Category Archives: Featured Story

Vietnam to San Jose via Australia

  I interviewed my mother, My Son Truong, who immigrated from South Vietnam to Adelaide South Australia in 1994 and then immigrated with me from Australia to San Jose, California in 2010.           Throughout my life, my mom, My Son Truong, has always been in survival mode, always working or doing something — never staying still. ... Read More »

Poverty Leads to A Huge Transition

              My father, Donato (name changed) emigrated from a small village called Rio Tigre located in Oaxaca Mexico. Rio Tigre is a small village with 286 inhabitants. In the 1900’s the economy in Oaxaca Mexico was terrible. Oaxaca is split into hundreds of local governmental units called municipios (municipalities). Each of these municipios is ... Read More »

A Dual Citizen’s Life of Family, Freedoms, and Change (India)

At age 81, Vimala Vajjhala (maiden name Bhagavatula) has experienced the wonders and difficulties of two vastly different nations, living as a dual citizen of India and the United States. Brought up in a small village called Bobbili in South India, Vimala described a simple but enjoyable life. (6 sisters, 1 brother)  Her family impressed social values of obedience, work, ... Read More »

Isaacson Family (Latvia)

The Isaacson Family hails from the Province of Piltene, part of a region of western Latvia historically known as Courland. “You have totake the train to Riga,” a descendent later recalled. “Take it at night, you’d get there the next morning.”  Courland was Latvia’s oldest Jewish community. It’s believed that the first Jews arrived in Piltene around 1571–probably merchants from ... Read More »

La Vie en Rose: The Legacy of Two Stories

The ensuing stories will follow the trajectories of two different families who immigrated to New York from Eastern Europe at different point in history. They are ultimately connected by marriage, and their legacies live on. The Weill Family                   Teddy Roosevelt’s doppelgänger, Nathan Glickman (née approx. 1866; Moscow, Russia) and the ever ... Read More »

Chin Up and Success Follows

My journey begins in 1975 in a small town in Mexico, Guerrero Michoacán. The sun is up and the white truck with a big red speaker on it is already making its way around town announcing the newly married couple, and the dead cow by the river. Geez can’t he wait till noon to come around can you… I WANNA SLEEP ... Read More »

Dreaming For His Daughters (Mexico)

                      “Tengan hermanitas para que se compren una torta en la escuela.” Here’s some money sisters, buy yourselves some food at school. These are the words my father expressed to his younger sisters. In the municipality of Parácuaro in the state of Michoacán, Mexico there was a family of 16, ... Read More »

Tuckman and Lily Ng

              Stan Ng recalls that in his 1960s and 70s Los Angeles childhood, one of the main activities his family enjoyed was to simply get out on the open road and drive. His dad would go up and down the 101, or make his way towards Santa Monica and drive past the Hollywood landmarks ... Read More »

A 15 Year Old Makes Her Passage By Boat (Vietnam)

              It was a spring afternoon in 1985. I had turned fifteen a few of months earlier and I had just entered the house after a day at high school. Food was on my mind; I’d skipped breakfast as usual. Mom was sitting on the bed in the corner, whispering to a woman I’d ... Read More »

Never Too Old for the American Dream (México)

“The main key to being successful as an immigrant is saving up as much money as you can and that will be the most useful thing in your life as an immigrant.” My parents made sure that that idea was stuck in my head since I was young. I grew up on a farm. My father Cirilo and my mother ... Read More »