The life in Vietnam after a period in the States: how it changes the native country perception for a volunteer.

“Since I came back from the States, I have new lenses to look at Vietnam society. I see many problems. I’m studying Sociology so I’m particularly concerned about gender and the women’s rights issues in my country.

But I think people here are getting more conscious about it; we had a lot of people coming to our recent discussion of the documentary «Miss Representation». There were even a few men in the audience, which made me very happy.

I love my friends and my college; it was like a living in a bubble. I’m very close to my professors. Whenever I’m stressed, I can have a walk in the arboretum right across the street.

But I also miss Vietnam. I miss having fun with my friends in a naïve way, just being together, having fun, fooling around and laughing is enough for us. My friends in the States usually go out and get drunk.

I also miss Vietnamese food, my mum is the best cook! I know I’m lucky to have grown up in an upper middle class family, who could offer me a great intellectual and cultural education, and to have supportive parents who gave me the freedom to choose my field of study because they think «I’ll be good at whatever I choose to do»”.

Khánh Nghiêm – 19 – Hanoi (Vietnam) / New London (Connecticut USA)

Credits to: Maïté HaddadAurian DW

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