Vietnamese Americans have transformed the social, cultural, economic, and political life of Orange County, California. Previously, there were Vietnamese international students, international or war brides, or military personnel living in the United States, but the majority arrived as refugees and immigrants after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Although they are lumped together as "e;refugees,"e; Vietnamese Americans are diverse in terms of their class, ethnic, regional, religious, linguistic, and ideological backgrounds. Their migration path varied, and they often struggled with resettling in a new homeland and rebuilding their lives. They are dispersed throughout the country, but many are concentrated in central Orange County, where three cities--Westminster, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana--have "e;Welcome to Little Saigon"e; signs. They constitute the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam and have created flourishing residential neighborhoods and bustling commercial centers and contribute to the political and cultural life of the region. This book captures snapshots of Vietnamese life in Orange County over the span of 40 years and shows a dynamic, vibrant community that is revitalizing the region.
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