Dinner & A Book - Stealing Buddha's Dinner
In 1974 Bich Ming Nguyen was 8 months old when her father fled South Vietnam with her and her sister, Ahn and thousands of other refugees who fled Vietnam. Bich describes what it was like for her and other refugees who found themselves in the Midwest of 1980. The family arrives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and from then on Bich has to learn to navigate U.S. culture as well as explore her own identity. What Bich knows about Vietnam she learns from her grandmother Noi who tends a little Buddha in her room as a connection to her former life in Vietnam. Noi is Bich's anchor to her heritage. Bich tries to fit in American by craving the foods of the time: Twinkies, Ho Ho's and other fast foods. This story is set in a time "before multiculturalism" and "before being ethnic was cool." And it describes how what we eat give us our identity.