real "human"

If you want to live in Vietnam and you want to be a real "human", you need to pretend you are blind, you are deaf and you are dumb. Because if you express your idea of "freedom of speech", "freedom of religious", or you express your concern on the communist goverment, or you comdem all the communist leader's misbehavior, they will put in jail and your life will ended. Not only your life, but also your family and relative end up in the same treatment.

These led to the "boat people" era during 1978 - 1990. People fleed the country on small boat to search for better life and a place they can be considered as human. They knew they may die on the sea; they may be captured and put into jail of escaping the country; they may be raped and robbed by pirates; they may be rejected by the UN; But nothihg can stop them. However, not a lot of people can afford that because each person cost about 1200 USD to get a seat while my teaching salary at that time is only 12 USD per month. If the US would take all of their USS carriers to the Vietnamse open sea and ready to take refugees, I don't think it would accomodate all of the people who want to flee the country. I am talking about 10 to 20 millions here.

You were in VN, you probably see most people are recently happy with their lives, the reason is after being kept poor for 20 years, the goverment let go for the "free market economic reform" so people lives can be better. I think if you were in the same situation of being poor for that long, if you can get better things today, you will "thank the goverment or being smart." Don't expect the people in vietnam to tell you the true, because they may be condem as spy to foreigner and their life will end up in jail.

Let's me tell you a little about my case, I father "has been" a south Vietnamse officer who fought for the freedom of country to the last minute of April 30, 1975. You may learn the reason why we lost the war because the US goverment betrayed us after reaching the deal with China in 1972. They left all the South Soldier to fight hopelessly against not only the communist in the North but also the entire communist regimes from Russia to Cuba. There was no supply, no support from the US until the communist completely took over the country in 1975.

The vietnamese civil war didn't end up like the American civil war when the north and the south forgave each other and start a new life for the country. The vietnamse civil war ended up with revengers, vandalism, robbery... where the communist robbed all the access of the south vietnamese people who are rich, who are consider the state enemy. They jailed everyone who worked for the former goverment. They controled people's fate and put the entire nation behind a "invisible wall of jail"

My father ended up in a jail, nicely called "re-education camp" with without a knowledge when he being free. My mom was forced to go to a rural area to start a new life so the goverment promissed to let go of my father sooner. That's a big lie! And we, a family of seven, my old grandma, my mom, and 5 of us brother and sister and I am the oldest, 10 at that time, were hopelessly survived by money of my mom smuggling food from the rural to the city. (Communist controled everything at that time. Every head count in the household got only 16 - 20 pound of rice, less than a pound of meat, 200 gr of sugar per mount. Every one got 2 yard of garment, clothing material every 3 month. If you were someone who were related the south goverment, you might even got cut on certain items) The reason my mon had to do that because there was no job for her, wife of a high rank south vietname officer except to be a farmer with no tools. Some other wives of south soldier even had to slept with communist officers to get money to support her husband and children. (No prostitution allowed at that time)

However, whatever, ever... we survived until the date my dad were released from the camp. But life were toughed for us because there was no opportunity for childen of the goverment's enemy like us to be employed or finding a good job. I was the top student of my high school but there was no place for me in the university or the entire society. I accepted my fate and started my career as elementary school teacher, a poorest career in the country at that time but they also put me in a rural area even I was the best student of the teaching class.

For some other people in the country they could start their lives by willing doing bad thing to get in to the communist system. They "buy" their jobs. Couple of my friend bought their job to become "cops", "immigration officer", "custom officer".... They corrupted to get rich. They teamed up and kissing us communist higher ranked officers to move to higher possition in the sociaty. The rest of the people in the country accepted their fates to live poor and silently.

There was no freedom. The cops watched every move from us. If You wanted to travel you needed to inform them. If You wanted to do anything, you needed to inform them. If they didn't approve, you couldn't. We were living in fear because you didn't know what the goverment would do to you family at night or next morning. After my father released from the camp, once he showed a picture of him with Mr George Bush Sr. when visiting US in 1972 with some undercover cops, they suppected him as CIA and put him in jail for another year. We felt the communist control even your thought and your breath. We wanted to escaped the countries but there were no money in the family. Our lives were no hope until the HO program comming in the 1990s. I left the countries in 1992 to start a new life in the US.

Why's US? We got no place else to go. If there was no HO program, I loved to migrate to any country with respect human and freedom even somewhere in africa or the north or the south pole.

Life in the US is always tough for someone "refugee" like us. However, we feel being treated and respected as "human." We got jobs after a month through some program from the USCC. We worked and and saved money for shool later on. I got into college with financial aids from the goverment as well as money from part-time job. I became an engineer who have an average income of 6 figures. I have to say thanks to the America to "reborn" me and make me live as "human" again. I have to thanks all the Americans who paying tax to conducts all the humanity programs to sponsor and helping bringing vietnamese refugees here. We are trying our best to serve this country, my brother join the Marines, my father works in the community to help other people, we are working honestly to paid tax and helping the community.

We don't know about other region in the US, but we don't feel any issue of racism here in California. Maybe we can't read other people mind to know if they are racist against us or not. But for the past 11 year, myself and the entire extended family, we haven't run into any of this issue. Maybe people have that thought in mind but they can't express it because it against the law. Beside, most vietnamese people are nice, We work at the best. We are friendly. We are helping each other people regardless of race. There is no reason other people are racist against us. Don't you think so?

I don't know where do you live. If you have time you should go to California especially Santa Ana or San Jose during the Lunar New Year Festival. You will see how people here preserve our traditional. Personally, I am favor of preserve some good part of the traditional customs and try to pass them to my children as most of other Vietnamese Americans do. I think it is good because it will enrich the US tradition to prove to the european that we are "traditional" and make them rethink when they try to claim that American is non- tradicational people. Don't you think so?

I am satisfy with my material life now. I have everything an normal american would have had. However, I am not happy and I am feeling bad for my people in Vietnam who are currently drift away from morality and traditional. I feed bad for the future of the country. People nowaday help better life, but they don't have a better environment to develope. "Freedom of speech", "Freedom of religious" and "human rights" is still the government's enemy. Goverment officiers are more corrupted. They go against their promise of treated the nation equally and smartly. They try their best to get rich by support smuggling, corruption and robbing people asset without worry of the vietnamse. My goal, as many as other vietnamese american's goal, is try my best to fight for my country freedom and free of communist.

I am sorry for any 'bad grammar and word ussage' that I may have used. I am an "engineer" who writing software codes more than writhing any English. You will be supprised that I took only 3 English class to fulfil my BS degree. I am thinking of come back to school to learn more English in the future. But that is low priority to the goal I set above.

If you want to learn more about the truth. Go to older people who are about 40, 50 year of age and ask them. Don't ask younger people, they are brain-washed with the communist education system. They fool of political and judgement of what is wrong and right. You can get some vietnamse paper in community to learn more about the truth. I will send you a list of website to tell you what is the other truth you haven't learned when you were in Vietnam.

There is a good saying from a fromer South Vietnamese President, Nguyen Van Thieu. "Don't listen (believe) in what communist says; Look at what they do!" It always true for the last 100 year of communist history from Rusia to Vietnam.

Have a nice day.

A man who fight for freedom. (Nguoi Tranh Dau)

-- Nguoi Tranh Dau (, September 22, 2003.

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