Sunday, January 12, 2020

Week1_Andrea Gomez_ASA150E

Generational trauma: the idea that a horrific event, a genetic memory of loss, or simply the nightmares families tiptoe around for decades, has become so imbedded into the descendants of the survivors that it is omnipresent. In Yen Le Espiritu's book, "Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refugees," she explores the taboo that is remembering. A concept popular with many detribalized latinx, remembering is not only educating yourself on the plight of your ancestors, but to find the knowledge that is still in our minds of how our people have survived for thousands of years. For the Viet community of those born after the conclusion of the war, what Espiritu refers to as the Generation After, the generational trauma that cloaks many of them is especially difficult to digest and overcome. Conflicting histories, lost families and records, or even the denial of talking about what befell an entire corner of the world, all in the "name of democracy," contribute to an already overwhelmed generation. How can one ask their mother, who remembers home in a way that you can never comprehend, to explain a war that they had no say in? Despite the hurdles, many are hungry for not only their histories, but answers. The need to understand not only what happened to their families, their communities, the homeland that they will never experience as their ancestors did, has come to a roaring climax. The dead cannot speak for themselves, but they are screaming through their descendants.

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