The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

The Vietnamese Boat People

The Vietnamese Boat People podcast is stories of hope, survival and resilience. Between 1975 to 1992, almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Escaping by boat, many found freedom in foreign land, many were captured and brutally punished, and many did not survive the journey. This population of people are known as the ‘Vietnamese Boat People‘ and these are their stories. Visit for more details.

35 Episodes

  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #33 - Bonus Episode: The Boat People


    Bonus Episode! Join podcast host Tracey Nguyen Mang, artist and filmmaker Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Chrysler Museum’s curator of modern and contemporary art, Kimberli Gant, to explore the exodus of Vietnamese individuals and families from their home country after the conflict in Vietnam. In this conversation Tuan and Tracey discusses their personal histories, creative endeavors, and Tuan’s 2020 film The Boat People, currently on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art. The film is a dreamy, fantastical tale of children navigating a dystopian world in the former area of Bataan, Philippines. Tuan filmed the project at the former Philippines Refugee Processing Center, where hundreds of thousands of people fled after the war. Set in an unspecified future at the precarious edge of humanity’s possible extinction, "The Boat People" follows a group of children led by a strong-willed and resourceful little girl, who travel the seas and collect the stories of a world they never knew through objects that survived through time. Stay tuned for Season 5 "Lost and Found" launching in 2022! 
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    2021 Trailer


    My name is Tracey Nguyen Mang, I am the creator of the Vietnamese Boat People podcast. I was born Nguyen Quan Truong-Anh, the youngest of seven children, in Nha Trang Vietnam. When I was only one, my father and oldest brother fled our country by boat. After that, my three older brothers escaped, and in 1981, my mother braved the journey with three girls under the age of 10. Three separate escapes, three different refugee camps and three years later, reunited in America as one family. This statement oversimplifies the journey. But the story of how we got here, is anything but simple. Join me in documenting the incredible stories of hundreds of thousands of other Vietnamese Boat People. Subscribe to the show and visit
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

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  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #32 - Operation Reunite


    Trista Goldberg, born Nguyễn Thi Thu 1970 in Vietnam, was adopted at the age of 4 through Holt International Agency and brought to the United States into a loving family in Pennsylvania. Around the age of 10, she was shown her adoption papers which opened up Pandora's box and would haunt her into adulthood. In 1999, the internet boom enabled Trista to explore Vietnam online and learn about the country and culture. Through Yahoo chat groups she met other Vietnamese adoptees from around the world who would motivate and support her search to find her birth family. Trista shares the ups and down of her journey that successfully led to reuniting with her birth mother and siblings. In 2003, Trista started a nonprofit organization, Operation Reunite, to provide information and support to other Vietnamese adoptees going through a similar journey and to build a DNA data bank for families to use to try to identify loved ones.
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #31 - The Escape


    Growing up in New Jersey, Peter Trinh and his siblings would hear endless stories of how his parents fled Vietnam. When the war ended, Peter’s father, Nhung Trinh, a former pilot in the South Vietnam Air Force reported into re-education camp as required by the new Communist government. He thought it would be for a few days, but instead days turned into weeks, into months, into four years. During that time, he was moved to several different remote camps without his family knowing. Peter’s mom, Tinh Trinh, a young woman in her early twenties, would spend the next few years searching for her husband and scheming to plan his escape from camp, and ultimately an escape for them out of the country. Today, Peter reflects on the stories with great admiration for his parents and a desire to fill in the missing pieces. 
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #30 - Mỹ Thị Bùi


    Naoko Tsunoda was born in Los Angeles in 1976 and adopted by Japanese expats the following year. Despite knowing she was adopted, it was not until she turned 18 that Naoko’s parents revealed that she is ethnically Vietnamese. Thus began a decades-long search for the missing pieces of her history, culminating in the discovery of her birth name: Mỹ Thị Bùi. Now in her forties, Naoko is learning to embrace her dual identities via her love of tea. The events of 2020 propelled her to start her own online tea boutique, Key To Teas, where she offers tea sourced directly from Japan and Vietnam. 2020 also sparked a search for her birth mother and an older half-sister. She hopes that by sharing her story, this serves as a beacon to help reunite them.
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #29 - Pod Swap! Self-Evident


    Bonus Episode, Self-Evident: How Do Stories Change Lives? The impact of storytelling is often portrayed as a story changing the life of the person consuming it — and changing the world by reaching as many people as possible. But what about the person who offers their story to be consumed? How else can we define the value of our life’s stories, and the importance of how they’re shared? In this second episode of a three-part series, Managing Producer James Boo invites Randy Kim (Host of the Banh Mi Chronicles) and Tracey Nguyen Mang (Host of The Vietnamese Boat People) to dig deep and get personal about how they’ve seen participation in storytelling change the life of one person at a time. Self-Evident Credits: Produced by James Boo Edited by James Boo and Harsha Nahata Sound mix by James Boo and Timothy Lou Ly Self Evident theme music by Dorian Love Our Executive Producer is Ken Ikeda Self Evident is a Studio To Be production. Our show is made with support from PRX and the Google Podcasts creator program — and our listener community.
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #28 - 2021 Mỹ Việt Story Slam


    A global pandemic has completely changed our everyday lives, an election year has divided our country, there has been unprecedented racism against Asians, and continued police violence against Black Americans spurred the largest nationwide wave of protests. We've also seen local communities uniting, new friendships forging (even if virtually), and new hobbies and hidden talents emerging. Listen to how 2020 has changed our featured Storytellers: Anthony Nguyen, Belle Le, Kyle Nguyen, Leo Nguyen, Naoko Tsunoda, Vinh Nguyen and Yen Vu, in our 2nd annual Mỹ (American) Việt (Vietnamese) Story Slam event. For the full experience, view the featured stories and live event at 
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #27 - Other Streets


    Mark Erickson (Đỗ Văn Hùng) was born in Saigon in 1972 and put up for adoption at two and a half years old. He arrived in the United States as part of the American program Operation Baby Lift and was adopted by a white couple living in Buffalo, New York. Mark grew up in a predominantly white suburban neighborhood and what he knew about Vietnam was through movies and stories told through an American lens. When he moved to Boston for college he discovered a Vietnamese community in Dorchester, got to travel to Vietnam and began to explore his Vietnamese identity through his 35mm camera. Mark shares his journey in embracing his Vietnamese heritage, learning about his birth family and the making of his photo books Other Streets: Scenes from a Life in Vietnam not Lived and Dorchester.
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #26 - LIVE Episode! Sigh, Gone


    Phuc Tran, born in Saigon Vietnam, immigrated to America along with his family in 1975 when he was just a baby. He grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, being one of the few Asian families in a small town, his family struggled to assimilate into their new life. In his debut book ‘Sigh, Gone’ Phuc shares his coming-of-age story, the push and pull of finding and accepting himself, and the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, and teenage rebellion. In this interview, Phuc opens up about the complexities of Viet culture, growing up as an Asian American in the 80s and what’s changed and has not changed in how Asian Americans are viewed and treated today.
  • The Vietnamese Boat People podcast

    #25 - Have Faith


    Two siblings share their experiences in post-war Vietnam and what it was like to be separated as a family. Danny fled Vietnam as a teenager with his brothers and later had to fight for his life after a severe brain injury just a month after arriving in America. While Tu-Anh was moved from place to place in Vietnam as her mom made several attempts to get them out of the country. They share their journeys and struggles and their search for a guiding light during the toughest times. 

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