The book "Catfish and Mandala" by Andrew Pham relates a lot to include stories and situations throughout my childhood that I can relate toand young adult life. PhamHe vividly explains vividly his life in America along with his travels back to the homeland. Through his journey to Vietnam, Pham discovers himself and hisexplains to us his life, which in some cases is similar to the identity, issues regarding educational expectations, and cultural conflict in America here in America for me. Reading the book I see Pham and the situations he is put in, also seeing myself, but the only difference is the way he and I handle the scenarios given at hand. Through the essay you will see how our lives are similar but yet different.
Pham travels to Vietname to search for his roots in hopes to construct his identity.For Pham in the search of his identity he flies to Vietnam to ride his bike, and also to find his roots. As he first gets off the airplane he is already is immediately receiving dirty aware of others who looklooksat him disdainfully because he is a "viet-kieu" which means foreign Vietnamese. Then as he is at the baggage claim While retrieving his luggage, to his amazement he sees the workers tear up his bike which had been stuck in the claim belt. That hit a soft spot in him because that bike had been through so much with Pham. From then on his impressions of Vietnamese people were bad, He developed a negative impression of Vietnamese people and he automatically thought of them as a lower class persons than Americans human than he was. Pham in order to go back to his roots needs to humble himself as a true Vietnamese. Then he will understand his identity and appreciate his culture. .
Growing up Korean in white America was different. As a child I was sometimes embarressedembarrassed to be Korean. I wanted to be white because then I knew I would have been more accepted by the majority population.