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Vietnam. Before I was five, I was Vietnamese. When my family addressed me, I could reply in a fluent and pure Siagon dialect. I was still unexposed to English, and my language suggested I had just emigrated with my family from Vietnam.

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Introduction

It's raining. Along a muddy path, I'm amidst the blurry shade of wispy trees, wandering on the edge of a fleeting canopy. Though the trees offer a safe cover, I sometimes drift to the unsheltered and wistful air to be among the crying skies and kissing monsoon. Before I was five, I was Vietnamese. When my family addressed me, I could reply in a fluent and pure Siagon dialect. I was still unexposed to English, and my language suggested I had just emigrated with my family from Vietnam. But I was born in America. My culture, my homeland, my family's struggled past - I've seen glimpses of them from black and white photographs, old videos, and sometimes, stories that I felt were my own. ...read more.

Middle

During my lessons, as I become more proficient in Vietnamese, I recall a quote by Wittgenstein: "The limits of my language are the limits of my world". After 13 years of being trapped in my English and American existence, I'm on my quest to better my inept language in the hopes of breaking my limits and finally freeing my world. Back in District 1, I linger before the old, cramped home left behind by my mother, her parents, and her 10 brothers and sisters 20 years ago. I can't prevent the pang of a realization - I could have grown up in the poor slums of Saigon. This realization, ironically, strikes me a strange nostalgia. I close my eyes, and I'm a child of a past generation back in an old Saigon, singing indistinct songs, clapping my hands, smiling in a tranquil, light, and misty rain. ...read more.

Conclusion

A crescent of land formed by tropic greenery almost completely surrounds the sea; its arms hug the secluded and calm waters. I step upon the now pleasing familiar sands. Before me, beholds the vast panorama of Ha Long Bay. From the bay sprout immense rock faces; they are massive mountains, looming giants, towering guardians, watchful ancestors. Daunting yet beautiful, their plateaus and peaks, graced by a sure wind, reach the auspicious sky. Here I belong, now with mended language and mended frames, among these steep mountains deeply bound to this land. In the far horizon where serene sky meets its clear reflection, these mountain shards resemble silhouettes of protecting sentinels. These sentinels, accepting no one but their country's true natives, finally welcome me home to my promised paradise. ...read more.

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