BEING A REFUGEE IS NOT A CHOICE
Carina Hoang | January 2014
After my father was imprisoned, the government constantly threatened to send us to what they called the 'New Economic Zone,' which is basically uncultivated rural land. My mum knew we would not survive there. She had to bribe local authorities so that we could stay in our home town. Many thousands had escaped and many of our friends had left the country but, my Mum did not have the courage to put her seven small children, her mother and her mother in law, on a wooden boat and risk their lives in the South China Sea.
When the Vietnam and Cambodia war began she finally realised she could lose her children on land. That is when I became part of the Vietnam Exodus. An exodus of more than a million people and one out of three perished.