The indochina migration
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The Indochina Migration. The Refugees from Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese. In 1964, there were only 603 Vietnamese living in the United States Students, Language teachers, and diplomats Vietnam had been a French Colony since the late 19 th C.

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The Indochina Migration

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The indochina migration

The Indochina Migration

The Refugees from Southeast Asia


The vietnamese

The Vietnamese

  • In 1964, there were only 603 Vietnamese living in the United States

  • Students, Language teachers, and diplomats

  • Vietnam had been a French Colony since the late 19th C.

  • Beginning in WWII, the Vietminh under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh fought the French to regain their country’s independence.

  • In 1954, the French were defeated in the battle of Dien Bien Phu

  • French and Vietminh signed an agreement providing for temporary partition of Vietnam at the 17th parallel and for an all-Vietnamese election in 1956


The vietnam war 1955 1975

The Vietnam War(1955-1975)

  • A new government was formed in the south headed by Ngo Dinh Diem, supported by the US to counter the northern government supported by China and the Soviet Union

  • The partition of Vietnam became permanent, the election was never held, and civil war erupted.


Map of vietnam laos thailand and cambodia

Map of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia


1 st wave of vietnamese refugees

1st Wave of Vietnamese Refugees

  • In 1975, Vietnamese migrants were driven out of their country

  • Most of them were military personnel and their families in flight from the North Vietnamese troops

  • April 29, 10-15,000 people evacuated

  • Then in the last days of April, 86,000 Vietnamese were airlifted out


President nguyen cao ky

President Nguyen Cao Ky


Description of his final day in vietnam

Description of his final day in Vietnam

  • “That morning, April 29, I found myself alone at the big headquarters of the general staff…At noontime, all the American helicopters came in for the final, big evacuation. On the ground, there were hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, running – right, left, every way, to find a way to escape. My bodyguards said to me, Well, General, it’s time for us to go, too.”


Accounts from refugees

Accounts from refugees

  • “It was when all of these people were trying to get on the plane at the airport. I saw people jamming the door and women and children could not get on. The shelling came closer and then the plane too off with people still hanging at the door.”


Leaving by boat 40 60 000

Leaving by boat: 40-60,000

  • “While standing on the boat, I couldn’t think of anything. It was not until sunset, when it was dark, that I stopped staring back and started worrying about the waves. The next day at noon time, we reached an American ship. As soon as the ship lowered one of its stairs, everybody climbed up the stairs without any order. Men, women,and children were pushed aside and dropped into the sea. Some were crushed between boats. I carried my youngest brother and went up that stairs with fear.”

    • Linh Do


Mental state

Mental state

  • The refugees had no time to prepare psychological for departure; more than half of the refugees alter said they were given less than ten hours.”


First wave refugees

First wave refugees

  • Generally came from educated classes

  • 37% of heads of households had completed high school and 16% had been to college

  • 2/3 could speak English well or with some fluency

  • From urban areas, especially Saigon

  • Half were Christian

  • Placed in processing camps like Pendleton in California and Fort Chaffee in Arkansas, then spread through the US, especially Orange County, CA


2 nd wave vietnamese refugees

2nd Wave Vietnamese refugees

  • In Vietnam, businesses were nationalized and reeducation camps were instituted for individual associated with the old regime

  • Thousands chose to escape by boat (Boat People), crowding onto leaky boars risking their lives at sea.


Pirates

Pirates

  • 2/3 of the boats were attacked by Thai pirates

  • Luong Bot Chau: The pirates chopped off one of her husband’s fingers to get his ring and then tried to slit his throat. “But the knife they had was too blunt.” Instead they clubbed him to death and threw his body into the sea. Then they dragged the young girls up to the deck and systematically raped them. “We heard them scream and scream. We could not get out, because the pirates had nailed down the hatch”


Pirates con t

Pirates (con’t)

  • “When they saw the Thai pirates approaching their boat, Hue and the other women smeared their faces with engine oil and fish sauce to diminish their appeal. But the pirates ordered them to bathe and then raped them.”

  • Survivors floated to Thailand and lived in squalid refugee camps for months

  • Then when to Australia, Canada, France and the US


Second wave refugees diverse

Second wave refugees: Diverse

  • Educated professionals, fishermen, farmers and storekeepers

  • Most of them did not speak English

  • 40% were ethnic Chinese Vietnamese who had experienced hostility from Vietnamese society for decades and became targets under the new Communist regime

  • 643,200 Vietnamese in the US in 1985


Perceived as a threat to labor

Perceived as a threat to labor

  • On the Gulf Coast of Texas, Vietnamese fisherman have been targets of KK demonstrations and threats

  • “There’s too many of them and there’s not enough room for then and there’s going to be lots of hard feelings if they don’t get some of them out of here and teach the ones that they leave how to act and how to get along. I think they ought to be put on a reservation somewhere or in a compound to teach them our laws and our ways, the way we live, our courtesy as people” (White fishermen)


Sojourners

Sojourners?

  • Initially, many Vietnamese saw themselves as sojourners, hopeful they could return to their country someday.

  • In 1977, 41% planned to return to Vietnam to live.


Gender roles altered

Gender roles altered

  • “In Vietnam, the women usually were dependent on the husband a great deal. Then when we came here, the Vietnamese women had jobs. This made the men feel extremely insecure.”


Family dynamics changed

Family dynamics changed

  • Tran XuanQuang “Back in Vietnam the family is something precious for us – father, mother, children. But in coming here, we saw that the family here is too loose. The father works in one place, the mother works in another and they don’t see each other at all.”


