My trip to Vietnam has played an important role in my quest to “find myself” this year: I wrote not long ago about finally embracing the French side in me.
After 4 years of absence, I finally went back to Vietnam to see my family in Saigon and celebrate a major event with them: Têt, the lunar new year. It was only when I saw them again that I realised how long I had been away and how much I had missed them. My young cousins were all grown up, their personalities had developed, events had happened. On the other hand my grandmother never seems to age! But something that struck me was how much I identified to the people there. I knew it before, but after being gone for 4 years you forget.
Of my siblings I’m the one who looks the least Asian, and it’s always a surprise when I wander around Saigon for Vietnamese people to hear me talk to them, in my mom’s accent. It always makes me feel torn: proud that I was able to learn my motherland language, while at the same time feeling like I don’t belong because of my appearance… . But then I see the people, the laughter, the joy, the flavours they like, the manners, the mimicking and I feel at home.
Take me back to Hô Chi Minh City