I am the first child born on American soil in my family. My parents were part of the first wave of Vietnamese immigrants to come over to the United States. I never fully understood the weight of those two facts until recently. Growing up, I knew very little of what life was like for my parents going through the War in Vietnam. I never asked why they had never gone back — I never understood the darkness they once lived through. I never questioned why I was to be an "American" in order to fit in with the Americans I went to school with, why my name went from Nhat Hoang to Travis Young.
I went through all of school without knowing, constantly mixing one identity over another. I've grown up a complete Westerner, assimilated into the American lifestyle knowing very little of my heritage and culture. So I've turned the camera towards my own life, my own surroundings, trying to figure out where I came from. How my culture came through along with the American upbringing rather than simply one washing the other out.
We are the new Vietnamese. The Vietnamese-Americans.