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What Is Vietnamese American Culture

Decent Essays
This week's reading, Jonathan Lee's “Vietnamese in America” (pages 128 to 138) in History of Asian Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots, explores the resettlement process of Vietnamese refugees in the United States. What interested me most was the intergenerational conflict between 1-generation Vietnamese Americans and 1.5- and second-generation Vietnamese Americans. The “rescue psychology,” the guilt for losing the Vietnam War which fueled humanitarian efforts to help displaced refugees, mitigated the resettlement of first wave refugees. The US government allocated generous aid and instituted programs and policies in order to assist first wave refugees with their resettlement and integration into American society (Lee 128). Furthermore, most…show more content…
Another source of conflict was the cultural barriers between parents and children. Through their engagement with American peers and American media, 1.5- and second-generation Vietnamese Americans familiarized themselves with American culture while their parents instilled in them traditional values and customs. Vietnamese culture is maintained through, among other ways, celebrating Vietnamese holidays like Tet and Tet Trung Thu; the formation of and engagement with Vietnamese enclaves, such as Little Saigon; and foodways, the cultural practices relating to the production and consumption of food (Lee, “Maintaining Cultural Continuity,” Week 7). It is by engaging in such practices that first-generation Vietnamese Americans successfully transmit traditional values, morals, and customs to their children (Lee 134). In the discussion forum, Helen Huang discussed going to Chinese school when she was younger; she has, however, forgotten some Chinese words which occasionally makes it difficult to communicate with her family
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