Author: Ancy Lee
Translator: Pius Lee
Born in Vietnam, my siblings of six including myself, lived in a Chinese town called “Cholon”. Cantonese was the business dialect that even the native Vietnamese learned to speak. Many of the Vietnamese natives sent their children to Chinese schools. Vietnamese and Chinese have many cultural similarities, there remain oddities between them that deny intermingling. It was not unusual for Vietnameses to be jealous of the Chinese. They hurled name-callings such as “you bullies” to their Chinese neighbors, meaning that the Chinese occupied their jobs, land, and economy. In the 1970’s 60% plus of the Vietnamese economy was controlled by the Chinese. A Chinese person’s impression about his Vietnamese neighbors was usually a lack of courtesy and honesty. He tended to think that they were poor money managers and often outspent their income and were tangled in debts and poverty. For instance, they would feast over all their savings over a banquet but lived on two catties of rice and a small cup of soya sauce the next day. They would send their children for groceries with their last remaining coins. This shortsighted and impulsive spending enslaved them in perpetual debts. Similarly people nowadays with endless credit card debts were held captive by the same impulses and enslavements.
Hard-Working and Generous
I respect my parents’ business practice. They allowed no interest loans to our neighbors when they could not pay our textile products in full. Although my mother had zero formal education, her quick mind mastered the basic arithmetics of multiplications and divisions. She served also as the de facto accountant of our family textile retail business. My parents diligently opened their shop in the morning and closed it for inventory work in the afternoons. In the evening, my mom would carry along the account books to visit our neighbors to collect outstanding balances. I remembered once that my mom was in a nearby alley to collect debts from a soft drink shop owner. The conversation between our neighbor and mom escalated due to miscommunications. When dad heard the elevated yells and complaints, he thought that a quarrel might break out. Dad immediately ran to mediate the situation, while still holding our 2 years old baby sister in his arms and I followed along. Our neighbor thought dad was coming to fight and raised up a glass bottle to throw at dad. Dad fled with mom in front of him, and I was the last. Dad was fleeing so desperately that he lost one of his slippers. I fled closely behind dad. In that panicky split second, a glass bottle was flung forcefully and shattered between dad and me. Fortunately, it missed hitting either of us.
A Chinese gangster-ring roamed about an alley opposite to our alley. Our neighboring alley had a Vietnamese gangster-ring. The two groups gang-fought each other frequently. I witnessed once, the Vietnamese group chased the Chinese group carrying wooden clubs, monkey bars, and meat cleavers. It only ended after the Chinese group fled into their alley and latched shut the alley gate. Our alley’s Vietnamese neighbors came out and yelled at the cowardice fugitives. The Chinese neighbors were quiet. They turned off their lights, closed their windows and doors fearing that they would be implicated. No wonder, we Chinese were mocked as a dis-united mess. The Vietnamese people had an united will and extended helping hands for one another.
Fearing God is True Blessing
The Bible reminds the peoples of the world to fear Jehovah as God and Lord. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do” (Psalm 33:12-15); and “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy” (Psalm 33:18).
Author: Mrs. Thuyen-Anh (Ancy) Lee was born in Vietnam. She immigrated and was educated in Sweden as a teenager. Her profession was social work until she married Pius in 1994. The couple responded to the calling to be ministers and relocated to NY in 2023.
Ancy Lee (translated by Pius Lee). “[Interesting Adventures] Cultural Divide” NYSTM Truth Monthly, September, 2023.
當我們一家被迫拋屋棄貨被驅逐到龍安省（Long An）的一個小鎮墟（Thu Thua）之後；我們的戶口被取消，孩子同時也被取消在城市內上學的資格。四哥與我、弟妹都要輟學。
Storm surge causes inundation of large swaths of coastal land. Eleven years ago, storm surge from Hurricane Sandy havocked large damages in New York (NY) and New Jersey (NJ). Today, some of those destructions are still noticeable and remain unrepaired.
The Vietnamese government had planned well ahead and prepared many makeshift-hut developments such as the one we were sent among all the villages and provinces.
Upon the confiscation of our family-cloth-business, there was an undercover policewoman stationed at our home for three weeks every day from 7:00 am till 6:00 pm. Our every move was scrutinized⋯⋯
Autumn is pleasant. It has many public holidays for the most populous countries in the northern hemisphere. In the U.S. we have Labor Day, Columbus Day and the Veterans Day. In China there are Mid-Autumn Festival and Double-Yang Festival.
We were all stunned by the apocalyptic scenes of devastation and destitution caused by wildfires in Maui, HI. The utter sense of desolation and desperation was overwhelmingly sad. It destroyed the idyllic Island of Maui. Many people are still in denial and disbelief when they look at the news reports.
Mom and dad ran a textile and cloth business for thirty years. Their humble street hawker beginning was never remote. Only through thrift living and hard work did mom and dad gradually expand their business and eventually proudly owned a retail shop in the middle of the vegetable markets.
Heatwaves in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere captured the public’s attention. The inadequacy of the central air conditioning units in many of the northern cities testifies to the unexpected increase in air temperature across Northern Europe, Asia and America.
Born in Vietnam, my siblings of six including myself, lived in a Chinese town called “Cholon”. Cantonese was the business dialect that even the native Vietnamese learned to speak. Many of the Vietnamese natives sent their children to Chinese schools.
Man is an adventurous creature. In the pre-pandemic year of 2019 the US travel and tourism industry generated 1.9 trillion dollars in economic output. That was a startling 9% of the nation’s corresponding GDP of 21.38 trillion dollars in 2019.
When the communists took over Vietnam in 1975, my second eldest brother (David), I and my younger brother (Kevin) were studying in the “Same Heart” middle-and-elementary school in Cholon, Vietnam. Originally a private school, it was changed to a public school under the communist government.
My parents ran a textile and clothes retail shop from our home. Under the new communist government after the Vietnamese civil war, every home was eager to sew the new national flag. Therefore, all of a sudden our home business was thriving beyond our wildest imaginations.
Pollen allergy is more commonly known as hay fever. Medically speaking, it is called seasonal allergic rhinitis —- a provocation of the immune system to overreact to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. Hay fever occurs mainly in the spring and fall when pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds are in the air.
In the May issue we mentioned the civil war between North and South Vietnam. It finally ended on the so-called “Liberation Date” on April 30, 1975. The North united the country into a communist country.
▪︎前美國國家氣象局 NOAA 氣象預測科研組長
▪︎現國際短宣使團 (義務) 總幹事
▪︎2022年9月起成爲 IFSTM 國宣跨文化訓練講師
▪︎現任 Fairlea Aged Care, Harris Park & Rosehill, Sydney 院牧