Immigration photos

My father’s side of the family immigrated to America with virtually nothing. His grandparents and parents had been political refugees from communist China; they fled first to northern Vietnam in the 1940s, then to the small southern city of Da Lat in 1954, as the Viet Cong seized the North. They settled there for awhile, and my father was born in 1964. In the 1970s, as the Viet Cong advanced further into the South, people took any and all means necessary to escape the increasingly oppressive government. Arrangements were made for my father to flee to Thailand with his older sister by boat first. However, while his sister was allowed passage, my father was turned away at last minute due to a lack of space. Unfortunately, his sister (along with everyone else on that boat) were never to be heard from again. In 1975, my father and his family were able to get to Hong Kong. They were unable to take anything sentimental with them—only the clothes on their backs, and valuables, all of which they had sold, or would eventually sell in order to get to Hong Kong, and in due course, America. These photos are the ones my father's family showed to immigration authorities in Hong Kong, and they are the only tangible pieces from my father's life in Vietnam/outside of America.

Year: 1975

– Ariel Leung

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more