Pham hai 61 yr old vietnamese woman living in o akland s chinatown

Pham Hai: 61 yr. old Vietnamese woman living in Oakland’s Chinatown

  • “When I was in Vietnam I expected my children would take care of me when I got here. But when I got here my children threw me out of their house a short time after. My children now sit around and smoke marijuana. This is very different form my life in Vietnam. I don’t understand it. Many times I have thought of suicide.”


Gangs the lost generation

Gangs: The Lost Generation

  • Many refugees were unaccompanied minors who later joined street gangs

  • A gang member named Qui said his gang could steal an average of ten stereos a night and then sell them for fifty dollars each. Then they would go out and each a big dinner and gamble.

  • “Hac Qui Boys” or black ghosts, Born to Kill


2 nd wave vietnamese

2nd wave Vietnamese

  • 1978 study: 30% of refugee heads of households had been professionals in Vietnam and another 15% had been managers.

  • 27 months after entry into US only 7% were professionals and 2% managers

  • “In Vietnam I was a history and geography teacher. Here I worked on many different jobs – brick layer, carpenter, clerk typist, salesman, truck driver, delivery man. I felt frustrated and depressed because I had social status and possessions in Vietnam. Here I didn’t have anything.”


Little saigon

Little Saigon

  • 1988 city council of Westminster, Orange County, CA designated the area along Bolsa Avenue from Magnolia to Bushard as “Little Saigon”

  • Any Vietnamese resident of Orange County can obtain all necessary services without ever having to use English


Little saigon1

Little Saigon


Asian garden mall in little saigon

Asian Garden Mall in Little Saigon


Laos the kingdom of the million elephants

Laos: The Kingdom of the Million Elephants

  • Laos was colonized by the French in 1893.

  • After WWII, Laotian nationalists led by the Pathet Lao struggle to overthrow French colonialism.

  • As soon as Laos became an independent state in 1954, civil strife broke out between the Royal Lao and the Pathet Lao.

  • The Ho Chi Minh Trail, a supply line to the south ran through Lao. The North Vietnamese supported the Pathet Lao while the US assisted the Royal Lao.


Laotian refugees

Laotian Refugees

  • In 1975, after the Pathet Lao had taken power and began a campaign of bloody repression, the Laotians supported by the US sought sanctuary as refugees

  • 70,000 ethnic Lao, 10,000 Mien, and 60,000 Hmong fled to America in 1975


Difficult time adjusting to life in the us

Difficult time adjusting to life in the US

  • “No matter how long you are here in America you will always be an Asian, always an outsider, not American.” (KimmakoneSiharath)


Mien and hmong the secret war

Mien and Hmong: The Secret War

  • Targeted for destruction by the Pathet Lao, for both groups had been recruited by the CIA to conduct American military operations in Laos.

  • The situation become extremely dangerous after the war ended in 1975

  • The refugees trekked to the Mekong River crossing it on bamboo rafts and rubber inner tubes to Thailand. Then from the crowded camps they were transported to the US.


The indochina migration

Mien


The indochina migration

Mien


Hmong

Hmong


Hmong1

Hmong


Hmong2

Hmong


Mien and hmong lost in america

Mien and Hmong: Lost in America

  • Mien settled in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, and Long Beach

  • Hmong have congregated in California (Fresno), but also in Missoula, Seattle, Providence, Minneapolis-St. Paul, La Crosse, and Eau Claire.

  • Difficulty in learning how to use toilets, gas stoves, how to fill out welfare forms


Mien and hmong who are they why are they here

Mien and Hmong: Who are they? Why are they here?

  • The concept of written words and language is unfamiliar to the Hmong

  • No written language until 1953 when transcribed by French and American missionaries

  • 70% are not literate in their own language

  • Tried farming in Minnesota and California: Do not understand how to irrigate or use pesticides


High unemployment

High Unemployment

  • The Hmong constitute what is becoming a permanent welfare class

  • 1987 California study showed that three in ten refugee families have been on public assistance for four to ten years, many of the long term welfare families have been Hmong. Most Hmong are barely surviving


Hmong sudden death syndrome survivor guilt

Hmong Sudden Death Syndrome & Survivor Guilt

  • Seemingly health Hmong men have died suddenly and mysteriously, their deaths medically unexplainable .

  • Men age 30-50 years. They don’t know how to start life over and don’t know how to farm or work in a factory.

  • “My sister had gone to ES class that night and when she came home she found her husband depressed. He said he felt lonely and missed home. They went to bed and around 3 am she woke up. Her husband was making a choking noise and then died.”


Relocation depression

Relocation Depression

  • Widespread among survivors

  • “The Hmong were kings of their area in the mountains. Now they find themselves in a situation that is completely out of their control.”

  • “In America we don’t wear our traditional clothing, not even grandmother.”


Cambodians

Cambodians

  • Located south of Laos and between Thailand and South Vietnam, Cambodia had also been dragged into the Vietnam War.

  • In 1964, Norodom Sihanouk permitted North Vietnamese troops to move supplies through Cambodia.

  • In 1969, US troops sent bombers to destroy North Vietnamese supply lines and storage facilities

  • In 1975, the Khmer Rough forces led by Pol Pot came to power and renamed the country Kampuchea. The new regime instituted a brutal program for mass relocation of the urban population to the countryside and for the mass destruction of all Cambodians affiliated with the American supported government.


The killing fields

The Killing Fields

  • “Pol Pot killed all the educated and professional people-doctors, lawyers teachers.”

  • Post traumatic stress disorder, a depression resulting from the mass exterminations, is pervasive among Cambodian refugees.


The killing fields1

The Killing Fields


Bones from the victims

Bones from the victims


Va megn thoj

Va-MegnThoj


Chai soua vang

Chai SouaVang


Chai soua vang on trial

Chai SouaVang on trial


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