VietNOLA

From the Westbank to New Orleans East, there is a vibrant community of over 20,000 Vietnamese New Orleanians.  Once a week host Kim Vu invites a guest to chat about Vietnamese etiquette, ancient proverbs, Vietnamese events in New Orleans, and Vietnamese food.  A Vietnamese-American recently arrived from California, Kim combines her own discovery of the local Vietnamese community with her deep familiarity and love of Vietnamese life and customs. Kim and guests weave a tapestry of fun and pho, Hanoi and poboy, as VietNola explores the world of Vietnamese New Orleanians, here and in Vietnam.

Barbara Weaver/Thanh Nga Nguyen - War Baby

Barbara Weaver/Thanh Nga Nguyen - War Baby
May 1, 2014

When Barbara Weaver's father Mike went to Vietnam in 1967 to serve in the war, he brought with him not much more than a rucksack with his toothbrush, a few family photos, and some clothes. When he returned to the States almost ten years later, it was with a Vietnamese wife and seven children - the five children she had from a previous marriage, and the two children they'd had... Read More »

The Rebel of Village de L'Est

The Rebel of Village de L'Est
April 24, 2014

More than twenty years before the Cyndi Nguyen ran for City Council, there was the (self described) rebel Cindy Nguyen who nearly got herself kicked out of high school and went off to Iowa in search of something different.   The Cyndi who returned to New Orleans nearly ten years later had a college degree and the determination to improve the lives of people in the community she'd left behind -... Read More »

A Village Called Versailles

A Village Called Versailles
April 10, 2014

The Vietnamese were among the first to return to the City to rebuild their homes after Hurricane Katrina - in many cases before there was a promise of any kind of assistance from government, Brad Pitt, or anyone else.  As things began to return to normal, the City of New Orleans released plans for the creation of a dump for storm-related waste less than two miles from the densest settlement... Read More »

From Boat Person to Gates Scholar

From Boat Person to Gates Scholar
April 3, 2014

We've all heard stories of the hard working immigrant who finds success (however you define it) through their own hard work and determination, but do you wonder if it ever truly happens?  It has in 22 year old Ngoc Pham's case! When the Ngoc came to the United States, she was eight and had spent all but three years of her life in a refugee camp.  Her father, despite limited English... Read More »

Pho, Banh Xeo, and Soda Chanh, O-Mai!

Pho, Banh Xeo, and Soda Chanh, O-Mai!
February 27, 2014

Anybody who's followed the New Orleans food scene over the past few years would likely have noticed the proliferation of Vietnamese restaurants across the city.  Food that was once found only in Vietnamese enclaves on the West Bank or in the East is now found in restaurants, grocery stores, and even growing in gardens throughout the greater New Orleans area.   Local filmmaker/writer Suzanne Pfeferle sought to shed some insight on that... Read More »

NOLA Viets Get A Taste of Medicine

NOLA Viets Get A Taste of Medicine
December 23, 2013

Having left Atlanta, Cam Tu Nguyen moved to New Orleans for love and stayed for her love of New Orleans and its Viet community.  As a non-profit organizer Cam educates everyone in the NOLA Viet community from underserved fisherfolk to church-going professionals about Obamacare. Read More »

Rocking out in Saigon

Rocking out in Saigon
December 16, 2013

Have you ever been walking the streets of Saigon, looked around, and said to yourself, "this place is great but it's needs more hillbilly soul bands." Well wish no longer because Kim sat down with Nick Rivette and Davis Zunk of The Wanderlusters. Nick and Davis joined us all the way from Saigon to talk about living and working as an American band playing American music in Vietnam.  So if you're in... Read More »

Throwback - Helmets in Southeast Asia

Throwback - Helmets in Southeast Asia
December 11, 2013

Kim's in Mexico this week so we're taking you back in time to one of our favorite episodes with Alison Ecker. Alison Ecker lives in Hanoi, and joins us with a live report on the strange fate of the motorcycle helmet in Vietnam, and the importance of women’s shoes in shifting gears. Read More »

VietNOLA - A Helping Hand after Haiyan

VietNOLA - A Helping Hand after Haiyan
December 1, 2013

NOLA-based acupuncturist and perennial volunteer Quang Huynh takes his blind method acupuncture to the Philippines to help Haiyan victims, one needle at a time. Learn how you can help donate needles or time. Read More »

VietNOLA - College Life, Vietnola Style

VietNOLA - College Life, Vietnola Style
November 25, 2013

Kenny Nguyen and Vincent Tong are officers of the Vietnamese American Student Association at UNO and enjoy the perks of going from small town Louisiana to urban UNO with a core group of Vietnamese Americans. From traditional dances to charity work, these students share their interpretation of Viet culture campus-wide. Read More »

VietNOLA - Parenthood

VietNOLA - Parenthood
November 11, 2013

In Part 2 of Kim's conversation with Mai Do and Tom Lasher - the bi-racial couple who fell in love after meeting at a coffeehouse on Magazine Street - Tom and Mai start a family. Living between New Orleans and Hanoi, raising bi-racial, bi-national children who also need to be bilingual has its challenges. But it comes with its own set of unique rewards - for children and parents. Read More »

When Tom met Mai

When Tom met Mai
November 2, 2013

Husband and wife Tom Lasher and Dr. Mai Do met in a coffeehouse on Magazine Street when he was a consultant working on post-disaster Katrina and she took a job as a professor at Tulane instead of returning home to Vietnam. The rest is bi-racial, bi-national history. Read More »

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