Between 1975 to 1990s, almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Escaping by boat, many were captured and brutally punished, and hundreds of thousands died along the journey. This population of people are known as the ‘Vietnamese Boat People' and these are their stories.
#25 - Have Faith
Two siblings share their experiences in post-war Vietnam and what it was like to be separated as a family. Danny fled Vietnam as a teenager with his brothers and later had to fight for his life after a severe brain injury just a month after arriving in America. While Tu-Anh was moved from place to place in Vietnam as her mom made several attempts to get them out of the country. They share their journeys and struggles and their search for a guiding light during the toughest times.
#24 - The Perfect Storm
Quang was born in Ha Noi in 1953 just a year before Vietnam was divided into two and his family migrated south to Saigon. In 1970 he was drafted into war and recruited to Division 3 of the Special Task Force for the South. Days before the Fall of Saigon, Quang’s special unit was stationed in a small village when they had lost contact with their main command. They remained in hiding for days and emerged only to find that they had lost the war and had to surrender to the North. In 1978 in Quang’s second attempt to flee Vietnam, he would face the perfect storm that led to a series of unpredictable events. He shares how the care of a 9 year-old boy saved his life.
#23 - Second Gen
To close out season three, we explore perspectives from the American born Vietnamese, those who are categorized as second generation. For most second generation Vietnamese children, their childhood looked nothing like that of their parents. They did not grow up during the Vietnam War era, nor do they have memories of the life threatening escapes from the country. Even so, this generation still internalizes the experiences, some through stories told by their parents, while others can feel the effects of the trauma, even if those stories were never told. In this episode, we explore how this generation manages to understand their families' histories and trauma while also grappling with their own identities as Asian-Americans. Featuring interviews with actress An Phan, podcast host Randy Kim and visual storyteller Vi Son Trinh.
#22 - Snow in Vietnam
Amy Le was born in Tra Vinh Vietnam in 1974, with a severe heart condition. The doctors predicted that she would not live past her childhood. Desperate to find the right medical care, her mom decided they needed to escape the post-war conditions of Vietnam. In 1980 they arrived in Kent, Washington State. Growing up, her relationship with her mom had its ups and downs and her Dad was in and out of her life. In 2017, when Amy’s mom passed away, her world shattered. To honor her mom’s legacy and sacrifices, she left her job in corporate America to write her mom’s story. But she didn’t have all the details so she began a journey of piecing it together through other people and fictionalized what life must have been like for her mom in Vietnam. In this episode, Amy shares with us her journey of discovery, healing and forgiveness. Her debut historical fiction Snow in Vietnam is a tribute to her mother and the hundreds of thousands of boat people for their bravery. www.amy-m-le.com
The Vietnam War is one of the most widely-known and controversial events in world history, yet the stories of the Vietnamese refugee experience as a result of the war are marginalized. Almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Here’s a preview into the personal stories of hope, survival and resilience of the Vietnamese diaspora, told by multi-generational voices. Subscribe today and visit www.vietnameseboatpeople.org to join us in preserving these stories.
#21 - One Way Ticket
Cô Loan was born in Saigon and left Vietnam with her family on April 30 1975, the exact day when the South Vietnamese Army surrendered, bringing an end to the civil war in Vietnam. She was 11 years old and would face many new challenges as her family tries to adjust to a new country. But her greatest challenge came much later in her life, when she learns about her daughter with transgender experience. A term she knew nothing about. She shares her journey of trying to understand and accept, during a time when she felt her life had hit rock bottom. This is a beautiful story of a mother’s love and determination and her passion to help other families through PFLAG NYC, a family-based organization committed to the civil rights of the LGBTQ community.
Customer ReviewsSee All
focused and very personal
As someone who was a boat person myself at the age of 2, I have related to so much of what this podcast talks about but I think that even for someone who isn't Vietnamese, the stories told here are fascinating. I listen to a lot of podcasts and this is easily in my top 5.