The Vietnamese woman in my family always criticize and look down on other Vietnamese woman who: get tattooed eyebrows, get any sort of plastic surgery and/or is materialistic… Yet the Vietnamese woman in my family are guilty of AT LEAST 1 of the “crimes” listed above.
If you can’t make it an “exception” for other people, it should not be an exception for you. You are no better than other people who did that before you.
I’ve attended the first 3 sessions for SEARCH (if you count the retreat a session). The retreat was very informative. There were questions that were asked that help the women in the room reflect on our own roots a little better.
What do we know about Southeast Asian history?
The Hmong People
Secret War on Laos
The first slide that was presented on the slide show was about a Chinese American named Vincent Chin. He was beaten to death in 1982 for being Asian. In Detroit at the time there was a decline in the American auto industry and many jobs were lost to the Japanese. His death was based on false accusations. Those who killed him assumed he was Japanese because he was Asian.
The second slide was about the Viet Vote. There was a Viet community in Dorchester that was completely ignored. Only 100 people at the time voted-no vote no power.
Mee Moua is the first Hmong American State Senator in the US. She currently is the president and executive director of Asian American Justice Center.
Joseph Cao is the first US Vietnamese American to serve in US Congress. He served on congress from 2009-2011.
Thavisouk Phrasavath is the first Laotian American to be Oscar-nominated first to win Emmy for directing. (Betrayal)
Loung Ung wrote a personal account of her experience of the killings during the Khmer Rouge.
Learning about Southeast Asian history definitely opened my eyes more to what I can do in my community. Being a female, Asian, and young are 3 disadvantages in the leadership world, but that why I embarked on the SEARCH journey.
The 1st session we all met the mayor of Providence RI, Cranston RI, and Fitchburg MA. They were all very informative and inspiring. I like the mayor of Fitchburg the most. She herself is an Asian American woman. She had a lot to tell us and told us first hand stories about her experiences as a leader (good and bad).
Today’s session was about registering to vote. I would get into detail about it but there is just way too much to talk about. Basically to sum it all up. Defend yourself. Being a Southeast Asian female, you have to constantly defend yourself. You have to speak up and say what’s on your mind. What are you going to be like in 10 years? Will things change if you say something? You’ll never know unless you try. The Southeast Asian community in Rhode Island is very under represented, heck I think the Southeast Asian community in New England is underrepresented. My colleagues and I have the same passion to be that momentum to get things going in our area. Get them to vote, help them become citizens, inform them about our government, educate them!
The next session will be about fundraising for the first National SEARCH Conference held in RI. This is going to be big. This is the first conference held in the New England area. Invites for Asian leaders, (especially females ones) will be sent all across the U.S ranging from Minnesota, California, D.C, etc. We will all come together and hold this conference to empower more Asian women to take lead.
One of the guest speakers from today’s session told us that today’s society is rough on women. It’s true. What are you going to do if you are too dependent? What if you get married and then the guy decides to leave you? What are you going to do if all you want to do is search for love. Seek your independence and walk that road those before you paved. It’s your job to put the cement on. You need to rely on yourself nowadays. Get yourself established first before doing something stupid. I think that personal desires (money, love, etc.) will make it’s way to you once you are stable.
(AP and KTVU.com) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Authorities have released the identities of two people who died in an apparent murder-suicide at a busy San Jose strip mall. San Jose police say 32-year-old Trung Quoc Nguyen shot 39-year-old Emanuel Tran Phoung Nguyen in the head at 9:30 a.m. Saturday before shooting himself. Police say the motive is still being investigated, but they have said the two were a former couple. They were pronounced dead at the scene at Gould Center. The woman’s 17-month-old daughter was found strapped in a car seat in a vehicle just a few feet away. The San Jose Mercury News reports the toddler was not hurt and was placed under the custody of Santa Clara County Child Protective Services.
The film that earned the highest numbers of votes, “My Asian Americana,” looks at the intersection between the criminal justice system and immigration. The video features a dozen men and women talking about being deported to a country they don’t know and what they remember and miss from the United States.
The videos submitted “remind us of why we do the work we do here to make sure your voices are heard,” a White House staffer says in a video thanking those who submitted videos. “With your help we’ll invite an exceptional group of finalists hear to the White House to share their stories in person with officials from President Obama’s administration,” says another staffer in the video.
