r/IAmA Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

I Am Sahra Nguyen, a 1st generation, Vietnamese American, daughter of refugees, and Founder/CEO of Nguyen Coffee Supply. Today, I'm here to talk about Vietnamese culture, anti-Asian violence, how to be an ally and activism in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APAHM). Business

EDIT: Thank you for joining this Reddit AMA and asking wonderful questions! Until next time, you can learn more about us at http://nguyencoffeesupply.com!

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a celebration of the unique heritages, cultures, and complexities that comprise the Asian American community. Asian Americans are not a monolith. We have been in the U.S. for a long time and we've been as integral to the foundation of this country as well.

I'm here to talk about culture, identity, activism, and share my perspectives as the daughter of refugees from Vietnam. In the wake of #StopAsianHate and our collective consciousness to address racism and violence against the Asian and Asian American community, I believe one of the most critical things we can do right now is understand the unique, complex and nuanced experiences of Asian Americans as people. Ask me anything about Asian American culture, history, identity, politics and activism!

Sahra Nguyen Wants to Change the Trajectory of Vietnamese Coffee

Bushwick Coffee Entrepreneur Uses Her Influence to Fight Anti-Asian Violence

How Sahra Nguyen Is Reclaiming Vietnamese Coffee

My photo: https://twitter.com/NguyenCoffeeNYC/status/1390727465790750723

7k Upvotes

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u/Elderlyat30 May 07 '21

I live in Oklahoma and we have a large Vietnamese population.

The stories of perseverance are incredible.

Do you have distribution at Super Cao Nguyen in Oklahoma City? I’d love to support you.

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u/TheKingOfNerds352 May 08 '21

Ah, a fellow Oklahomie

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u/Hardshank May 08 '21

I love this. My girlfriend has family there and calls them Oklahomanians. I like this better.

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u/ImissDigg_jk May 08 '21

My ex was an Oklahoe and live in a 3 room Oklahome. She had a little Oklagnome in her yard.

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

We do not! Please reach out via our website.

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u/gqreader May 07 '21 edited May 07 '21

How much nuoc mam you keep in the fridge?

Cuz I'm at 2 glass bottles and I consider it running low if its just 1 bottle and I have to call my mom.

Edit: some people questioning why its kept in the fridge. this is the great debate that is analogous to white people asking other white people why they keep the butter in the fridge vs on the counter in a covered butter dish plate. fridge is smarter because it just be like that.

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

LOL, this 1000% relatable. Always 2 on deck.

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u/Ivykite May 07 '21

In the fridge?? I’ve always kept it in the pantry

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

I keep mine in the pantry, like my mom. However both ways are fine!

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u/cream-of-cow May 07 '21

If I didn't keep mine in the fridge and out of sight, I'd just drink it.

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u/helloasianglow May 07 '21

In the fridge? My family has always kept ours in the pantry/on the counter

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u/gqreader May 07 '21

this is the great debate that is analogous to white people asking other white people why they keep the butter in the fridge vs on the counter in a covered butter dish plate.

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u/StuperDan May 07 '21

It lasts longer in the fridge because every time you want to use it you realize it's too hard to spread. You remember the last time you tries to soften it in the microwave and what a clusterfreg of half melted half soild torn bread mistake that was and you consider buying the partially hydrogenated oil based wanna be butter your mom used and then you eat your cold toast dry.

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u/jaljalejf May 07 '21

The trick is toasting two slices of bread, top one hot toast with butter and cover with the other toast, leave for like 30 sec to 1 min, open and you have perfectly melted, soft butter to spread over your toast. If you want to microwave it, cut half of the whole butter stick, ideally mix in some herbs and garlic, and microwave for about 30 seconds (might vary based on your microwave). It should be partially melted liquid and partially a soft stick, mix it together and then spread it onto the toast! If you microwaved it in a container with a lid, you can now leave it out if you want or freeze it back again (although when we make this herb garlic butter it disappears in a day or two lol).

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u/thotuthot May 08 '21

This is the way

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u/tomanonimos May 07 '21

Both are fine with the only real difference being the fridge lasts longer. Most Vietnamese lived in an era without refrigeration and all use up their nuoc mam well before the fridge wins out on the expiration date.

I say put your opened nuoc mam (fish sauce) in the fridge if you don't use it often. Like that one bottle is going to last you at least 6 months.

