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  • C@ Reader Paul Vu

Dear Vietnamese Kids - "We hope you understand."

This response was submitted by our reader Paul Vu in response to Chopsticks Alley's Letter

"Dear Vietnamese Moms and Dads, How Did You Fail as Parents?" Con Ơi, We are sorry that we failed you! We are sorry that we could not be the parent you desperately wanted us to be. We are sorry that we could not save our homeland and that we were forced to be a family of refugees with an unknown future in a foreign land. We are sorry that your mom and I were raised in a culture that demands familial loyalty with high expectations from their children. As refugees with limited means and ability, our only hope for any future was with you and your siblings. For our family to rise up from the ashes of despair we had to put the undue burden on you, the younger generation. Our only contribution to you was to work menial jobs so that it may ease some of that burden on you and to give us some selfish comfort that a better future may be ahead. As first generation refugees, our family had very few choices for you. A doctor, a lawyer, an engineer; these were the professions that we only knew which would give you, your brothers and your sisters a fighting chance. We wish that was not the case. We wish that every refugee were given the same advantages and opportunity as some of your American friends. We wish that we could say with pride that my son/daughter is an artist or a scholar, and know, without doubt, that you and your future generation will be secure. We wish we didn’t have to put you through all of this. Unfortunately, this is part of the immigrant experience. All throughout the world and particularly now during these troubling times, this is what we as refugees will have to endure. The first generation takes on the burden in the hope that your children and their children will be able to lift their heads high, smile and be full of pride. We hope that you will be able to be the parents we could not be. We hope you understand. Ba Mẹ

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