Gia Dinh Bui’s first migration for freedom

On July 22, 2018, our family had a summer gathering where we had a great gift : an opportunity to hear the story of the family’s first migration from Northern Vietnam to Central Vietnam.  In 1954 The signed Geneva Accords created a temporary cease-fire and separated Vietnam into two halves at the 17th parallel (latitude).  This led to a mass migration of over 1 million people from the North to the South.

However, this migration was not easy, as the “Viet Minh” troops of the North would not allow families to easily leave the new Northern country.  They would do this by preventing families from obtaining nor completing the needed migration documents, and families would find themselves jailed or punished for even seeking or asking about the paperwork.

Our Aunt, Di Lanh, was taken in by our grandparents and essentially adopted as the oldest sister so as to include her on the paperwork.  Only 10 years old at the time, Di Lanh had to pretend to work in the fields gathering grass to feed the cows, hoping to come across French military personnel to submit in secret the family’s migration paperwork.   After doing so, she was found and caught (at such a young age) and jailed for two days without food or drink.

Listen to her story in the recordings below.

Introduction by Cau Hieu

Retelling by Di Lanh, Cau Hieu, Di Hoa, Cha Hiep