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Anh Do

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My Little Saigon In this short story, Anh Do describes how a little known place in the middle of Westminster called Little Saigon transformed into an identical replica of Vietnam. During a phone conversation with her cousin, Do is asked to explain “Is there anything similar between Saigon and Little Saigon” (Do 159). The origins of Little Saigon began in the late 1970s, “when a refugee opened up the first business” (Do 159). This lead to other new businesses forming a into strip mall. Through this chain reaction, Do’s father, “on impulse” (Do 160), signed a lease on a room to start the first Vietnamese-language newspaper in the United States. The streets of Little Saigon were soon filled with emerging businesses like markets, travel agencies, clinics and restaurants. After the Vietnam War, tens of thousands of Vietnamese moved to the United States due to harsh conditions in Vietnam. Unfortunately the “church sponsors resettled them in places like Arkansas and Pennsylvania” (Do 160), but those states don’t have the same resemblance as Vietnam, so the “refugees began streaming to Southern California” (Do 160). Even though Do’s family lived in a three bedroom rental, her father generously invited old friends from Vietnam to live in the tightly packed apartment and soon the “memories of old would return anew” (Do 161). With more than three thousand Vietnamese-run businesses, Little Saigon has become a cultural and commercial hub for Vietnamese scattered across Southern California. (Do 161). The essence of Vietnam circulates Little Saigon with a strong force that even without speaking a word of English, a person can survive in Little Saigon. Although the tradition is in a “delicate balance” (Do 162), due to the immigrants adapting to the American Culture. For example, “more kids throwing away things written in Vietnamese for comic books and glossy magazines” (Do 162),...

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