It is not unusual that families used to a colonial system, who left Vietnam in the first wave of reaction to the Communist Revolution, will not have accepted this radical cultural shift within their homeland. Effectively, these families become doubly homeless: losing both the physical place but also losing an internal vision of home that is remotely realistic. Their identity is based on a false dream of what ‘home’ is. A child of this diaspora – not having made the decision to leave Vietnam themselves – may experience this homelessness intensely. They may look for more substance behind this dream of home than their more knowing forebears ever would.
There is a great amount of differentiation between southerners and northerners: because southerners are lucky enough to be flatterers, everything they say and do occupies the position of advantage, and northerners in their innermost thoughts consider themselves to be shamed.
Bureaucrat serving in North Vietnam, 1836