I’m Vietnamese born and I live in Canada. Somehow the ruling Progressive Conservatives knew that and my email, sending me a statement today from Minister Jason Kenney on the Journey to Freedom Day Act that just got Royal Assent (passed) on Friday, April 24th, 2015. It commemorates the many Vietnamese “boat” people refugees Canada has welcomed since the end of the Viet Nam War.
The statement, attached below, says “thousands” of Vietnamese boat people but they could have added “tens of”. Canada welcomed a LOT of us! Thank you, Canada! We hope we have contributed more than what you expected of us to allow us to be a part of your great country!
Oh, by the way, while it may be popular to spell Vietnam as one word in English, we use the same alphabets and wording system as English, and the country name is two words in Vietnamese. 🙂
I will be embarking on a three week trip to Viet Nam in March, returning for the first time since I left as a refugee in April, 1980. I will also be passing through Vancouver, Canada, where I once lived for about five years, leaving in September, 2000. They are the only two places I have lived aside from Halifax where I am today. During my journey, I will be podcasting to document the stories, reflections, perspectives, feelings, etc. I will experience.
If you would like to listen to them, please go to my T.T. Phone Home podcast page. I just did my first podcast tonight, 5 nights before my journey begins. However, there are already plenty of stories to share of cultural ways, my past, people special to me, etc. that I won’t wait until I start my journey to document.
I am honoured this year to have my one minute film in the Toronto Urban Film Festival this year (TUFF).
Vượt Biên: Voyage of a Diaspora is a metaphorical depiction of the Vietnamese Boat People’s journey for freedom, using photos from the United Nations’ Photo Library and a few from my past.
[December 2011 edit: I’m allowed to share it now that the festival is over]