The end of the Vietnam War brought about, among others, two consequences: the Vietnam Syndrome, and the Boat People.
The Vietnamese who fled their country following the collapse of the South Vietnamese (Republic of Vietnam) Government in 1973 consisted of those who crossed the ocean, crowded into small boats, and those who crossed the border, stealthily amid wild jungles, constantly throughout two decades, totaling nearly one million. This did not include about half that number who lost their lives because of the communist police, the pirates, dehydration, starvation, and drowning. And since the majority did it by sea, they all were called Boat People. Approximately half that million were received and resettled in the United States, while the rest in Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland, and many other countries.
Before this, there had been nearly a hundred and fifty thousand Vietnamese helped by the American authorities to evacuate, of whom about 130,000 immigrating to the US, and the others to various European nations, mostly France. Later on, owing to the US Government's special programs such as Amerasians, Former US Agencies' Employees, Former Political Prisoners (HO= Humanitarian Operation), and Family Reunification, under the common name ODP (Orderly Departure Program), there were nearly half a million more Vietnamese admitted as refugees to the United States during 1990-2002.
The Census Bureau's statistics showed that there were 614,547 Vietnamese in the US in 1990, and that number rose up to 1,122,528 in 2000, roughly twofold in ten years.
With such fast increase in population, the strength of the Vietnamese communities in 150 different countries of the world is estimated at over three millions, mostly in the US.
Together, most Vietnamese individuals and organizations abroad now would consider themselves Political Refugees.
And they have their own unnamed “Vietnamese's Vietnam Syndrome,” which is different from and more complicated than the Americans' Vietnam Syndrome.
Not only the Vietnamese Political Refugees themselves but also their descendants, the next generations, do have in their hearts and minds the same emotions and reflections.
Naturally, poets are among those who experience so deeply their personal ups and downs as well as understand so profoundly their fellow-citizens' vicissitudes of life that they cannot fail to express their true sentiments and thoughts in their writings.
You will find in this anthology, through over a hundred poems by 55 Vietnamese of both sexes and of various ages living in the USA, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, and Vietnam, the core of their feelings (or syndrome): Feud (with those who have caused deaths, injuries, pain, separation from relatives, loss of properties...); nostalgia; gratitude (to the host countries that have offered refuge and opportunities...); improvements (to integrate into and contribute to the welfare of their adoptive societies); aspirations (for a free, democratic and prosperous Vietnam).
These poets, however, have tried to maintain their four-thousand-year-old cultural legacy while self-confidently to become part of the melting-pot.
I hope this might be a humble part in promoting communication and understanding between nations.