Boat People and the Vietnam Exodus

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Carina Hoang, editor of Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996, and David Lee and Lala Stein, who are featured in the book, talk about the largest mass migration in modern history, when more than a million people left war-torn Vietnam by boat in search of safety between the years 1975 and 1996. Thousands perished en route. The personal accounts tell of the perilous sea journey, the refugee camps, and the final journey to new adopted homelands.


Carina Hoang, David Lee and Lala Stein
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Comments [3]


In 1978 or so, when I was about 25, I had a summer job working at a YMCA daycare center. A 15-year-old Vietnamese boy was assigned to me as an "aide". His story of how his family left Vietnam moved and horrified me, and made Voltaire's "Candide" seem a work of realistic fiction. Later I arrived late for a matinee showing of 'The Killing Fields'. When the movie ended and the lights went up I realized that the entire theater was filled with young Cambodian refugees.

The enormity of unnecessary suffering throughout southeast Asia in the years following WWII is impossible to grasp.

Many, many thanks to the authors and contributors to this book for sharing their stories. Let us hope that we human beings will behave more wisely in the future.

Jun. 01 2013 10:45 PM

My father was a civilian pilot who flew "boat people" to Travis AFB in California.
He said it was an amazing experience.

May. 29 2013 01:33 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Vietnamese boat people brought "Chinese food" to Israel and I have to thank them for that. A tiny community, they opened some very nice "Chinese" restaurants in Tel Aviv.

May. 29 2013 01:02 PM

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