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The Vietnamese Boat People
21 minutes | 20 days ago
#27 - Other Streets
Mark Erickson (Đỗ Văn Hùng) was born in Saigon in 1972 and put up for adoption at two and a half years old. He arrived in the United States as part of the American program Operation Baby Lift and was adopted by a white couple living in Buffalo, New York. Mark grew up in a predominantly white suburban neighborhood and what he knew about Vietnam was through movies and stories told through an American lens. When he moved to Boston for college he discovered a Vietnamese community in Dorchester, got to travel to Vietnam and began to explore his Vietnamese identity through his 35mm camera. Mark shares his journey in embracing his Vietnamese heritage, learning about his birth family and the making of his photo books Other Streets: Scenes from a Life in Vietnam not Lived and Dorchester. http://www.markferickson.com
42 minutes | 2 months ago
#26 - LIVE Episode! Sigh, Gone
Phuc Tran, born in Saigon Vietnam, immigrated to America along with his family in 1975 when he was just a baby. He grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, being one of the few Asian families in a small town, his family struggled to assimilate into their new life. In his debut book ‘Sigh, Gone’ Phuc shares his coming-of-age story, the push and pull of finding and accepting himself, and the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, and teenage rebellion. In this live virtual interview, Phuc opens up about the complexities of Viet culture, growing up as an Asian American in the 80s and what’s changed and has not changed in how Asian Americans are viewed and treated today. https://www.phucskywalker.com
25 minutes | 3 months ago
#25 - Have Faith
Two siblings share their experiences in post-war Vietnam and what it was like to be separated as a family. Danny fled Vietnam as a teenager with his brothers and later had to fight for his life after a severe brain injury just a month after arriving in America. While Tu-Anh was moved from place to place in Vietnam as her mom made several attempts to get them out of the country. They share their journeys and struggles and their search for a guiding light during the toughest times.
34 minutes | 3 months ago
#24 - The Perfect Storm
Quang was born in Ha Noi in 1953 just a year before Vietnam was divided into two and his family migrated south to Saigon. In 1970 he was drafted into war and recruited to Division 3 of the Special Task Force for the South. Days before the Fall of Saigon, Quang’s special unit was stationed in a small village when they had lost contact with their main command. They remained in hiding for days and emerged only to find that they had lost the war and had to surrender to the North. In 1978 in Quang’s second attempt to flee Vietnam, he would face the perfect storm that led to a series of unpredictable events. He shares how the care of a 9 year-old boy saved his life.
35 minutes | 7 months ago
#23 - Second Gen
To close out season three, we explore perspectives from the American born Vietnamese, those who are categorized as second generation. For most second generation Vietnamese children, their childhood looked nothing like that of their parents. They did not grow up during the Vietnam War era, nor do they have memories of the life threatening escapes from the country. Even so, this generation still internalizes the experiences, some through stories told by their parents, while others can feel the effects of the trauma, even if those stories were never told. In this episode, we explore how this generation manages to understand their families' histories and trauma while also grappling with their own identities as Asian-Americans. Featuring interviews with actress An Phan, podcast host Randy Kim and visual storyteller Vi Son Trinh.
27 minutes | 8 months ago
#22 - Snow in Vietnam
Amy Le was born in Tra Vinh Vietnam in 1974, with a severe heart condition. The doctors predicted that she would not live past her childhood. Desperate to find the right medical care, her mom decided they needed to escape the post-war conditions of Vietnam. In 1980 they arrived in Kent, Washington State. Growing up, her relationship with her mom had its ups and downs and her Dad was in and out of her life. In 2017, when Amy’s mom passed away, her world shattered. To honor her mom’s legacy and sacrifices, she left her job in corporate America to write her mom’s story. But she didn’t have all the details so she began a journey of piecing it together through other people and fictionalized what life must have been like for her mom in Vietnam. In this episode, Amy shares with us her journey of discovery, healing and forgiveness. Her debut historical fiction Snow in Vietnam is a tribute to her mother and the hundreds of thousands of boat people for their bravery. www.amy-m-le.com
2 minutes | 9 months ago
The Vietnam War is one of the most widely-known and controversial events in world history, yet the stories of the Vietnamese refugee experience as a result of the war are marginalized. Almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Here’s a preview into the personal stories of hope, survival and resilience of the Vietnamese diaspora, told by multi-generational voices. Subscribe today and visit www.vietnameseboatpeople.org to join us in preserving these stories.
