Vietnamese Contributions DID YOU KNOW?

This article focuses on a few of Vietnamese Americans’ contributions to our lifestyle, business, and culture. For example, did you know?

• According to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau, about 31 percent of the total Vietnamese immigrant population in the United States resides in four counties: Orange County, Santa Clara County, and Los Angeles County in California; and Harris County (Houston) in Texas. More than half reside in U.S. top ten metropolitan cities. As of 2014, Vietnamese represented the sixth largest immigrant group in the U.S., followed by Mexico, India, China, The Philippines, and El Salvador. 72 percent of Vietnamese Americans are naturalized citizens. (Refer to article at https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/vietnamese-immigrants-united-states)

• Houston, the third largest community of Vietnamese Americans in the United States, has many beloved Vietnamese businesses, such as Kim Son restaurants, Hong Kong supermarkets selling Asian products, 12 Apple Dentist stores of dentist Mai Thi Hoa. Houston’s Midtown has up to 16 streets with Vietnamese names.

• Houston’s NASA employs about 200 Vietnamese engineers.

Although this article highlights a few topics, please refer to this site:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_Americans

for more information about Vietnamese Immigrants in the United States.

1. What are some of the Vietnamese’s contributions to business?

• One of the first Vietnamese immigrants to emmigrate to the United States in 1975, Mr. Trieu Phat (Frank Jao) established Little Saigon and built a supermarket, Asian Garden Mall on Bolsa Avenue in Orange County, California. Mr. Trieu Phat is also owner of Bridgecreek Development Corporation (construction company) that has invested hundreds of millions in shopping centers and housing projects, mainly in Orange County. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed him as the chair of the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF). (http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/special-reports/134664/well-known-vietnamese-in-america.html)

• Many Vietnamese-Americans in Silicon Valley work in computer, networking and aerospace industries in management and professional roles.

• Other Vietnamese-Americans throughout America have opened supermarkets, restaurants, bánh mì bakeries, barber shops and auto-repair, personal services, repair and maintenance businesses, and nail and beauty salons.

• Nationwide, 43 percent of nail salon technicians are Vietnamese Americans. In California, 85 percent of the nail technicians are Vietnamese Americans.

• In the Gulf Coast region (Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama), Vietnamese Americans produce 45 to 85 percent of the region’s shrimp business.

2. What are some of the Vietnamese contributions to lifestyle in the U.S?

Vietnamese parents take pride in their children’s educational achievements and encourage their children to excel in school and to enter professional fields to achieve and enjoy a better life.

Although there are many notable Vietnamese Americans, below are a few highlights taken from http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/special-reports/134664/well-known-vietnamese-in-america.html.

• Engineer Dinh Truong Han – winner of the environmental award of the White House in 2006 and selected as one of the 50 most influential leaders of America in 2006 by Public Works magazine.

• Dr. Huynh Phuoc Duong – professor at the UCLA Davis Geffen School of Medicine and founder of the Social Assistance Programme For Vietnam (SAP-VN).

• Ms. Le Duy Loan – first woman and Asian elected as a Texas Instruments Senior Fellow.

• Trung Dung – billionaire Vietnamese American businessman born in 1967. Trung Dung arrived in the US with two dollars in his pocket in 1985. Fifteen years later, he earned 1.8 billion dollars from the sale of his OnDisplay Company to Vignette Corp. Since 2005, he has been managing director of V-Home Group, which gathers the Vietnamese American businessmen who want to seek investment opportunities in Vietnam.

3. What are some of the Vietnamese contributions to American culture?

• In 1990, Vietnamese American intellectuals in Houston established the Vietnam Science and Culture Association, a non-profit organization focused on teaching Vietnamese culture and leadership skills and providing education assistance for younger generations of Vietamese Americans. The association now has four divisions in Austin, Dallas, Toronto and Washington. (http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/special-reports/134664/well-known-vietnamese-in-america.html)

• Vietnamese restaurants in the United States are among the widely appreciated contributions to American life. Rice is the basis for most Vietnamese meals and is served with a variety of side dishes – most of which are spicy. Pho, a rice noodle soup, is a popular breakfast and lunch meal. Egg rolls (cha gio), fried fish (ca chien), fried fish (ca kho), chicken braised with lemon grass (thit ga kho sa), sweet and sour spare ribs (suon xao chua ngot), and stir-fried beef (thit bo xao) are other popular dishes. (Refer to http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Sr-Z/Vietnamese-Americans.html for more information.)

• Family loyalty, the most important Vietnamese characteristic, is the foundation of adapting to the American culture of the nuclear family while maintaining close ties with extended families.

• Although assimilated into American culture, Vietnamese Americans have preserved their culture and traditions by teaching their children the Vietnamese language, respect for elders, being good parents, wearing traditional dress for special occasions, veneration of the dead, and showcasing their cuisine in restaurants throughout the country.

• Although Vietnamese Americans predominantly practice Buddhism (43%), Taoism, and Confucianism, 29 to 40% are Roman Catholic.

• Observing mostly Pure Land and Zen doctrines and practices, there are 150 to 165 Vietnamese Buddhist temples in the United States. Most of the temples are in converted houses with one or two resident monks or nuns.

This month, we celebrate with appreciation the many contributions of our Vietnamese American community.

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