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Youth In Focus Jacqueline

 

I was born and raised in Seattle. I’ve been back to Vietnam a few times, and most recently this past summer. I wanted to represent the expectations I feel from extended family about knowing Vietnamese. This isn’t a new feeling I have now about their expectations, but it was definitely amplified recently after staying in Vietnam for two months. I’ve felt this way my entire life, but I’ve snapped lately. It has all become so overwhelming. This expectation to be able to speak Vietnamese well, their assumptions that I don’t Vietnamese at all, the fact that I don’t speak Vietnamese in front of them very much, and the assumption that they think I don’t understand Vietnamese at all, calling me merely “American,” and taking away the “Vietnamese” part has all taken a toll on me. My single mother was working frequently when I was younger, and I speak English to my siblings. That’s all there is to it. I wish that they would be able to understand this without ridiculing me.

~By Jacqueline L from Seattle, Washington

Youth In Focus

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