Saturday, February 8, 2020

Week 6_ Christine Chau _ASA150E

In this weeks theme of Diasporic Experiences and Transnational Processes, Professor Valverde highlights a perspective of how Viet Nam has become many "imagined communities" where collectives imagine themselves in multiple communities, that enforce different realties that contrast one another. With these contrasting realties, the real and perceived histories are blended. I remember faintly my father talking briefly about Madison Nguyen - and how much he despised her for not supporting the choice of naming the district Little Saigon. With the lack of my understanding of the politics around the post Viet Nam war and the procommunist or anticommunist views, I didn't understand why it was a big deal at the time. Throughout chapter five I have soon realized why Madison Nguyen was important in the Vietnamese community - a new voice and face in the political scenes. Someone who came out and had a new symbol of what it is to be Vietnamese American in politics. She was a trusted public servant in the Vietnamese American community because everyone could relate to a young infant who travelled to America with little to nothing, and making a new for herself through education and perseverance. When the Little Saigon controversy happened, it began to create a fine line of what was actually the national symbol of Viet Nam itself. Little Saigon to the community represented the refugee experience, freedom, democracy, nationalism, and anticommunism. With Madison Nguyen not agreeing to rename the district with this name, many assume she was a communist. It was important to the community, especially for those who are older generations who weren't fluent in English, those who couldn't protest themselves. Dan Pham emphasized that the name Little Saigon was a political branding that will "help us redefine the political position of the community as anticommunists and political refugees". However, not everyone identified with this symbolic meaning, because not everyone is living in the diaspora. This leads to my question of how do we deal with such difference in the generations, gender, experiences, and values, and to still find a middle ground between all of us? How do we raise and highlight specific voices without silencing others?

Image result for little saigon san francisco

I chose to put Little Saigon from San Francisco because growing up my father went to the Tenderloin every week to talk to his friends, those who served in the war or came to America as refugee. I never realized why my father came here so often, but I soon realize is that it was the only place for him that was connected to home.


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