• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Why Viets listen to old music

    When visiting the Vietnamese population in Los Angeles or Salt Lake City, my wife and I always laugh because the music playing in all the restaurants is that composed during the "American War." I love the stuff, probably because it reminds me of the old honky-tonk version of country that used to pervade the country scene. You know, "I lost my dog, I lost my car...I lost my wife..." -- that type of song.

    Anyway, my wife and I decided that the Viet expats continue to play this music because they long for the days before war ravaged their mother country, before they were forced into exodus by the Communists, and (for many of them) banned from ever returning to the land of their forefathers, the land they bled to protect.

    I would too, if I had invested all that into one area, one time.

    Anyway, although the South Vietnamese didn't get their way, life goes on. For many of the young Viets in America today, they listen to pop music from Thuy Nga and Asia Entertainment, and care more about fixing up their honda civics than Communism. But a new group of politically active Vietnamese youth are becoming increasingly vocal. Some people I know founded Tong Hoi Sinh Vien in Southern California, and now they have ties with other Vietnamese Student Associations in forming the NAVSA/VIA-1 2005 Conference.

    Unlike their fathers and grandfathers, these Vietnamese are interested in making a diference in Vietnam through helping under the current regime. Instead of marching to end Communism, they are meeting to discuss how they can help the government improve neonatal care to hamlets far away from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Truly the times are changing.

    All of this stemmed from my reading a great essay by a Vietnamese student in Hue about the different types of music and why Vietnamese adults love to listen to the stuff from before the war. Catch it at Virtual Doug. It's a great insight into the mindset of adults and the younger generation rising in Vietnam.

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