Refugee, exile, immigrant — whatever species of displaced human we were, we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time travelers.
I think for the first ten years or so of our lives in America, we constantly vested ourselves with a similar sentiment to this quote. Now that it’s been 26 years, almost 27, I have unloaded the baggages of what life could have been in that same parallel universe of the past. It’s not a shame to say that America has become my home, because Vietnam is just too far away, and I don’t mean in physical term, but that emotional attachment has eventually unhinged itself from that time zone, and from that past.
I am of a generation that is half-mất gốc, losing half of my roots, because that half have been digging into the American soil for survival, and hence growing new shoots to embrace new identity.