Friday, May 31, 2013

Eddie Truong - Week 7

In Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora by Caroline Kieu-Linh Valverde, Valverde reveals the transnational processes that arise through the culture consumption of Vietnamese popular music from both the diaspora and the state of Viet Nam. Vietnamese popular music has the distinction of creating a feeling of nostalgia for diasporic communities and forging connections between the Vietnamese state and the diaspora, even when none thought that this was possible.

In my own experience, I find that this diasporic theoretical framework is particularly valuable because I have always known Vietnamese popular music to be a source of my cultural heritage. Through the productions of Paris by Night by Trung Tam Thuy Nga, I have been able to understand and learn about Vietnamese culture that my parents did not share with me through casual conversation. Just as Valverde points out, music is an important mode of transferring and developing Vietnamese culture production. These transnational connections are particularly interesting in light of the strong anticommunist sentiments shared by many in diaspora. In particular, how is it possible that these transnational connections can continue to persist despite the prevalent, negative feelings that the diaspora has towards the Vietnamese state and are there other modes in which we continue to develop and sustain these connections? Does this mean that the diaspora is starting to forgive communist Viet Nam?

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