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u/storiesti May 07 '21

When I was a kid I pulled out a bottle of nuoc mam from the fridge...and dropped it. 😩 I still cringe at remembering this

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u/gqreader May 07 '21

Did your parents force you to go live in vietnam in a hue village so you can gain greater appreciation of your privilege of being in the US and to not ever drop the nuoc mam ever again?

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u/chazzeromus May 07 '21

Classic viet parent move

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u/storiesti May 07 '21

That...oddly seems specific...did that happen to you?

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u/N4mFlashback May 08 '21

It didnt happen but my parents threatened it.

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u/AhnYoSub May 08 '21

The smell must’ve been fishy

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u/jhdiep May 08 '21

Are we talking about straight fish sauce or the wonderfully concocted mix of fish sauce with vinegar, garlic, red chili peppers, and optional lemon juice?

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u/gqreader May 08 '21

The blended sweeter one. Not the brown straight fish piss

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u/teekay61 May 08 '21

This now makes more sense - I was under the impression that the straight version is made by fermenting fish in a barrel and keeps for ages (think I've had a bottle on the go for a couple of years in the past). Either way no way near as potent as mam tom / shrimp paste - not brave enough to use that stuff at home.

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u/twec21 May 07 '21

This is gonna sound stupid, but, how do you pronounce "Nguyen?" I work in a caller center, I see it ALL the time, and I don't think I've ever heard it said the same way twice

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Great question! ProjectShamrock is correct!

If we're talking about the Anglicized version of "Nguyen" then common versions are "win" "nu-win" and "nu-yen".

The long explanation is -- Vietnamese is a tonal language, and there are tones that don't exist in the English language. So technically the tones of "Nguyễn" don't exist in English, so it's not a perfect translation.

But for your work at the caller center, any of the Anglicized version above should work great! :)

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u/1l1k3bac0n May 07 '21

The only problem with "win" is that Huynhs get kinda screwed over

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u/charliesk9unit May 07 '21

No matter how you say it, just don't include the G sound. I've heard "goo-win" before.

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u/asianauntie May 07 '21

New-gin was also popular pronunciation for a time. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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u/PhnomPenny May 08 '21

Yes and no. It has a g, but only the form which exists when combined with n (so if you say singing you can hear it twice).

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u/TomNg1211 May 08 '21

The ng in Nguyễn and singing is actually different than n+g. It's the nasal version of g (as with m and b, and d and n) so when one pronounces ng, they make the tongue shape you would make to say g, and hum (without closing your mouth).

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u/PhnomPenny May 08 '21

Not sure if it's the way I pronounce singing but it works perfectly when I take the ng out of it and apply it to Nguyễn.

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u/TomNg1211 May 08 '21

No yeah you're right with that, the ng in singing and Nguyễn are the same. What I meant was that ng is a different consonant altogether than n+g (or maybe we are pronouncing it completely different haha)

Cheers brother

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u/PhnomPenny May 08 '21

Gotcha! Yeah they have to be together, or trying to use /ng/ instead of /ŋ/ wouldn't work in the slightest.

In your accent/dialect, how many syllables would you say Nguyễn has? And where is yours from?

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u/TomNg1211 May 08 '21

With my very limited knowledge in linguistics, I would say in my southern Vietnamese dialect, we pronounce it as one syllable most of the time, where as in the north, Nguyễn is usually pronounced with two syllables, as the ~ tone there usually has a predictable insertion of a glottal stop in the middle of the vowel it's on.

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u/PhnomPenny May 08 '21

Exactly what I thought/experienced. I have more experience in the north where it's really defined, and got really confused with the combination of two tones in the south!

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u/Stumpy2002 May 08 '21

I've heard people pronounce it na-goo-win and it always bugs me.

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u/HuyKexl May 07 '21 edited May 08 '21

I never understood why we never teach people the nasal n as it‘s very easy to pronounce, i believe.

It‘s like the end of the word spring or sing, but instead of at the end, the word starts with it.

It still ignores the tonal part, but sounds better, imo.

Edit: just realized people can say singing, swinging and stuff, where it‘s not at the end.

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u/PhnomPenny May 08 '21

The issue is that it's at the start, which no English words have to my knowledge. Best way is to say sing, think about where your tongue is at the end of the pronunciation, then start with that ending sound instead with your tongue at the bottom of your mouth.

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u/binger5 May 07 '21

How does it feel being a Nguyenner in life?

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u/Razor1834 May 07 '21

A Nguyen is always better than a Laos.

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u/Shenaniganorama May 07 '21

I’ve never laughed at something so dumb, well done.

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u/AZNfaceOAKLBooty May 07 '21

Goddamnit, take your upvote.

