In a 2008 Tết article, Andrew Lam, a renowned Vietnamese American writer concluded "The Vietnamese living abroad is no
longer exiled from his homeland, but he risks being sidelined if he doesn't adapt to the new realities of 21st-century
Vietnam." Yet, Việt Kiều expatriates certainly do not feel sidelined. Indeed, they have been active in
promoting Vietnamese art, music and culture, in teaching the Quốc Ngữ written language, and in improving
health in their community. They took a stand on preserving Vietnam geographic integrity by protesting China's occupation
by force of Vietnamese islands in the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos. They attempted to enhance human rights and religious
freedom for their compatriots through appeals to the international community as well as printed and on-line articles.
They continue to cook typical Vietnamese meals and to organize frequent class reunions to reminisce and preserve their
bonds to the motherland. They could have actively participated in political demonstrations. In Paris, France, they joined
to oppose China's Tibet policy during the Olympic torch relay and to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Flag of the
State of Vietnam with its yellow background and three longitudinal red stripes. In Westminster, Southern California, they
protested an art work figuring three foot-spa tubs (used in nail salons) painted in yellow with three red stripes.
Recently, in Westminster, Southern California, and in San Jose, Northern California, they organized impressive 2009
Tết Parades with the support of mainstream American politicians and officials. Furthermore, many Vietnamese Americans
have been competing, on an individual basis, in scientific, academic, financial, industrial, technological, political or
public service and health arenas, becoming leading scientists, able CEOs, executive bankers, successful entrepreneurs,
full professors, Navy ship commander, State Representative, County Supervisor, US Congress Representative... The following
story is typical of the rebuilding of a shattered life in the Land of Opportunity.