I am super fortunate to be able to get a lot of not too expensive things in life without having to save up for it. However, that doesn’t mean I usually just go and get them, especially if they were over $50. No, I like to do things to keep some good characteristics sharp, like wait for a sale, make myself save some money elsewhere from usual routines, do something to “earn” it, among others, including combinations thereof. Well, after 100 days of writing this year to start my minimal two year journey into writing, I got myself a decent chair to sit and write in!
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]
I’ve seen about 100 videos from TED.com now. Most of them have been great or better, but every now and then, something stunning comes along that makes the rest seem average, even, dare I say. No offense intended to the many great speakers at TED, but you know, something always resonates more with each one of us.
In my case, it was John Francis‘ talk. If you want to know what my idea is of a true storyteller, right now, I’d point you to John’s talk below and ask you to listen. What’s even better, the story he tells is that of an incredible journey he took in his life where he walked around for 17 years without saying a word deliberately, got a Bachelor in Environmental Studies, Masters (MA) in Environmental Science and PhD in Land Resources and saved the environment in many ways but most notably, with respect to spilled oil. The stories and lessons he tells are truly genuine, human and inspiring… coming full circle, full of aha moments and completely interwoven. Very spiritually empowering, too!
But why am I wasting your time? Please, have a listen by clicking on the video below. Then, if you like it, share it with a friend, two or those on your Facebook or something (social bookmarking icon bar at the top). Let’s give this YouTube video a LOT more than just 25,000 views it only currently has. This needs to go viral rather than a lot of that trash going around that’s like flu and AIDS viruses.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.9