For Southeast Asian young people who left as adolescents from their home countries, their connections to those places are often fraught with ambiguity. As for almost all first-generation immigrant youth, issues of belonging in America have touched multiple aspects of their lives, including issues of identity. Not belonging is the diasporic experience of the immigrant (Christou, 2011; Skrbis, 2008). This qualitative study examined the lived experience of three Vietnamese American young people returning home as Việt Kiều, or diasporic Vietnamese. For these emerging adults, it was an important developmental task to figure out one’s place in the world: one’s belief systems, group allegiances, and future life directions (Arnett, 2015). Returning to Vietnam on their own, reconnecting to relatives, and revisiting neighborhoods, homes, and villages where they grew up was indeed an important part of this task. Where was home and where did they, in fact, belong? Significantly, their recounting of their homecomings engendered epiphanies about their own emotional landscapes and social locations, both in the United States and in Vietnam. Exploring the interrelated emotional and physical journeys of young people has the potential of shedding light on issues of self-care and socio-emotional well-being in immigrant families and communities.
"Journeying “Home”: Negotiating Belonging as Vietnamese American Việt Kiều,"
Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement: Vol. 15
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jsaaea/vol15/iss2/5