Going Home Again – The Vietnamese overseas return

Source images: Bitexco Financial Tower, in Ho Chi Minh City © Kevin Miller/Alamy; vendors in Hoi An © John Milligan/Alamy; Tra On, in the Mekong Delta region © Robert Harding/Alamy; Mekong Delta © Jason Langley/Alamy

Here’s an interesting take on Viet Nam, overseas Vietnamese, and related identity issues that appeared in the June 2020 issue of Harper’s Magazine. Well-written and mostly accurate, I stumbled upon it while looking for one of my articles, and noticed that I was quoted.

The author, Theodore (Ted) Ross, begins by describing his personal connection to Viet Nam: For three years in my twenties, I lived in Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City, which most people there still call Saigon. I arrived on February 4, 1995, the same year the United States reestablished diplomatic ties with the country, one it had expended much time and treasure bombing, napalming, saving by destroying, and bludgeoning by attrition, resulting in what optimistic souls like to insist was a tie.

My first trip to Viet Nam was one year after the author arrived in the “early days” when the country was just beginning to open up to the world.

Shalom (שלום), MAA

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