Young Vietnamese-Americans returning to a new land of opportunity

  • Level 3 - Captain

    Young Vietnamese-Americans returning to a new land of opportunity

    HO CHI MINH CITY – “We spent everything to get the family to the U.S., and now you’re going to back?!” Esther Nguyen’s mother made her feelings abundantly clear when she heard of her daughter’s plans to set up shop in the old country.

    Esther is part of a growing number of young Viet Kieu, or overseas Vietnamese, now playing a vital role in the country’s growth.

    For the most part, they are the children of first-generation immigrants who fled the Vietnam War, but now see their parents’ former home as a new land of opportunity.

    Typically armed with expertise and education from their country of birth, many serve as a bridge between local and foreign companies seeking to expand in the Vietnamese market.

    Nguyen, is the founder and CEO of Pops Worldwide, a music content management and distribution company in Ho Chi Minh City. The office has a bright, modern feel, with young employees in casual clothes.

    “My baby will be born in November in Vietnam. I can’t take too much time away from here,” said Nguyen. “If I go back to the U.S., it takes two month before, and three-four months after the birth. I can’t be away for six months while the company is growing so fast. It’s too long!” she said with a smile.

    Esther was born in Michigan and raised on the Bay Area. Her parents had fled to the U.S. when what was then Saigon fell in 1975. In their new home, they operated a gas station and mini-market. “It is a typical American success story,” she said.

  • Empress of War

    That’s awesome to hear that so many of them, even the ones who are western born and raised, are returning to their ancestral country to contribute to its economy and standards of living. Even more impressive is how some may even see it as a new home (i.e. the woman who planned to have her baby in Vietnam). That is going over and beyond simply embracing ones roots/heritage and I applaud that.

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