Staying connected to her culture


Submitted photo

Nguyen stands outside a market in Vietnam.

“My dad left Vietnam in 1980, after the fall of the Saigon when he was 15 years old. He left by boat and stayed in a refugee camp in Thailand. My dad was in Thailand for three months and then he immigrated to Pennsylvania. He went to high school and college in Pennsylvania but then got a job in Minnesota.

He had various jobs in places and got one in Madison. After he landed a job in Milwaukee my family moved to Mequon. My dad’s youngest brother never left and his mom (my grandma) is still in Vietnam as well, so I still have family there. Even though my dad left at 15, he still felt heavily connected to the Vietnamese culture. In turn, this has impacted me as a Vietnamese-American. Even though I’m only half Vietnamese, we have gone back a lot, and I have learned a lot about his life there.”

– Anna Nguyen, junior