Mar 5, 2012

Running Away from Vietnam

I've written about TED on this weblog twice.

"A Baby Starts Learning Language From When They Are In Their Mother's Womb"
"There Are No Mistakes on the Bandstand"

I've listened to a new interesting lecture on TED, Tan Lee's "My Immigration Story".

She ran away from Vietnam to Australia on a small boat with her grandmother and mother.

I was really moved by the story about her grandmother's death.

She said that her grandmother was born under a Confucianism society and became a second wife.

At that time Vietnam was a French colony. And then the Japanese army invaded Vietnam. After World War II the French army came back and the Vietnam people fought against them. Vietnam was divided into North Vietnam, which was a communist country, and South Vietnam, which was a despotic country. The US armed forces made a cruel war against Viet Cong.

At the end she ran away from the Vietnam Communist party and died in Australia. The history of modernization in Asia is full of hardship, which her life symbolized.

Tan Lee said the following.

I was taking a shower in a hotel room in Sydney the moment she died 600 miles away in Melbourne. I looked through the shower screen and saw her standing on the other side. I knew she had come to say goodbye. My mother phoned minutes later. A few days later, we went to a Buddhist temple in Footscray and sat around her casket. We told her stories and assured her that we were still with her. At midnight the monk came and told us he had to close the casket. My mother asked us to feel her hand. She asked the monk, "Why is it that her hand is so warm and the rest of her is so cold?" "Because you have been holding it since this morning," he said. "You have not let it go."

"Her hand is so warm." I won't forget that phrase.

I wrote about a Vietnam refugee in Japan on the entry "Moving Children".

Please read about MC NAM's story and hear his rap "My Song".

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