But the filmmakers say the White House “formally refused to invite” them to an April 5th, 2012 event that included the finalists.
Indonesia issues tsunami warning after 8.9-magnitude earthquake
Tremors could be felt all across south-east Asia, some lasting for as long as five minutes, with reports on Twitter describing scenes of employees rushing out of office buildings to families looking for safety in cities as far-reaching as Rangoon, Bangkok,Ho Chi Minh Cityand Singapore.
Often I’ve heard people say that the Hmong culture will die out because the new Hmong generation is straying.
Can you blame us though? You bring us into a whole new different world while at home, it’s another. No one is to blame, really. It’s just the pitfall of being of a different culture while living in another. This isn’t about the Hmong culture dying out (another post about that may come) but about the generations of Hmong to come. We live in two different worlds, two different cultures and balancing those things are such a burden especially to teenagers.
When we’re teenagers, we’re just looking for acceptance, really. That’s all it boils down to in the end. I look at those around me and see a lost soul one after another. There’s no wrong in wanting to be accepted. It’s who you choose to be accepted by. You know right from wrong, that’s all I’m saying.
We can all just as easily walk into a room full of different cliques and wonder why they exist and list their cons but we can’t speak for them, because we just don’t know. So I’m saying, I can’t speak for the young Hmong teenagers who get lost along the way. I can’t speak about their decisions. I want to but I can’t.
And believe me, I want to but how do you approach such a thing? Can you really? Were you there for them before? Do you have the right? All those things come to my mind because I don’t have an authority and am in no position to do so. However, as an older sister and older cousin, I have some responsibility to bear. And I’m calling you out, older siblings/cousins, to watch over them (the younger ones). Start now, start slow. Just start, because when something goes wrong, you’ll wish you had.
Be there for them. Be there when your parents aren’t. Be there when their friends aren’t. Be there when no one else is.
Hmong is a sub-ethnic group that originated in Tibet. We were a nomadic people who eventually settled in China. After rising political power, China felt that it’d be best to make the Hmong one with China, suppressing everything about us. Shamanism, our language and even our own culture. We resisted with force, eventually causing China to banish us into the mountains (which is why all Hmong movies are in the jungles). After years of war, China and it’s flourishing power killed off our King, and left our people crippled. We just wanted freedom and independence, but China wouldn’t let us. We were never able to establish our own country because of China’s suppression of our ways. After hundreds of years the Hmong wokred their way all around Asia, eventually settling in the Jungles of Thailand and Laos/Vietnam. This is around the beginning of the Vietnamese war. US Soldiers went into Vietnam, only to find that they didn’t know the jungle as well as the Viet Kong forces. They hired the Hmong people living in those very forests to train US soldiers and navigate them through the jungles. This is where General Vang Pao comes in; He was one of the best Generals, and received the highest Honor possible from the US government. After the US lost the communist war to Vietnam, they pulled out, leaving the Hmong to fight for themselves. Since the end of the war TO THIS VERY DAY; the Hmong are still hunted and slain by Communist Vietnamese Guerrillas. Why won’t the US government help? Because they don’t want to spend money to help us. They owe us everything, there is a genocide happening right now and us stupid little teenagers don’t even care. The US government says there’s no proof. General Vang Pao was fighting to prove our part in the war. Now he’s dead, and this will always be known as the “Secret War”.
On March 26, U.S. immigration officials showed up at my company and escorted a long time employee, Sua Kuangvanh, out of the building “to clear up some paperwork.” They then took him to the Polk County Jail where he is being held pending deportation back to Laos, his native country.
In 1996, over 15 years ago, Kuangvanh was convicted of a drug-related crime in Storm Lake. At the time of conviction, he was “removable and deportable,” but that never happened. Since then he has been a model alien citizen.
He has established a family, been a wonderful employee of mine for the past 11 years, paid his taxes and complied with all visiting alien paperwork requirements. He has held a passport, traveled in and out of the country and hasn’t had so much as a speeding ticket. He had just recently applied for U.S. citizenship.
I can understand a U.S. policy of deportation for certain crimes. But to wait for 15 years, during which an individual establishes a family, a place in the community and a life in general, and then to snatch it all away is inhumane and serves no useful purpose. Deportation will have a devastating effect on the immediate people involved, will serve no benefit to anyone and will deprive our community of an upstanding citizen and productive worker.