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Monday, August 28, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 6 

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Vietnamese refugees given new life in commemoration

By Audrey Warren
Daily Cougar Staff

A sold-out Cullen Performance Hall was host to "25 Years in Reflection: a Commemoration of the Vietnamese Refugees' Flight to Freedom" Saturday night.

Uyen Ho, a junior business major at UH, narrated the story of her life as a young girl born April 30, 1975, in the middle region of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

The entire performance was conducted in Vietnamese, with the story aided by a mixture of music, pictures, literary readings, narrations and a slide show.

"It was something very special to everyone's heart to remember her 25-year flight to freedom and reflect on our own flight to freedom," said Duy Nguyen, president of the UH Vietnamese Students' Association.

Ho told of how she and her mother were separated from the rest of their family while trying to escape the approach of communist soldiers.


Nora Segura/The Daily Cougar


A pictorial display of Vietnamese history was showcased in the University Center Underground on Saturday. The display was part of an event commemorating the 25-year flight of freedom of Vietnamese refugees following the communist takeover of Saigon.

After the fall of Saigon, Ho's father and brother stayed behind and endured the hardships of a communist prison. Her sister crossed the ocean in search of freedom and became a witness to countless sights -- robberies, starvation and death.

Twenty-five years later, Ho also spoke of how she has adapted to a new life in the United States. Nguyen said Ho's story is the story of many other Vietnamese families torn apart by the communist takeover.

The crowd was also treated to famous Vietnamese songs written in the last 25 years as well as performances directed by Viet Art Production and the poet Ngu Yen.

Participating singers and artists included Khanh Ly, Nhu Mai, Phan Van Hung, Da Nhat Yen, Quoc Anh, Phan Ni Tan, Nguyen Thao and The Fever Band.

The event was made possible with cooperation of the UH VSA, Vietnam Team Work, Vietnamese Professionals Society, Vietnamese American Youth Organization, Viet Art Production, and students from Texas A&M University, the University of Saint Thomas and the University of Texas-Houston.
 

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