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The American Dream Boat

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            The year 1979 was a very significant year for several Vietnamese families who decided to fled from the communist rule an their country even though it meant risking their lives in the sea, simply to be able to reach for a better life in the United States. Sta. Ana California became a home to the said refugees. The narrator in the story The American Dream Boat related how the said community survived the challenges of living in a foreign land and later on adjusting to the culture and traditions of the society that they chose to live. In the said story, it has been noted how refugees from Vietnam actually survived social oppression towards their acceptance and absorption in the American community. Likely, although most of them already adjusted to the life in America, many families still choose to teach Vietnamese culture to the young ones to be able to help them develop an identity that is still strongly Vietnam in nature. Likely, the said approach in adjusting to the society that they are living in at present still helps them preserve the being that they are. This still reminds them that even though they are in America, they are still Vietnamese by heart.

            Most refugees want to be a full pledged American [like the narrator in the story]. However, although they want the said status to be their identity in America, they still want to be known as Vietnamese individuals who have transferred to better areas of the wold. True, because of global connections that is considered the trend of the present era, people transferring from a country towards another is already a common norm. However, although this is true, it could not be denied that the differences of culture still flourish around the globe. This is an indication that many. Like the Vietnamese refugees transfer to other areas of the world to find their dreams and fulfill those dreams, however, forgetting their culture, the background that shapes there personality is not among the elements of life that they are willing to let go as they let themselves be absorbed by a new society. Obviously, the author of the story wants to point out the importance of cultural standing for those who have immigrated to other lands either as refugees or as workers or even for some other reasons. This particular thought raises the need to be strongly attached to one’s own culture to be able to make a distinctive identity from the society that immigrants are trying to adjust to.


Oahn Ha. The American Dream Boat. `The New World Reader` (ISBN :978-0-618-79653-3), p.318-322.

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