Friday, February 10, 2017

Sarn Saechao Week 6 Post

The readings this week centered on restructuring our understandings and notions of transnationalizing Vietnam and the Vietnamese community overseas. In spite of the great physical distance between both communities, as well as the long years between their separation, an interconnection between them and the United States persists. This connection is due to several reasons. They include Cold War politics, effects of globalization, technological development in travel and communication, and the emergence of particular art and pop culture. These multifaceted effects forces the Vietnamese diaspora community and Vietnamese in the homeland to renegotiate political and cultural identity, the conditions and practices of a contemporary diaspora, and remaking a nation. Traditional notions of transnationalism suggest that ties between the home country and its diaspora community will weaken over time. However, this is not the case as evident in communities’ strong efforts from both overseas and the home country to connect despite assimilationist forces and extreme efforts in censoring and limiting these relationships. These forces include local, state, and intra ethnic anti communist barriers. Anticommunist sentiment is grounded in the resistance from Vietnamese Americans. This is evident in the surveillance of Vietnamese transnational discourse internet forums. Additionally, the Vietnamese refugee community in San Jose demonstrated such sentiment when Vice-Mayor Madison Nguyen and her city council cohort unanimously voted to name the Vietnamese commercial area “Vietnamese Business District” instead of “Little Saigon”. The latter would have represented their refugee experience and culture more so. The result wound up urging the Vietnamese American community to label her as having community sentiments. Thus, both Vietnamese communities in the United States and Vietnam are forced to navigate above, below, and through these concerted barriers to maintain and establish a connection with Vietnam.

Question: Regarding the Secret War, Khmer Rouge, and Vietnam War, are simillar anti-communist discourse, practices, and barriers prevalent in other Southeast Asian communities overseas and in the homeland? For example, Laos and Lao folks in the United States, Cambodia and Cambodians in the United States?

"Little Saigon" supporters outside of San Jose City Hall.

image source:

No comments:

Post a Comment