Monday, December 14, 2015

Tong Chau: Stories in America

Tong Chau

           For my Oral History Project, I interviewed my dad Tong Chau. The reason why I wanted to interview my dad is because he has a lot of background story of how and why did he moved to America from Vietnam. My dad was born in the island in Vietnam called Phu Quy, he lived there until he was young and moved to America in Illinois, then to California. In Southern California, my dad met my mom and got married in 1993. In 1995, my dad and mom had his first child which is my sister named Vivian, then one year later I was born. My dad goal is for me and my sister to finish school and get a degree because he want us to be successful in our future.

         The community that my dad mentioned is the resident camp. My dad traveled many countries with his younger brother just to go to resident camp just for him to be clear to go to the United States. Resident camp is the camp where my dad has to stay there for at least a year before he get interview by the government. My dad mentioned that the interview is about his personal information and his health, etc. so he can get an insurance for his health and housing. Then, my dad and his younger brother passed the interview the he and his brother took off to the United States.

        While my dad and his younger brother moved to the United States, they moved to the State of Illinois just to them to get their education. My dad had a hard time learning English, so he has to learn the basic Alphabet order. They started of high school because of their teenager ages, but my dad dropped out of high school while his younger brother continued his education. The reason why my dad left high school is because he wants to work and make money just to help his family in Vietnam. It's a struggle for my dad is because he's really in labor and he mostly couldn't afford a house or food. It sadden me is because he gave up his big opportunities just to help his family and he also felt right to just drop out of high school.

       I didn't get that much information about my dad's mentor and expression, but my dad have a mentor but I didn't get enough details for his mentors. His mentors was the White American guy where he use to live in an apartment with in Illinois. My dad told me he normally teach him how to speak English, be an adult, and being responsibility like paying bills and taking care of the kids. My dad's expression is that he should of continue his education and get a college degree, but he said if he get a college degree, I won't even be exist. Also he said having wife, kids, and built a family made him happy and he want me and my sister to get a college degree.

      My dad main support is usually his family in Vietnam and us basically. He mentioned that all the struggle he been through doesn't him at all. With family supporting what he's trying to do, he was glad that he has a family on his side and willing for me and my sister to support my dad by getting a college degree because he doesn't want us to struggle like how my dad been through. He said either way he's still happy and not letting things down.

     My dad was born in Phu Quy Island in Vietnam but he's trying to escape to the United States is because of the government taking over the Island. He escaped Vietnam to moved to Illinois with his younger brother just to get his education which he gave up his education so he moved to California and met my mom, then got married. Couple years later, my sister and I were born and built as a family for my dad. This is important is because my dad can give up big opportunities for his family which we are in labor and this can possibility happen to you.

Here's a video of my interview with my dad:


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