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My Journey Home Armando Pena Andrew Lam Faith Adiele
Introduction
Video Diary
Diaspora
Stranger
Background
Andrew Lam
Your Journey HomeFor TeachersAbout the film
Andrew Lam
Introduction  
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Over the years, I have followed the story of Southeast Asia very closely. I have gone undercover as an interpreter in Hong Kong when boat people were facing forced repatriation. I have traveled thoroughly in Cambodia during the U.N. occupation to talk to Khmer Rouge supporters and listen to stories of women who toiled the rice fields without their men, and I watched the blatant corruption of many U.N. members in Phnom Penh. I witnessed how the lives of Laotians were transformed when electricity and the freeway came to their villages and I have followed Vietnam's own transformation through its doi moi (perestroika) policy and saw how the ideology that Ho Chi Minh's followers put on the pedestal for decades fell quickly into the gutter as Coca Cola and Toyota put up their flashy neon billboards over the town squares.

America is now indisputably the sole remaining superpower, yet back home she is not immune from change. Constant immigration has brought change to America as radically as Columbus did to the Indians. Americans, in fact, are falling in love with the Far East and the exotic has gone mainstream. Two decades ago, for instance, who would have thought that sushi would become an indelible part of an American taste? Or that Vietnamese fish sauce would be found down aisle three of Safeway? Or that an HMO would pay for acupuncture? Buddhism and Islam too, are two of the fastest growing religions in America while Hollywood is suddenly full of Asian faces. Private passions are spilling into the public arena and the colors yellow and brown assert, they, with their own mass media and imagination and traditions, are pushing the American imagination beyond its parochialism toward a cosmopolitan possibility.

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