Nguyen, Phong P. (interviewee)
When he immigrated from Vietnam in his mid 20's, fully acclimating to life in the United States seemed a nearly insurmountable challenge to our interviewee, Phong Nguyen. As he described in detail, the night and day contrast of American and Vietnamese culture made adjustment exceedingly difficult. Nguyen found himself needing to adjust to facets of everyday life from the automatic doors of grocery stores to the savvy technology. Growing up in southern Vietnam, he faced not the acute trauma of sudden expulsion from his country, but the burden of long-term stasis and the insecurity of being deprived privileges of socioeconomic mobility. He was left in emigrant purgatory for almost a decade before being reunited with much of his family already situated in the United States. This personal perspective compliments the accompanying report which focuses on the history of the Vietnam war and the resultant demographic data of the refugees. This interview intends to expand our understanding and perception of Vietnamese immigrant experiences in the United States. By using a largely untapped source of Vietnamese history -- personal stories and memoirs -- this interview lays the foundation for future research on the challenges of Asian-Americans in the United States. Relaying cultural barriers and intimate challenges through the interview and written report can provide insight into the future needs of the Vietnamese community in Western Massachusetts and the U.S. as a whole.