“Our Vietnamese names were butchered before we arrived in America. “Tram Nguyen” looked like a fragmented sentence to me on our refugee paperwork. Cutting out half of my name was like truncating my identity and mutilating what remained. Trâm quickly degraded to Tramp or Tram (the mode of transportation). In English-speakers’ struggle to say my name – Trum[p]? Tram[p]? – and my struggle to explain, I settled on “Can you say trombone? It’s kinda like that: Trom.” And I learned to live with an unrecognizable caricature of a name.
Nguyen was especially challenging. N-gu-yen. Nu-gen. N-guy-en. What? You can say “Win”. Win? Yes, that’s good enough.”
(The Fob Blog Written by Angelina Tram Nguyen)
After I read the first few paragraphs of Angelina’s new blog, I wanted to hear about her experiences and her perspective as a first generation refugee. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to hear the truth, and Angelina certainly doesn’t hold back. You can subscribe to her blog at The Fob Blog
I think that there’s plenty to learn from each other no matter how culturally sensitive we all think we are!