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Oral History of Nguyen Chi Thien
Nguyen, Thien Chi
Bui, Nancy
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
UC Irvine, Libraries, Southeast Asian Archive
Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History project
Rights Information
This material is provided for private study, scholarship, or research. Transmission or reproduction of any material protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Contact the University of California, Irvine Libraries, Special Collections and Archives for more information (
Scope/Content: Oral history of poet Nguyen Chi Thien, born in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1939. He passed away on October 2, 2012 in Orange County, California at the age of 73. Nguyen Chi Thien grew up in a lower-middle class family and recalled experiences under French colonial rule before 1954 and under the Communist regime in North Vietnam after 1954. He spoke in detail of his imprisonment in 1961 for teaching history in Hai Phong that was deemed “propaganda” against the Communist government. He wrote hundreds of poems in his head throughout his terms of imprisonment. His poetry was published overseas and continues to be banned in Vietnam. He left Vietnam via the Orderly Departure Program in 1995 and resettled in Santa Ana, California.
Scope/Content: In 2008, the Vietnamese American community in Austin, along with VAHF, successfully collaborated with the University of Texas at Austin’s Center For Asian American Studies (CAAS) to establish a course on Vietnamese American history and culture, instructed by Ph.D. candidate Linda Ho Peché. Each student was required to complete an oral interview of a self-identified Vietnamese American. These oral histories became part of the 500 Oral History Project initiated by VAHF as its third most urgent collection, since many members of the first genera- tion of Vietnamese Americans are now elderly. With their passing, first-hand accounts of the Vietnamese American immigration experience would be lost.
moving image
2 mp4 video files; 1 pdf transcription Vietnamese; 1 pdf transcription English; 1 jpg image files
China | Citizenship | Civil rights | College or university | Colonialism | Communism | Communist | Death | Exile | France | Freedom of religion | Freedom of speech | Human rights | Identity | Orderly Departure Program | Politics | Prisoner | Viet Cong | Vietnam War | Writer | Little Saigon (Orange County, California) | Orange County, California | Santa Ana, California | Vietnam, Northern | Ha Noi (Vietnam) | Hai Phong (Vietnam)
Time Period

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