“I teach my children a global mentality,” says Vuong Thuy-An, the Vietnamese mother whose son Filip Wu was introduced in chapter two. “First, I don’t want them to be influenced by [nationalist ideologies]. Second, I teach them humanism rather than following any religious beliefs.”
Tran Van Sang, founder of integration center Sangu.eu, teaches his fellow Vietnamese the Czech language, and educates them about Czech laws, policies, culture and history. Now, he is running for a seat in the European parliament. Having been in the CR since he was ten years old, like many of his “banana” generation, Sang was the family’s translator, accompanying his father to governmental offices to do paperwork.
“They think if you marry a non-Vietnamese, your children would lose even more cultural identity,” Anh-Nhat explains. “In Cheb, many Vietnamese men married Czech women and most of them got divorced. The parents are afraid that if we marry non-Vietnamese people, we’ll also get divorced.”
In the research done by Alex Tran on 120 second-generation Vietnamese, 58 percent of the participants have reportedly experienced racist and/or xenophobic assaults during their time in the CR, 86 percent of which were verbal. These attacks harm their self-esteem and pride, make them question their identity and sometimes, leave deep scars in their hearts.
It is estimated that 80-95 percent of Vietnamese families hire Czech nannies for their children, while only one to two percent of the Czechs use private caregivers.
Born and raised in the Czech Republic, Linh-Chi has only visited her father’s hometown in Vietnam three times but feels deeply connected to her cultural heritage. “I’m a hundred percent Vietnamese,” she states. “Vietnamese is my mother tongue. There’s no reason for me to identify as a Czech. I may have a Czech education, but that’s just the environment I grew up in. My blood is Vietnamese.”
“My generation came to the Czech Republic only because of money” Dai says. “If they say they want to learn new things and expand their minds, they are lying.”