Vietnames culture dating essay

Like those mangrove trees, I was born and raised in American soil, but my roots are in Vietnam.

I’ve learned that my identity as a Vietnamese American is best described as the coexistence between the soil that I grew up in, bound by the waters that brought my family here.

Despite these differences, nothing scared and enthralled me more than the prospect of visiting my parent’s homeland.

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My family ate Vietnamese food and I spoke to my parents in Vietnamese, but that was about the extent of my cultural knowledge.

I actually felt uncomfortable most of the time around my parent’s Vietnamese friends, embarrassed that I could only speak the language in snippets and phrases at best.

I never brought it up to her again until my senior year AFTER I received all the scholarships to fund my trip.

Before I knew it, I was in my last semester at the University of Florida when I decided to take a chance on this curiosity. Our house smells pungent with food spices and menthol from natural remedies.

Growing up, most of what I knew about Vietnam came from war stories. Faster than the bullets that rained down behind him, sinking small boats packed to the brim with people just like himself.

My father escaped by fleeing to a US Navy barge on April 30th, the day the war ended. Faster than the doubts that swam through his head if the rest of the family made it. While my initial fears about Vietnam were misplaced, I also realized that war was a part of our history.

Running to the coastline, he could hear the sound of his footsteps give way to the sound of his heartbeat. The war dictated the kind of government the people would have. The worst part was yet to come with the Agent Orange exhibit.

Living in a communist nation as American students, we were cautioned to be wary of the things we verbalized and shared on Facebook. During the war, millions of gallons of a chemical defoliant known as Agent Orange were sprayed throughout the country in an effort to prevent soldiers from hiding out in the forest.

The water’s smooth, marble-like surface blended the colors of the sky like a melting pot for the world.

Peering into the depths of the ocean reminded me of my family, our story, and how it began with the Vietnam war.

Written by Michelle Nguyen, CET Public Health & Service-Learning in Ho Chi Minh City alum, Summer 2015 As a child, I’d always tag along with my dad for his fishing adventures.

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