Summer is light and joyful, but many things can happen under the sun. Some are less light, but are also essential to know, essential to History and Memory. It might take a while, but things do get lighter and sunnier when you begin to write them down.
hiMe, from the blog A Refugee’s Journey, shares all that with you today: Her journey, her blog, her blook.
First, tell us about yourself : You, your passions, your hobbies, your projects…
I was a refugee and resettled in Melbourne, Australia in 1984 after spending four years trying to escape the communist regime in Vietnam . While trying to flee, I experienced being hunted, shot at, imprisoned and one of the many witnesses to the rape of my female defectors.
I love singing, acting and writing.
Before the Fall of Saigon in 1975, I was voted the Head of Press, in charge of the production of my class’ wall newspaper every semester in high school.
In the 1990s, I used to write satire poems for a Vietnamese newspaper in Sydney for years before I got married.
I joined Vietnamese and Australian community choirs as well as theatre groups.
My other hobby is to translate English songs and novels into Vietnamese.
What is your blog about and why did you want to address this subject when starting it?
I was encouraged to turn my attention to writing because of its emotional therapeutic effect.
From what I encountered since arriving in Australia as a lonely, young and naive refugee and was “taken into care” by the Church, I have a need to tell my story to the public.
There was also a heavy past with life under the communist regime as well as my escape and the refugee camp that I want to document.
Not to forget are memories of my life before the Communist took over and situations I faced in my new life in Australia: living with the enemy, unjust age discrimination at work, being coached to make fraudulent claim in the workplace, sexual harassment…
I desire to express my gratitude to my new country – Australia – as well as the Australian soldiers who fell during the Vietnam war.
I would like to have a say about what I find as unacceptable or unfair in the Vietnamese culture comparing to the Australian one and I wish there will be a change in the Vietnamese culture. The discrimination I come into contact with in Australia made me recount what the Chinese in Vietnam being discriminated against.
I want the memories, the history to be written down for my children and the younger generations of Vietnamese, Australian and the others to read for years to come when I will no longer be on earth.
After printing the first part of my blog, I want to continue blogging for the upcoming second book which will include topics about: global economic downturn, terrorism, mass immigration and capitalised communist countries (including Vietnam) that has changed Australia and the world’s view about refugees in general and the Vietnamese boat people in particular.
My future project also includes creating a twin blog which will be a translation into Vietnamese of my current blog A Refugee Journey – Vietnam to Australia.
What contents (articles, illustrations) are you the most proud of?
I love writing small poems to accompany each of my stories. I feel excited at the challenge to write poems in different styles. Until now, I have written 61 different forms of poems.
I collect facts, pictures and videos to support my stories. Below are some of the illustrations in that category.
What moment of your blogger life was the most memorable for you so far?
When SBS Insight (Australia’s leading forum for debate and powerful first person stories) contacted me in regard to my “Foot Voting” story. The survivor guilt mentioned in my account was the theme they wanted to research for a TV broadcast.
Why did you want to turn your blog into a book?
I want to have all my writings on a long-lasting, Internet-independent, computer-independent media that can be kept for years and readily to be read.
How did you find out about BlookUp?
I am glad that BlookUp followed my blog and that was how I found out about it.
What are the positive and negative points of the making of your blook?
With BlookUp, it was very easy to make my book. I had many trials in making my book with different publishing web sites. I found the publishing softwares those sites provided were complicated to use and rejected some of my pictures for not of high resolution. Unlike
BlookUp, the other publishing websites made the price of the book high.
I would love if BlookUp can offer more color choices as well as designs for the book cover. It would be nice if there are more different internal format for the book.
Do you enjoy the final result? What does your family and friends think about your blook?
I am very happy with the final result. The pictures are sharp, the colorsilk are lively and the texts are clear and crisp. My family and friends really appreciate the book.
Would you recommend BlookUp?
I certainly will highly recommend BlookUp to other bloggers.
Thank you hiMe for taking the time to answer our questions with such details, for your documented work and precious testimony!
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