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Justin Nguyen
You know, I felt the same way growing up.
Living in the US as a Vietnamese, no one knew the little, humble nation under China. In 2nd grade I was asked:
“Are you Chinese??”
“No, I’m not.”
“Japanese?”
“No, not that too.”
“What Asian are you then?”
“I am Vietnamese.”
“What’s that?”

你知道吗,我从小也是这么想的。 作为一个生活在美国的越南人,没有人知道中国底下的这个小小的,卑微的国家。 在二年级的时候,我被问到: “你是中国人吗??” “不,我没是。”“日本人?” 不,也不是。” “那你是什么亚洲人?” “我是越南人。” “那是什么东西?”

That statement broke my heart. I was very proud at the time to be Vietnamese. It made me feel really special that I could speak two languages while others couldn’t.Other things to feel shameful about are:
Colonized under China for most of our history
Colonized under France for almost 100 years
People think our language sounds like Chinese
We don’t have a common writing system with our other East Asians
We’re irrelevant in the world and world politics
Our nation is tiny
But a lot of those things to be shameful about are in the past. Now is a time for Vietnam to grow into hopefully a powerhouse in Southeast Asia.

那句话伤透了我的心。 我当时为自己是越南人而感到骄傲。 我能说两种语言,而别人却不会,这让我感到很特别。其他感到羞耻的事情有:
我们在历史上大部分时间都被中国殖民。我们被法国统治了近一百年。人们认为我们的语言听起来像汉语。我们和其他东亚人没有共同的书写系统。我们在世界和世界政治中无关紧要。我们的国家很小。但那些可耻的事很多都已经过去了。 现在是越南成长为东南亚强国的时候了。

We’re a very irrelevant nation that only we ourselves care about, but that’s okay.Who gives a flying f*** if no one knows our history and nation? As long as we know our proud nation it’s all we need.
We as a people have endured many hardships, but we are still here. The Chinese ruled over us for thousands of years, but we still have a distinct culture. Same with the French, but we endured.
Take pride in being Vietnamese. We’re one of the most stoic and hardworking people out there. There’s nothing to be ashamed about.Plus we have really healthy cuisine and it is delicious

我们是一个只有我们自己关心的,无关紧要的国家。但没关系。如果没有人知道了我们的历史和国家,又有谁会放在眼里呢?只有我们了解我们骄傲的国家,才是我们所需要的。 我们作为一个民族经受了许多磨难,但我们仍然在这里。 中国人统治了我们几千年,但我们仍然有鲜明的文化。 法国人也一样,但我们挺住了,以身为越南人为荣,我们是最坚忍,最努力的人之一。 没有什么好羞愧的,而且我们有非常健康的菜肴,而且很美味。