I’m currently in the south of Viet Nam with my parents. The last time I wrote, I was in a rut that lasted about 6 months. This trip was planned last minute, with a phone call from my mom asking me if I wanted to join my parents if they were able to get time off work. It all worked out as I decided to change some things up, finally listening to what my mind, body, and heart were telling me.
This is the third trip I’ve taken to the motherland and it’s the first time I will get to celebrate Vietnamese New Year (Tết) with my relatives. For my mom, it will be the first time in 36 years since she first left to come to Canada, that she would be back for Tết.
The first week of our trip just passed and my mom and I visited the middle of Viet Nam, something we have never done before. We went on a tour of Hue, Hoi An, Da Nang and Ba Na Hills. Việt Nam has 3 main dialects distinguished by the North, Middle, and South of the county. Each overall region has their own traditional wear. It was beautiful to visit the middle, and I’m sadden by it and I was frustrated. We visited war memorials and though I wasn’t here to physically experience it, my parents and their families were. There was a lot of personal reflecting on the tour and the frustration I felt went towards myself. I am Vietnamese but born and raised in Canada. Often, I feel like I don’t know enough of my culture. There are barriers as I don’t know how to read, write, or speak Vietnamese, yet I completely understand it when spoken to. Yes, I look Vietnamese, but sometimes I don’t feel it. I’ve never written about my art before or anything as personal as this, but my cultural identity and how I cope with it, is what a lot of my work has been about, and for now, I’ll leave it at that.
I am looking forward to the remainder of this trip, to learn more about my family and about myself. I will update more with more positive trip posts (because it honestly helps me feel better) but for right now this is what’s on my mind.