Friday, June 1, 2012

Relfection: Transnational Diasporic Experience

            This week the theme of the student presentations were centered on transnationalism. The first presentation examined attitudes between Chinese and Vietnamese. Trieu provided a lot of background information about each of the countries and their ties to one another. He also included information about the overseas Vietnamese population. It is clear from the presentation how knowledgeable Trieu is as he offered a lot of personal insight and perspectives. I do think that his research paper would greatly benefit from finding more of a balance between personal knowledge and actual theories. Providing more of a theoretical framework will help to shape and strengthen the paper. It would be interesting to incorporate the attitudes expressed between overseas Chinese and Vietnamese populations as this was not expressed. I enjoyed the presentation however would have liked to have heard his approach and methodology in gathering the information for his paper.
Linda’s presentation on Vietnamese Variety Shows was very concise, informative, and intriguing. She specifically focused on finding the impact of these shows on family relations and dynamics.  She presented her research findings of her survey and identified differences in experience between 1st, 1.5, and 2nd generation Vietnamese Americans. Her findings are very interesting as I feel as though my experience differ from the trend identified of the 2nd generation. I have watched Paris By Night and other variety shows with my family and while at family gatherings over the holidays. In my experience, my mom usually is the only one who pays the most attention to it because she enjoys singing and dancing. The rest of my family watches the show because it makes my mom happy. To be honest I do not particularly like these variety shows. One reason is simply because I am not fluent in Vietnamese. So often times, watching is purely for the dancing. Other reasons I have grown to dislike the show is because of significant western influence which makes this show lose its originality and how over-the-top the production is rather than portraying pure talent. When variety shows are played at family gatherings it becomes festive for my parents and the older generation while usually the younger generation leaves to play games and other things. I think that in some cases the variety show has provided an avenue in understanding parts of Vietnamese cultural however the effect has been very minimal.  
          The last presentation of the day was done by Justin who presented on Vietnamese cinema and transnational consumption. Justin deconstructed different elements of the film “Hot Bou Noi Loan” to explain how gender identity and issues of homosexuality are being challenged through society. His passion and enthusiasm for the topic truly was reflected through the amount of information presented in his presentation. While Justin identified an array of topics pertaining to the film, I would agree with Professor Valverde that his paper would be stronger if he narrows down and focus on one or two key points. Something that I was I found interesting from his presentation was about how the title of the movie was changed to “Lost In Paradise.” I had only come to know of this film from its English title and never realized that it had first come out with a Vietnamese title. Something to look into that would be interesting is whether or not this film had any difficulties from the Vietnamese government or civilians during pre-production of the film. This would have significantly impacted the content of the film and the dialog of homosexuality within Vietnam. 

-Christina Nguyen

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