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Tet Festival parade
Photo: Bao Ngo
A traditional Tet festival in Vietnam to celebrate New Year's.

It's Not Like Where I Grew Up

Khang Tran from Vietnam

Today I want to the Tet Festival. This is the Vietnamese New Year's Festival. I had never seen a lot of Vietnamese look like that before. Almost all the people there were young. The men were wearing wide pants and their hairstyles looked like Afros.

Because of their attitude, they didn't seem like Vietnamese anymore. Walking near them, I heard only English flying back and forth.

For me, this was a new world, not like the atmosphere I knew in Japan or Vietnam. It was not like any I had seen before, and frankly, I didn't like it. I just think that Vietnamese need a modest attitude wherever they are. I have lived in Japan, so maybe that is why I make a judgment like that.

Khang
This was a new world, not like the atmosphere I knew in Japan or Vietnam.

I don't know when I will grow accustomed to living here. I'm very worried about that. I've been uneasy every night. I think if I want to enjoy my life here, so I need to accept them.

If I can't, I will feel lonely all the time. I hope this sadness and anxiety about the new environment will be a benefit for my life in the future.

I think of our lives—if we don't have some hard times, we won't grow into real men and won't be able to feel other people's pains. Tonight, I cried; last night I cried, too. But from this moment on, I promise not to cry anymore.

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