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Minh Do

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Minh Do

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How Do We Export Vietnamese Culture?

Having lived in Vietnam and continued to watch the country closely for the past 13 years, I’ve been awe-inspired by the changes the country has gone through. Within just more than 30 years, the country has gone from its identity wrapped up in the Vietnam war to food and travel destination and now, quite possibly, a harbinger of new modern culture. Vietnam went from being inward looking to shyly looking outward to a new confidence about its own skills. It […]

Vietnamese Americans Who Aren't Vietnamese

Vietnamese Americans are a strange bunch. The majority of the population is separated into three groups. The older baby boomer generation, a smaller Gen X, and the younger millennial generation. Each of these groups has a different relationship to Vietnam. (I’ll be speaking in generalities in this article for brevity.) Vietnamese American baby boomers and Gen X’ers For the baby boomers and the Gen X’ers, many of them remember a very impoverished and war-torn Vietnam, which they fled for greener pastures in […]

The Pain Of Coming Back To Vietnam

Every year, Vietnam has a new influx of Vietnamese who studied abroad that come back home to Vietnam. It might be their first time back. For personal or professional reasons. And it’s scary as hell. For many Vietnamese who studied abroad, they leave Vietnam with hope. They may have misgivings and concerns about their country that forces them to want to leave. Or the education is better abroad. Or they believe opportunities are better outside Vietnam. Or they simply want […]

Are Viet Kieu's Givers Or Takers In Vietnam's Rise?

As a Vietnamese American who lived in Vietnam for 8 years, this is a question I’ve thought about a lot. Are the Vietnamese diaspora a real asset to Vietnam or are they an immigrant community that merely affixes its hook to the rising star of its homeland? In 2015, Vietnam hit $12.25 billion in remittances. To put this in perspective, Vietnam’s GDP in 2015 was $193.6 billion. That’s 6%. That’s a significant sum. Remember that foreign direct investment into Vietnam […]

Copying, Pasting, And Translating In The Vietnamese Media

Having worked in the the content space in Vietnam for the last 6 years, from blogger to editor, I’ve had the wonderful joy of being copied, translated, and ripped off hundreds of times. Indeed, articles on Vietcetera have even been copied and translated onto other Vietnamese sites, even the largest news sites. And while this should be nice, since copying is a form of flattery, Vietnamese sites don’t have a good habit of linking or giving credit for the original […]

Beyond Pho

Pho is now embedded in popular culture and the international lexicon. It’s the flagship Vietnamese food, and undoubtedly the most recognizable Vietnamese artifact. It’s the pride of the Vietnamese stomach. But for Vietnamese people, Pho merely represents an iota of the full Vietnamese culinary landscape. Why is it that Anthony Bourdain, an expert in the culinary arts and a lover of Vietnamese food, took President Obama to eat Bun Cha, and not Pho? Maybe he knew, Pho was old hat. […]