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u/inexistentia May 07 '21

My partner is from the Mekong Delta (Dong Thap province) and she taught me to pronounce it "ngwen". Lots of pronunciation variations throughout the country I suspect.

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u/pclouds May 08 '21

Pronunciation variations true, but not for that word. The Southern accent to the North is like American to English accent. And there's a whole bunch of different accents in the middle of Vietnam.

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u/PhnomPenny May 08 '21

It does vary for that word, as the tone in the north makes it into two syllables, whereas it's one in the south.

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u/AznSzmeCk May 07 '21

I think it'd be difficult for an English speaker to make the proper sound, so don't sweat it and 'Win' is probably the closest you'll get. There's a nasal aspect to it; the best I can do is point you to the International Phonetic Alphabet symbol for the consonant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiced_velar_nasal

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

I agree! Love this approach -- don't sweat it. "Win" is a totally acceptable pronunciation of "Nguyen". How to pronounce "Nguyen" is one of the most defining questions of my generation! :-P

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u/rvkGSDlover May 07 '21

And the name "Ng"? Is that also pronounced the same as Nguyen?

And tell your folks welcome. I was in grade school back in the early 70's with some refugees. That had to be hard.

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u/liberterrorism May 07 '21

Ng is actually a Chinese name, pronounced Eng.

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u/TheSOB88 May 07 '21

if you can say "going," you have said the voiced velar nasal

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u/ProjectShamrock May 07 '21

As another non-Vietnamese person, I've been told to pronounce it like the word "win" as the simplest way for us to do it. However, I don't think that's 100% accurate so if she answers differently it will be interesting to read.

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u/Dangaroo44 May 07 '21

“Win” is a commonly accepted way to pronounce it. If you want something closer to the Vietnamese pronunciation I would say it sounds like saying “We-ing” really fast, slurring it together as one syllable (Vietnamese is a monosyllabic language). And since Vietnamese is a tonal language you get extra points if you say it like you’re asking a question (We-ing?).

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u/RiceCake6 May 08 '21

minor nitpick: Vietnamese has polysyllabic words, but the morphemes just happen to be separated with a space in writing, e.g cà phê, cào cào

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u/TheSkyIsWhiteAndGold May 08 '21

Wow I've never seen the pronunciation described that way and tbh I was sceptical until I sounded out myself. It's definitely the closest "trick" I've come across!

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u/dealio247 May 07 '21

+1 for this answer.

Alternatively, One of the best answers I've ever heard to this question(for the western tongue) is the second syllable in Penguin.

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u/HuyKexl May 07 '21 edited May 08 '21

I‘d include the n part of penguin and just cutting off the pe at the start and the g should sound like the first g in singing

Edit: or rather the ng sounds like the ng in singing, singer etc.

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u/mousachu May 07 '21

"Win" is the easiest way and most acceptable imo. The pronunciation on Google Translate is also correct, if you want to try getting the exact tones.

Worst I've heard is 'en-guy-en' and 'ni-goo-yen'. I can feel my soul leaving my body when I hear those

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u/twec21 May 07 '21

My dad once told me it was pronounced like "in-jun" and all I could think was no

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u/charliesk9unit May 07 '21

Who doesn't want "win" unless you win so much that you're tired of winning.

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u/nolaonmymind May 07 '21

As a fellow Nguyen, this always gave a good chuckle: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=32wBZwWFGT4

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u/charliesk9unit May 07 '21

This should be a word to use to test the validity of an AI system, like the Turing test. The moment the AI system can properly pronounce it, our AI Overlord has arrived.

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u/Error-451 May 08 '21

I'll try:

In the English language, the "Ng" part of Nguyen only appears at the end of words like "thing" or "helping" so it's not an impossible sound to make with the English tongue.

Practice by first saying the "ng" part of the word "thing" by itself. Get used to getting that "ng" sound out without needing it to be at the end of a word.

Once you can consistently say "Ng" try adding a long "u" to it to form "Ngu" which sounds something like "ngoo".

Lastly, add the "yen" at the end. It sounds like something between the name "Ian".

That's as close I've been able to get my American friends to say it. One friend whose name was "Ben Nguyen" trained people by saying the animal "Penguin" and changing the P to a B.

It kinda sounds like trying to say Penguin without the hard "g".

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u/HuyKexl May 08 '21

After reading through the comments, i may have found a good method, if nobody already suggested this.

Just say the words sing and win and cut the si of sing.

