Mai Moua Vang
The presentation about Amerasians was really interesting and insightful because I have not think about children that was born during war time. In another ASA class I took a quarter ago, I read a story about the experience of Vietnamese family who has a son who is mixed with Vietnamese and African American. It was not until the Amerasian presentation that the story made more sense and how real it is. In the presentation, the student talked about how the children are left behind with the mother after the war is over and the mother’s family finds it hard to incorporate the child in the Vietnamese environment. In the story I read, the family tried to lighten his skin by keeping him away from the sun and using special bleaching soap. As for bi-racial son’s hair, the mother would add hot oil to his hair to straighten it out. His grandfather taught him to love Ho Chi Minh and his grandson would sing it in public. The family tries many ways to assimilate him into the Vietnamese society because Amerasian children face a lot of racial discrimination and are confusion about their identity. I was talking to my bi-racial friend and he said that he did not feel so confused about his identity because his parents were very accepting and they highlighted other qualities he has. The way that I saw this, his parents are very American. His dad is white while his mother is a Philipina so acculturating him in American values made his identity more clear since they didn’t put much stress on his Pilipino culture. Overall, the presenter provided a lot of information that really helped me paint a picture of Amerasians' experience. In addition, I'm glad that the presenter gave this presentation because the information I learned in another ASA class is more relevant and valuable to me now.
The presentation about the relationship between China and Vietnam was also very interesting because it ties back to a CRD class I am currently talking about globalization. China and Vietnam have an assymetrical relationship where Vietnam relies heavily on China for their products. Although Vietnam defeated China in several wars, economically China has the upper hand. Since China has more people and their government knows how to strategize in the market, the country took advantage of exporting materials. Since labor is cheap in China, their materials are also cheap, making it ideal to for people in Vietnam to buy more of their materials. This also applies for fruits and vegetables. Even though Vietnam is a tropical country, it is cheaper for them to buy fruits and vegetables from China, thus emphasizing the asymmetrical relationship. Overall the presenter did a really good job with the presentation. It was well structured and easy to understand.
It’s is really hard for me to draw any ideas from Micheal’s presentation because he did not have much to create a dialogue to conjure ideas. His presentation was not well structured and lacked cohesiveness. He seemed confused about his own topic, which added more confusion to myself. To be honest, when I was reading the article, it did not sound appealing to me and it was really long so I ended up skimming it. I was hoping that Micheal would frame it in a way to make it sound more interesting, but he did not. Ideally, I wanted him to summarize the article in a few minutes and have him articulate his own take on the article but he didn't which was a bit disappointing. It makes me wonder how much effort he placed on his own presentation and his own personal liking of his own article.