32 minutes | 10 months ago
#21 - One Way Ticket
Cô Loan was born in Saigon and left Vietnam with her family on April 30 1975, the exact day when the South Vietnamese Army surrendered, bringing an end to the civil war in Vietnam. She was 11 years old and would face many new challenges as her family tries to adjust to a new country. But her greatest challenge came much later in her life, when she learns about her daughter with transgender experience. A term she knew nothing about. She shares her journey of trying to understand and accept, during a time when she felt her life had hit rock bottom. This is a beautiful story of a mother’s love and determination and her passion to help other families through PFLAG NYC, a family-based organization committed to the civil rights of the LGBTQ community.
76 minutes | a year ago
#20 - Mỹ Việt Story Slam
Ten Storytellers from across America were selected from a nationwide open-call for submissions, sharing their Vietnamese American experiences in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month. Each Storyteller shares their very personal experiences in the form of monologues, music, poetry, art and more. Featuring Lynn Kim Do, Julian Saporiti, Hop Nguyen, Kavi Vu, Lauren Nguyen, Trammy Lai, Cindy Nguyen, David Kaizen, Dieu Ngoc Nguyen, and Quentin Nguyen-Duy. Thank you WHRO Public Media, Asian Women Giving Circle and Asia Nation of Live Nation for making this event possible. Visit our website to view the 2020 Mỹ Việt Story Slam event.
24 minutes | a year ago
#19 - Being Bao
Bao Nguyen is an award-winning Vietnamese American filmmaker whose work has been seen on The New York Times, HBO, NBC, PBS and more. He has directed, produced, and shot a number of short films, which have played internationally in festivals and museums. His feature documentary directorial debut, Live from New York, opened the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. His latest film is, Be Water, a documentary about Bruce Lee, airing on ESPN on June 7, 2020. Bao is a child of refugees and grew up working in his parents' fabric shop. From childhood to high school, Bao was a studious student. He was on his way to becoming a lawyer until one day, in a split second decision, he decided to chase after his passion for visual arts. Bao talks about his parents' experiences as “boat people” and what it was like putting his personal life in front of the camera for the first time in his 2019 documentary short Where are you really from. https://vimeo.com/baonguyen To view the full interview on VCMedia.org
31 minutes | a year ago
#18 - Van Da
Yen Ngo is number eleven of twelve children, born in Da Lat Vietnam. Her parents were both orphans and even though they did not receive a formal education themselves, they raised their kids to excel in school. After 1975, Yen’s oldest sister made the decision that the family needed to flee Vietnam in phases, and that the youngest children should go first. Yen arrived in America at the age of 13 and shares the loneliness she felt going from having a large family surrounding to feeling isolated in a new country. She studied engineering but stumbled into the restaurant industry and found completeness in serving food and bringing friends and communities together. She is the owner of an award-winning catering company Real Food Catering and Van Da restaurant in New York City.
27 minutes | a year ago
#17 - Be Present
Gene Binh Nguyen, the youngest of two children, grew up with a widowed mom. His father died in the Vietnam war when he was just two months old. Because Gene’s father fought on the South Vietnamese side, his family was ostracized in the new government regime. When Gene and his family finally escaped from Vietnam, they were put in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles California, where he faced racism, violence and gang life daily, while his mom tried to make ends meet. But despite all the challenges, he turned adversity into opportunity and opportunity into advocacy for the Vietnamese community. Gene became a successful entrepreneur and went on to help thousands of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants thrive in the booming nail salon industry. Gene is the owner of Present Restaurant in Arlington, Virgina and Saigon Street at the MGM National Harbor, Maryland.
