It's because of my parents that I'm Vietnamese. My parents were both born in Vietnam, came to Australia, married and had me. I haven't always embraced my Vietnamese ethnicity, but as I've grown older, I've come to love the skin that I'm in. Mainly because the food is so great; but also because it's easier to be happy when you accept the things you can't change about yourself.
My parents enrolled me into Vietnamese school when I was young. It was every Saturday afternoon from 2 til 6pm. At that age though, it was like my whole day was gone. I was never very good at learning the language, and after I dropped out at the age of 10, my ability to speak Vietnamese fluently went down the drain. You see, at home I speak English with everyone and only my mum speaks Vietnamese to me. I can understand it just fine, but I'm quite hopeless and forming decent sentences.
11 years later, I've suddenly got this almost urgent desire to want to learn how to not only speak Vietnamese fluently, when read and write as well. The drive behind this is mainly that I want to have long conversations with my mum about anything and everything and I can't do that right now because there's a language barrier between us. She won't be around forever and I want to know everything about her before time runs out.
Today was my first Vietnamese lesson since 11 years ago.
My amazing friend has offered to teach me how to speak, read and write (she even went out of her way to put together a worksheet for me!). She may
think that she's just doing me a nice favour, but she's actually
changing my life so much. It's through this I hope to build a better
relationship with my mum and family and to be a better doctor in this
Even though we just went through the basics of the alphabet, tones and accents today, I felt like I have learnt more than all the lessons put together from when I was young.
I think the trick is to have the right state of mind. I want this. Yes, it is totally strange that a Vietnamese girl is learning how to speak her own language, but in my case, it's better late than never.