Cultural Collage

Vietnamese-Americans

A small minority of people from the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam or Vietnamese people who were born in America. Many who have immigrated in America congregate in California, Texas, Washington, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

The Culture

I just happen to be a member of this ethnic group and I can say that we have some pretty unique traditions. Most of our holidays end with eating large amounts of food with Tết (Chinese New Year) being no exception. Around the time of the Lunar New Year, we have a prayer, that involves setting up more than a dozen plates of food, to send the Kitchen God back to heaven so he can report about what's happened in our household that year then we have to do a prayer for him to come back. Ironically, we don't get to eat the food on the plates.

How is Being a Vietnamese-American Different From Being A Normal Vietnamese?

Aside from the whole living-in-America aspect, Vietnamese-Americans have much more freedom than the Vietnamese in Vietnam. In America, we are allowed to fly the South Vietnam flag without fear of getting sent to jail. In America, everyone is treated equally under the law. Most importantly, in America, we're allowed to have opinions.

The American Aspect

The thing that puts the "American" in "Vietnamese-American" is how American culture fused with Vietnamese culture. Most Vietnamese-American families either use English or Vietnamese mixed with English since some words are easier to say in English. The diet of younger Vietnamese-Americans has also been altered, instead of rice everyday for dinner, many choose to go to fast food restaurants. They have also been able to make a decent living in America by being able to adapt quickly and rise to jobs that require excellent English skills such as being a comedian like Dat Phan.
I'm sure that all the first generation Vietnamese-Americans don't regret their choice of coming to America, a place that many over in Vietnam hear so many great stories about, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
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