Yesterday I went to see a movie with my parents : Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang . I won’t talk about the editing in this post, which could have been done much better to visualise the message of the movie, in my opinion.
Are you missing home my friends? I’m asking those of you, who is living far away from your home country, no matter if it was your choice or because life circumstances did not let you decide otherwise. When I was 18, I was upper happy to be able to leave “home”. I was free, I could now finally do what ever I wanted, no one to control me, no one to lecture me, no one to judge… now, that I am 33, I am still happy to be able to live my own life, but I have started to miss home, to worry about my parents, wanting to live near them, despite living in Vietnam is not quite what I can imagine for life.
Talking to lots of people, explaining them how life in Germany is, makes me think sometimes, if life in Germany is the best at all? Yes, sure you have a lot more comfort in a developed country than in a developing one. It’s true life standard is stable, education is good, less visible corruption, maybe less mental stress in regard of finance, but with that come also inflexibilities due to bureaucracy, life can be quite boring at times, after work is home and closed doors.. the winter is damn depressing, the people are so busy and sometimes unhappy, their face expression is just frown. There is just a certain warmth – that is missing, which I can’t describe.
p style=”text-align:justify;”>Why is it that when you gets older, you feel closer to your roots? I would love to have my parents close to me in Germany, but will they be happy here? Is it true, that you’ll be happy as long as you are with your kids? Will I have time for them whilst carrying for my own life/family? My mum said she wouldn’t care, as she only wants to be close to her kids. My dad, on the contrary, wouldn’t want to leave Saigon at all.
The movie yesterday illustrates pretty much what we Viets living afar are going through. It also shows how depressing it actually is to live as an old person in a foreign country. The protagonist in that movie is an old man, whose wife passed away and he then re-united with his son in the US. Contrary to his initial believe, he is not living with his son, because the son has no time. The son has to work 2 jobs to afford his daughter’s college tuition, to afford nursery home for his old dad. The protagonist feels extremely lonely and lost.. how can he not be, if he does not speak english nor any friends. His granddaughter keeps her distance, because she doesn’t know him and his way of affection is creeping her out. The “home country” and tradition he always refers to is totally strange to her (as to a lot of kids born abroad).
p style=”text-align:justify;”>I do know some older people, who are living far away from their homeland, who cannot move back due to life situations. This makes me wonder how sad they actually must feel, though they might not acknowledge it..
This movie makes me wonder what I shall do in the future with my parents? How long will they be able to travel back and forth to visit me? Will they leave their home to live a semi-lonely life in a foreign country? It does not matter, if they have been living in Germany for a long time before. How their life back in Vietnam turned out was just a blessing. My dad says: “It does not matter if you are a professor or if you speak their language fluently. To them you are still a foreigner, and that will never change.” So for someone who needs social recognition, who has a certain social status, who has lots of friends – such as my dad – will that person be able to adapt to a life between walls, cold depressing weather, sometimes ignorant remarks or look-down of the “native” and having only a few friends to talk to? Will I be able to make my parents happy enough for them to give up their current life standard?
Or will I, someday, eventually, feel the need -on my own- to move back to where I was born?