I hope Vietnam will rise and emerge as an economical and cultural power.
Marita Laigre – Trinh Thi Mong Chi
Left Vietnam in 1969 and was adopted into a French family. Resides in Douai, France and is currently 36 years old. Returned to visit Vietnam in 1993 for the first time.
English teacher – high school level. Creator, Origines Vietnam website: originesvietnam.com
On Being Vietnamese:
It’s being able to adapt to every situation and survive, to belong to a people with a strong and ancient tradition. Then from a more outsider point of view it’s belonging to a people most of the time praised and admired, for its culture, history and energy.
We have reached the age to choose our lives, more freely than ever. And it’s time now to look East and try to re-unite with our Vietnamese side that some of us have left aside for a while (knowingly or not). There’s a big challenge for us to build up an identity with a perfect balance between our Western education and our Asian genes and history. We can’t be entirely Vietnamese and or entirely Western. That’s the point.
I don’t know much about other adoptee communities from other countries such as South America or Africa, but I sense that Asian adoptee communities are prolific at being active and aware of the challenges and issues ahead in terms of combingin our heritage with our present.
Happy To Have Achieved:
Becoming a teacher of English, having a loving family, and top of all managing to reach the Vietnamese Adoptees community and connect with adoptees in France.
I would like to be more acquainted with Vietnamese people, not only adoptees, to be able to understand and experience what I was meant to live had I not been adopted. I would also like to be able to reach more adoptees in France, as I know most of them still have unanswered questions or feel quite isolated. I hope Vietnam will rise and emerge as an economical and cultural power. The youth is so full of energy there, and so willing to make things change. I don’t know yet whether I’ll play a modest part in this change, knowingly or not.
I don’t know many famous Vietnamese people. I would choose Tran Anh Hung who directed the Scent of the Green Papaya and more recently the Vertical Ray of the Sun. Hhe was the first Vietnamese director to have his voice heard in the Western world (as far as I know) and to have tried to grasp that subtle essence typical (to me) of the Vietnamese people. He was also the only film director never to mention the Vietnam War (or so little in his first film).
I would also choose Trinh Cong Son, for his tunes and lyrics which I can’t understand at all but which are the first Vietnamese words I have ever heard.