Apr 29 2005

Nguyen Never Forgets the Long Journey to America

Published by at April 29, 2005 7:34 am under Cross-cultural Training,Global Culture

Packed in an overcrowded boat, her skin blistering under the searing heat of the mid-day sun, while her stomach betraying her courageous front alerts the other passengers to her desperate need for food and water, 11-year-old Jinny Nguyen clings to her uncle’s arm, locked in fear that their boat – their literal life preserver was sinking, along with their dream for a new life – for freedom on a distant shore.

Although her daring 1979 escape from Vietnam is now little more than a memory, Nguyen, a successful baker and owner of Port Arthur’s Golden Croissant restaurant, said she hopes that Vietnamese children growing up in America today can someday understand the plight that their families endured in order to attain freedom.

Understanding the importance of heritage, Nguyen and her husband Richard have dedicated much of their free time to instructing their children in the customs of their culture.

“I have great kids,” Nguyen said. “They all do great in school. They prefer to speak English of course because that is what they speak in school. But, at home we make them speak Vietnamese. I also bought videos of Vietnamese music for them.”

“They even listen to Vietnamese rap music,” Nguyen said with a hearty laugh. “It doesn’t matter how they learn, just so they learn.”

In addition to language instruction, Nguyen, a richly talented cook, prepares Vietnamese dishes not only in her home, but also in her restaurant.

“I believe you get to know people through their food,” Nguyen said. “We have great food and I love to share it.”

Although brought to America out of tragic events in her homeland, Nguyen said she sees the silver lining in her escape and hopes that today’s Vietnamese children will someday understand the price of freedom.

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One Response to “Nguyen Never Forgets the Long Journey to America”

  1. Linguistic Solutions Blog » The New Colossuson 29 Apr 2005 at April 29, 2005 8:05 am

    […] Training — Christopher Hurtado @ April 29, 2005 8:05 am My last post, “Nguyen Never Forgets the Long Journey to America“, reminded me of a line from the end of the […]