Summer is light and joyful, but many things can happen under the sun. Some are less light, but are also essential to know, essential to History and Memory. It might take a while, but things do get lighter and sunnier when you begin to write them down. hiMe, from the blog A Refugee’s Journey, shares all that…
Are you able to tell us apart?
A refugee with a sad history,
Who rebuilt their life from a poor start,
And the communist that’s much wealthy,
Who emigrated in a move so smart.
It’s too bad that we all look the same,
“Asian” is the tag we can claim! But wait there’s more!
Arriving from Terengganu, I spent three months on Pulau Bidong Island before moving to Sungei Besi Transit Camp, Kuala Lumpur.
On the island, survivors of traumatic sea journeys were pointed out to me on two occasions. But wait there’s more!
My friends were lost at sea,
While in their lively years,
On their fateful journey. But wait there’s more!
1.THAI PIRATES CONTINUING BRUTAL ATTACKS ON VIETNAMESE BOAT PEOPLE by BARBARA CROSSETTE, Special to the New York Times – Published: January 11, 1982
“WASHINGTON, Jan. 10— Nguyen Tien Hoa says he escaped from Vietnam in mid-November aboard a 50-foot boat that carried about 75 refugees, more than half of them women and children.
By the end of the month, Mr. Hoa, 31 years old, wounded, distraught and alone in a disabled vessel with his 10-year-old brother, drifted ashore in Malaysia, where the boy died of shock and untended injuries. But wait there’s more!
I wish I could turn back the time so that,
I would then push my Dad to quickly flee.
“Run, Dad, and save your life no matter what!
The Communists won’t spare you, let hear me!
Commander’s duty – you fulfilled at last,
We don’t want you killed – let hear us all plea!
You’re not safe but we are, so let’s run fast!”
(Terza-Rima-style poem) But wait there’s more!
In 1979, as a high-ranking military man, Dad had been in jail for four years and we didn’t know when or if he’d be released.
Our family faced the daily threat of having our assets taken and being sent to undeveloped land of new economic zones. But wait there’s more!
(Vietnamese song-that-luc-bat-style poem)
In the darkness, there she sat,
Broken-self and flat-presence.
The shame begat silence,
To tell the violence ‘gainst her. But wait there’s more!
When she was six, in nineteen sixty-eight,
VCs attacked on Chinese New Year date.
Gunfire between the VCs and GIs,
Hiding in the house, she saw with own eyes. But wait there’s more!