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The Vietnamese Boat People

Storytelling Podcasts

The Vietnamese Boat People podcast is stories of hope, survival and resilience. Between 1975 to 1992, almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Escaping by boat, many found freedom in foreign land, many were captured and brutally punished, and many did not survive the journey. This population of people are known as the ‘Vietnamese Boat People' and these are their stories. Visit www.vietnameseboatpeople.org for more details.

The Vietnamese Boat People podcast is stories of hope, survival and resilience. Between 1975 to 1992, almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Escaping by boat, many found freedom in foreign land, many were captured and brutally punished, and many did not survive the journey. This population of people are known as the ‘Vietnamese Boat People' and these are their stories. Visit www.vietnameseboatpeople.org for more details.

Location:

United States

Description:

The Vietnamese Boat People podcast is stories of hope, survival and resilience. Between 1975 to 1992, almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Escaping by boat, many found freedom in foreign land, many were captured and brutally punished, and many did not survive the journey. This population of people are known as the ‘Vietnamese Boat People' and these are their stories. Visit www.vietnameseboatpeople.org for more details.

Twitter:

@Vbpstories

Language:

English


Episodes

#26 - LIVE Episode! Sigh, Gone

3/16/2021
Phuc Tran, born in Saigon Vietnam, immigrated to America along with his family in 1975 when he was just a baby. He grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, being one of the few Asian families in a small town, his family struggled to assimilate into their new life. In his debut book ‘Sigh, Gone’ Phuc shares his coming-of-age story, the push and pull of finding and accepting himself, and the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, and teenage rebellion. In this interview, Phuc opens up...

Duration:00:41:52

#25 - Have Faith

2/16/2021
Two siblings share their experiences in post-war Vietnam and what it was like to be separated as a family. Danny fled Vietnam as a teenager with his brothers and later had to fight for his life after a severe brain injury just a month after arriving in America. While Tu-Anh was moved from place to place in Vietnam as her mom made several attempts to get them out of the country. They share their journeys and struggles and their search for a guiding light during the toughest times.

Duration:00:24:54

#24 - The Perfect Storm

1/26/2021
Quang was born in Ha Noi in 1953 just a year before Vietnam was divided into two and his family migrated south to Saigon. In 1970 he was drafted into war and recruited to Division 3 of the Special Task Force for the South. Days before the Fall of Saigon, Quang’s special unit was stationed in a small village when they had lost contact with their main command. They remained in hiding for days and emerged only to find that they had lost the war and had to surrender to the North. In 1978 in...

Duration:00:33:39

#23 - Second Gen

9/29/2020
To close out season three, we explore perspectives from the American born Vietnamese, those who are categorized as second generation. For most second generation Vietnamese children, their childhood looked nothing like that of their parents. They did not grow up during the Vietnam War era, nor do they have memories of the life threatening escapes from the country. Even so, this generation still internalizes the experiences, some through stories told by their parents, while others can feel the...

Duration:00:34:50

#22 - Snow in Vietnam

8/26/2020
Amy Le was born in Tra Vinh Vietnam in 1974, with a severe heart condition. The doctors predicted that she would not live past her childhood. Desperate to find the right medical care, her mom decided they needed to escape the post-war conditions of Vietnam. In 1980 they arrived in Kent, Washington State. Growing up, her relationship with her mom had its ups and downs and her Dad was in and out of her life. In 2017, when Amy’s mom passed away, her world shattered. To honor her mom’s legacy...

Duration:00:27:01

2020 Trailer

7/29/2020
The Vietnam War is one of the most widely-known and controversial events in world history, yet the stories of the Vietnamese refugee experience as a result of the war are marginalized. Almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Here’s a preview into the personal stories of hope, survival and resilience of the Vietnamese diaspora, told by multi-generational voices. Subscribe today and visit...

Duration:00:01:58

#21 - One Way Ticket

6/30/2020
Cô Loan was born in Saigon and left Vietnam with her family on April 30 1975, the exact day when the South Vietnamese Army surrendered, bringing an end to the civil war in Vietnam. She was 11 years old and would face many new challenges as her family tries to adjust to a new country. But her greatest challenge came much later in her life, when she learns about her daughter with transgender experience. A term she knew nothing about. She shares her journey of trying to understand and accept,...

Duration:00:31:44

#20 - Mỹ Việt Story Slam

6/22/2020
Ten Storytellers from across America were selected from a nationwide open-call for submissions, sharing their Vietnamese American experiences in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month. Each Storyteller shares their very personal experiences in the form of monologues, music, poetry, art and more. Featuring Lynn Kim Do, Julian Saporiti, Hop Nguyen, Kavi Vu, Lauren Nguyen, Trammy Lai, Cindy Nguyen, David Kaizen, Dieu Ngoc Nguyen, and Quentin Nguyen-Duy. Thank you WHRO...

Duration:01:15:38

#19 - Being Bao

5/31/2020
Bao Nguyen is an award-winning Vietnamese American filmmaker whose work has been seen on The New York Times, HBO, NBC, PBS and more. He has directed, produced, and shot a number of short films, which have played internationally in festivals and museums. His feature documentary directorial debut, Live from New York, opened the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. His latest film is, Be Water, a documentary about Bruce Lee, airing on ESPN on June 7, 2020. Bao is a child of refugees and grew up working...

