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Andrew Lam
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Entries by Andrew Lam

Rethinking the American Dream Ahead of the Paris Talk

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 5:54 PM

The other day I spotted an Asian woman taking things from a bin near downtown San Francisco where I live. It is not an unusual sight but the woman had on a conical hat and, upon inquiries, it turned out that she's from my own homeland, Vietnam.

Abandoned by her...

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Bánh Mì: The Rise of the Vietnamese Sandwich

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 1:13 PM

Since the Vietnam War ended 40 years ago, Vietnamese have shared much of their culture with the larger world. But many of us who fled as refugees could not have imagined that the Vietnamese sandwich, bánh mì, would one day become an international sandwich sensation, a culinary wonder of our...

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Internally Displace Persons: The Forgotten and Invisible Refugees

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 1:15 PM

It's a tale of hidden suffering of monumental proportions.

The estimated number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the world has reached a record 38 million, but that number is still by far an underestimation.

The figure comes from a recent report issued by the Geneva-based Internal Displacement...

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Wildlife Within Silicon Valley: Coyote Valley Open Space

(3) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 1:46 PM

One bright spot amidst the closures and budget cutbacks hitting California's State Parks is the opening of a new nature preserve in Santa Clara County. Called Coyote Valley Open Space, the preserve comprises some 348 acres of rolling hills, oak woodland and serpentine rock outcroppings. Its grand opening on June...

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On Father's Day: War, Memories and Moving On

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2015 | 1:34 PM

The essay below is adapted from my first book, "Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora." On Father's Day, as a child of a veteran, I am posting this in commemoration of all those who fought and live still haunted with memories of wars.

Home for the...

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Banh Mi Sandwich: The Perfect Marriage Between East And West

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 3:12 PM

Andrea Nguyen is an author, freelance writer, cooking teacher, and consultant. Her blog -- Viet World Kitchen -- explores culinary traditions of Asia and has been a major contribution to the American food scene. Nguyen wrote several cookbooks, including "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors," and...

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Nepal Needs More Than Tarps for Reconstruction

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2015 | 12:42 PM

Kishor Pradhan is a development anthropologist and a communications worker in Nepal. Dibya Gurung is a conservationist and gender and social inclusion expert who trains rural men and women for leadership roles. The couple has more than two decades of development and organizational experience, and since the earthquake has been...

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Vietnam War 40 Years Later: Capitalism Trumps Ideology

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 1:27 PM

Forty years have passed since the Vietnam War ended, and a parade was staged in Ho Chi Minh City, formally Saigon, to commemorate that date. Yet despite the fanfare, debates rage on both sides of the Pacific as to who really won and who lost that war. While the hammer...

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Top Environmental Agencies Release Diversity Data

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 2:35 PM

On April 22, 2015, which marked the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, Green 2.0, an initiative dedicated to increasing racial diversity across mainstream environmental agencies, released the names of over 25 of America's leading environmental advocacy organizations that voluntarily submitted their diversity data to

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Grandma's Tales: On Vietnam, Memories and Transformation

(1) Comments | Posted April 19, 2015 | 4:12 PM

"Grandma's Tales" is reprinted from Birds of Paradise Lost (Red Hen Press, 2013), my first collection of short stories. It was a finalist for the 83rd California Book Award, short listed for the William Saroyan Award, and a winner of the Josephine Miles Literary Award. It is posted...

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Catherine Karnow's Vietnam: Documenting a Changing Country

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 11:06 AM

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, the prestigious Art Vietnam Gallery in Hanoi, Vietnam, is showing "Vietnam: 25 Years of Documenting a Changing Country," a photo exhibition of National Geographic photographer Catherine Karnow's lifelong work in that country. Below is my introduction...

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Speech: 40th Year Anniversary of the End of the Vietnam War

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 3:10 PM

Below is a speech I gave last year at a high school where students raised funds to help flood victims in central Vietnam. As the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War is coming up this April 30, 2015, I am posting it to commemorate the date. It...

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Saving California Parks -- With New Ideas and Tech

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 10:06 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Standing on the corner of Mission and 16th Street, a mixed neighborhood of yuppies and the Latino working class, Carlos Lopez, 19, said he's heard of Mount Tamalpais State Park. But he thinks it's far away and isn't sure how to get there. When told it is...

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Stanford Program Helps Vietnamese RN Realize His Eldercare Calling

(0) Comments | Posted March 1, 2015 | 6:40 PM

At only age 28, Chi Mai, is a dedicated registered nurse, but it's not just his profession. "It's my calling," he emphasized. "I'm a devout Catholic and my ultimate goal being a nurse is to save as many lives as possible and to make as much improvement and changes for...

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ISIS -- Echoing the Purges of the Khmer Rouge?

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 6:14 PM

This week, ISIS released a video showing the captive Jordanian pilot First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive, the latest act of brutal violence that has earned the group the wrath of the world.

Isis militants

The group calling itself the...

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Teacher's Image Takes a Hit in America

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 1:12 PM

The yoga class was near maximum capacity. There was a spot up front but it usually belonged to D, a teacher who practices yoga with us plebes when not teaching.

So I moved to the crowded second row. My new neighbor, however, was clearly annoyed at having to rearrange her...

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Messages in a Bottle: Listening to an Old Answering Machine

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 2:08 PM

A few years ago when my parents moved from their five-bedroom suburban home at the edge of Silicon Valley to their retirement condo nearby, my siblings and I went through three decades' worth of junk to throw away. To my surprise I found, among many other things long forgotten, an...

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The War in Afghanistan Formally Ended; The War in Afghanistan Informally Goes On

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 10:59 AM

On Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, US-led forces formally ended the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. Some 18,000 foreign troops, and about 10,600 of them American, however, are staying under the terms of two security pacts the Afghan government signed with the U.S....

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Self-Censorship Will Doom Us All: Why Hollywood Is Powerful But Doesn't Really Know It

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 7:25 PM

Free speech in America may be a constitutional right but self-censorship is an American congenital habit. From government officials to corporation executives, from filmmakers to the media, it happens at great frequency and intervals.

Sony Pictures, threatened by North Korea, is currently in hot water for canceling The Interview,...

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Bao Nguyen, Rabble Rouser Transforming Politics in Little Saigon, OC

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 4:47 PM

This week, Bao Nguyen takes office as mayor of Garden Grove. He is the city's first Vietnamese American mayor and its youngest ever to hold that office, having beat out his opponent and six-time incumbent Bruce Broadwater by just 15 votes.

For Vietnamese residents his win points to a...

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