“My grandmother does not speak any English, although my mother does. I think when you lose everything in your home country you want to hold on to what you can. I didn’t learn English until I entered elementary school, and then, I started losing my Vietnamese.”

Agnes is a first generation Vietnamese American and first year student at Brown University. Her family came to the United States as refugees after the Vietnam War.

“After I went to Vietnam and came home, I was so sad. It honestly was so depressing, which is weird, because I wasn’t born and raised in that country but I felt such a weird attachment. And when I left I felt like I honestly left a part of me in Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City.  

I don’t understand why. I was raised in California, I’d been to Vietnam twice for a couple months and that’s it.”