Duration:00:23:44

#18 - Van Da

4/10/2020
Yen Ngo is number eleven of twelve children, born in Da Lat Vietnam. Her parents were both orphans and even though they did not receive a formal education themselves, they raised their kids to excel in school. After 1975, Yen’s oldest sister made the decision that the family needed to flee Vietnam in phases, and that the youngest children should go first. Yen arrived in America at the age of 13 and shares the loneliness she felt going from having a large family surrounding to feeling...

Duration:00:31:07

#17 - Be Present

2/29/2020
Gene Binh Nguyen, the youngest of two children, grew up with a widowed mom. His father died in the Vietnam war when he was just two months old. Because Gene’s father fought on the South Vietnamese side, his family was ostracized in the new government regime. When Gene and his family finally escaped from Vietnam, they were put in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles California, where he faced racism, violence and gang life daily, while his mom tried to make ends meet. But despite...

Duration:00:27:20

#16 - The Ground Kisser

1/30/2020
Thanh is the oldest of six children and was just eight years old at the Fall of Saigon. She was living in Tân Châu, just six miles from the Cambodia border and she remembers vividly the blood bath from the continued warfare between Vietnam and Cambodia. With Communism breathing down their backs and their wealth and freedom wiped out, Thanh's parents had to make an agonizing decision. Without enough gold to pay for a family of eight to flee Vietnam, they had to choose whether to stay together...

Duration:00:27:01

#15 - LIVE Episode! Butterfly Yellow

12/11/2019
Thanhhà Lại was born in Vietnam in the middle of the war. She wrote about growing up there and leaving on a navy ship two days before the war ended in her first novel Inside Out & Back Again, which won a Newbery Honor and a National Book Award and eight years later is still a New York Times bestseller. She is the youngest of nine children raised by a single mother. Her father went missing during the war when she was just one years old. Her life in America would begin in Alabama and despite...

Duration:00:45:35

#14 - The World Looked Away

11/6/2019
Tom Pham, was born in 1971 in Saigon as Hung Quoc Pham. At the end of the Vietnam War, his father Quoc Pham, a former South Vietnam Naval officer was sent away for many years in re-education camp. His mom was left with young children to care for in a war-torn country. Tom was sent to live with his grandparents at age four until one day, a father he barely knew started to appear again. And the two of them would escape Vietnam in 1980 when Tom was just eight years old. Tom shares what it was...

Duration:00:29:17

#13 - Miss VSA

9/26/2019
VBP Student Spotlight: Growing up in Brooklyn New York, Vivian was not surrounded by many Vietnamese people. Her parents fled Vietnam by boat as refugees in 1978. And while she grew up in the largest melting pot in America, Vietnamese-Americans don’t even come close to 1% of the entire population in New York City. She never connected with her heritage until college, when she met a group of passionate and supportive students who recruited her to join the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA)....

Duration:00:20:23

#12 - Bolinao 52

7/22/2019
In 1988, a group of Vietnamese boat people attempted to flee their country in search of freedom. Once at sea, the boat's engine died, leaving over 100 people stranded in the ocean. What happens next is an unbelievable story of perseverance that changed the lives of 52 survivors forever. Award winning documentarian Duc Nguyen, shares his journey in unraveling this story and making this regional Emmy award-winning film. Film (English): https://vimeo.com/ondemand/bolinao52 Film(Tiếng Việt):...

Duration:00:27:56

#11 - Live Episode! Nailed It

6/26/2019
In virtually every city, state and strip mall across the U.S., people get their nails done in salons likely owned by Vietnamese entrepreneurs. How did our community come to dominate the $8 billion dollar nail salon industry? Director Adele Free Pham set out to explore the history of Vietnamese nail salons and discovered it all began with 20 Vietnamese refugee women and a chance encounter with famed Alfred Hitchcock actress and humanitarian Tippi Hedren. The "first 20" Vietnamese manicurists...

Duration:00:24:14

#10 - The Guy Who Steered the Ship

5/28/2019
Leo was only 26 years old, one of the youngest crewmen on the US Navy chartered military vessel, the SS Trans Colorado. On August 11, 1980 in the midst of a storm, Leo was on watch to steer the ship, when he spotted a small fishing boat far away with two men holding up a red flag in distress. Little did he know that his crew was about to change the fate of 67 refugee lives on that boat.

Duration:00:16:05

#9 - Cultural Understanding

4/17/2019
In 1980, Nesta arrived at the Singapore Refugee camp for the first time, looking to do something meaningful with her time and skills. At first, she was overwhelmed by the chaos and traumatic experiences that the refugees had just gone through. Using a combination of her training, pure instincts and cultural understanding, Nesta became instrumental in helping the refugees transition into new lives and resettlement countries. The experiences at the camp also had a profound effect on her...

Duration:00:19:30

#8 - Sound of Freedom

3/27/2019
Meredith couldn’t bare to sit back and watch the boat people crisis unfold in the news. In 1979, she was among one of the first to volunteer at a makeshift refugee camp at 25 Hawkins Road, Sembawang, Singapore; the site of a former British barrack. She started the language program at the camp, and touched the lives of over 30,000 refugees. Including one young man, with Meredith’s help, was able to hear the sound of freedom for the first time.

Duration:00:15:47