27 minutes | a year ago
#16 - The Ground Kisser
Thanh is the oldest of six children and was just eight years old at the Fall of Saigon. She was living in Tân Châu, just six miles from the Cambodia border and she remembers vividly the blood bath from the continued warfare between Vietnam and Cambodia. With Communism breathing down their backs and their wealth and freedom wiped out, Thanh's parents had to make an agonizing decision. Without enough gold to pay for a family of eight to flee Vietnam, they had to choose whether to stay together and face whatever came in the new Communist regime, or risk separating the family. In 1979, Thanh's parents found an opportunity for her to leave Vietnam, but they did not know that their 12 year old daughter, would embark on a journey fighting for her life. The Ground KisserBy Thanh Duong Boyer with Lisa Worthey Smith Also available on Amazon
46 minutes | a year ago
#15 - LIVE Episode! Butterfly Yellow
Thanhhà Lại was born in Vietnam in the middle of the war. She wrote about growing up there and leaving on a navy ship two days before the war ended in her first novel Inside Out & Back Again, which won a Newbery Honor and a National Book Award and eight years later is still a New York Times bestseller. She is the youngest of nine children raised by a single mother. Her father went missing during the war when she was just one years old. Her life in America would begin in Alabama and despite the trauma that was going on, Thanhhà grew up in a household full of humor. Many years later as a writer, she would discover that balancing trauma with humor is what makes her voice unique. The contrast is beautifully reflected in her latest novel, Butterfly Yellow. https://www.thanhhalai.com
29 minutes | 2 years ago
#14 - The World Looked Away
Tom Pham, was born in 1971 in Saigon as Hung Quoc Pham. At the end of the Vietnam War, his father Qouc Pham, a former South Vietnam Naval officer was sent away for many years in re-education camp. His mom was left with young children to care for in a war-torn country. Tom was sent to live with his grandparents at age four until one day, a father he barely knew started to appear again. And the two of them would escape Vietnam in 1980 when Tom was just eight years old. Tom shares what it was like growing up in America, separated from the rest of his family and the emotional distance they felt when they were finally reunited in America. In 2014, Tom played an instrumental role in helping to get his father and mother's story of survival documented in the book The World Looked Away. The World Looked AwayQouc Pham's story By Dave Bushy
20 minutes | 2 years ago
#13 - Miss VSA
VBP Student Spotlight: Growing up in Brooklyn New York, Vivian was not surrounded by many Vietnamese people. Her parents fled Vietnam by boat as refugees in 1978. And while she grew up in the largest melting pot in America, Vietnamese-Americans don’t even come close to 1% of the entire population in New York City. She never connected with her heritage until college, when she met a group of passionate and supportive students who recruited her to join the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA). For the first time, she felt proud about her background and a sense of belonging. Featuring Breathin by Ariana Grande - performed by Vivian Luu on the ukulele Vietnamese Boat People podcast theme song - created by Paulina Vo
28 minutes | 2 years ago
#12 - Bolinao 52
In 1988, a group of Vietnamese boat people attempted to flee their country in search of freedom. Once at sea, the boat's engine died, leaving over 100 people stranded in the ocean. What happens next is an unbelievable story of perseverance that changed the lives of 52 survivors forever. Award winning documentarian Duc Nguyen, shares his journey in unraveling this story and making this regional Emmy award-winning film. Film (English): https://vimeo.com/ondemand/bolinao52 Film(Tiếng Việt): https://vimeo.com/ondemand/bolinao52viet Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/righthereinmypocket
24 minutes | 2 years ago
#11 - Live Episode! Nailed It
In virtually every city, state and strip mall across the U.S., people get their nails done in salons likely owned by Vietnamese entrepreneurs. How did our community come to dominate the $8 billion dollar nail salon industry? Director Adele Free Pham set out to explore the history of Vietnamese nail salons and discovered it all began with 20 Vietnamese refugee women and a chance encounter with famed Alfred Hitchcock actress and humanitarian Tippi Hedren. The "first 20" Vietnamese manicurists sought a way to support their children and families, unknowingly sparking a cultural phenomenon. https://www.naileditdoc.com Featured Song: “Had to Hustle” by Chuck Free Pham and Track Producer DJ Ananse
16 minutes | 2 years ago
#10 - The Guy Who Steered the Ship
Leo was only 26 years old, one of the youngest crewmen on the US Navy chartered military vessel, the SS Trans Colorado. On August 11, 1980 in the midst of a storm, Leo was on watch to steer the ship, when he spotted a small fishing boat far away with two men holding up a red flag in distress. Little did he know that his crew was about to change the fate of 67 refugee lives on that boat.
20 minutes | 2 years ago
#9 - Cultural Understanding
In 1980, Nesta arrived at the Singapore Refugee camp for the first time, looking to do something meaningful with her time and skills. At first, she was overwhelmed by the chaos and traumatic experiences that the refugees had just gone through. Using a combination of her training, pure instincts and cultural understanding, Nesta became instrumental in helping the refugees transition into new lives and resettlement countries. The experiences at the camp also had a profound effect on her professional and personal life.
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