So singwin

Edits: minor mistakes

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u/iaowp May 08 '21

I just say hnwin.

Like almost a mumble followed by win.

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u/10thDoctorTeacher May 07 '21 edited May 08 '21

My father is a Vietnam war veteran who has often talked about visiting Vietnam to see it for the country it is, not through the eyes of that time period. He's open minded and curious about everything, including details that maybe he wasn't told during that time. I've been worried for him if he actually goes to visit, as I don't know how people feel about the veterans there (I'm a history major and understand there were a lot of problems caused by the U.S. that could lead to some understandably angry feelings). Do you have thoughts on this? Any recommendations for a 79 year old man (he doesn't look it!) to stay safe if he does decide to travel there?

Edit: I really appreciate all of the friendly advice! I had tried looking up information and there was a lot of positive stuff being said, but I honestly value individuals experiences and local opinions a lot. Thank you all, and I will encourage him to go now, and see if we can book a trip together!

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u/Bakergirl26 May 07 '21

Not OP (obviously) but I've spent a decent amount of time in Vietnam.

Generally speaking, your dad will be fine even if he chooses to go alone. Vietnam is generally very safe, but you have to keep your wits about you like you would in any city anywhere (don't flash lots of cash, keep an eye on your purse/wallet/passport, etc.) From what I experienced, people are much more welcoming to white Americans in the south than they are in the north. My husband and I were definitely viewed as sucker backpacker tourists for the most part in the whole country, but viewed with far more suspicion and distaste in Hanoi than Ho Chi Minh (as a history major, you can understand why)

There have been a lot of war vets who have gone back for the same reason as your dad. I saw a lot of them with their families at the War Remnants Museum in HCMC. It was the most incredibly emotional thing to see all these older men breaking down looking at the exhibits, recalling the terrible things they'd seen on their tours. It's well worth the visit, as is the whole country, and I think he'd probably get a lot out of it 50-ish years on.

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u/thedugong May 07 '21

The good thing about Vietnamese war museums is that they do not hold back on the horror of war. In the west (and Russia) it is more "look at these cool vehicles and heroic people". In Vietnam it's more "look at this devastated village and these crippled kids." Really points out how insidious propaganda really is.

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u/Bakergirl26 May 07 '21

That's something that I really appreciated. As an American, the angle taught in school is "if we didn't intervene, the whole area would have fallen!" And a lot of justification for razing villages filled with women and children and scatterbombing the entire region.

At the museum, there's captions like "After the Americans installed a puppet government..." While it's very one-sided and very pro-communist at times, I think it's important to remember that everyone loses in war, and that your side probably isn't right.

The legacy, some 50 or so years later, is that there are still plenty of kids born with deformities linked to the Agent Orange type chemical defoliants and a few hundred thousand small bombs that still explode and kill farmers and children in central VN and Laos while they're tilling or burning trash. Maybe that should be an addendum to the curriculum.

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u/iflipyofareal May 08 '21

In the guide book its called the "Saigon War Museum"... on the sign outside it said "Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes".... they didn't hold back

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u/10thDoctorTeacher May 07 '21

Thank you, this is very nice to hear. I would live to travel with him if I could, so I could help look out for all of the normal city scam issues!

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u/VNGamerKrunker May 08 '21

In Vietnam, there's a scam which claims you can trade USD for more VND to spend, but it's not true. The scammers will give you something like fake money in exchange for your money. (Sorry for my bad English though, but if this is able to help you then I'm glad)

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u/PartyCurious May 08 '21

Go to the gold sellers that vietnamese use and they do have better deals than bank. But it isnt much so not worth it for foriengers.

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u/2Foldornot2Fold May 08 '21

We’ve been going to Vietnam for 30 years. We always exchange our American money for Vietnamese Dong. American money has a higher value there and so you do get more Dong per dollar. I will say the odd part about changing money is that it’s done in jewelry stores.

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u/eunma2112 May 08 '21

I will say the odd part about changing money is that it’s done in jewelry stores.

Doesn't seem the least bit odd to me. Jewelry stores have lots of security and safes ... which make them a perfect location to also run a currency exchange on the side.

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u/VNGamerKrunker May 08 '21

Yeah, but there's also people in here who claims they can also trade USD to VND (not in jewelry stores), but the truth is they gave out fake money instead of real ones

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u/sneer0101 May 08 '21

Don't worry about the city scam issues. It's no different than anywhere else in the world.

If you're streetwise just like you'd be at home you won't have a problem.

I have never experienced a difference between people in the North and South either. They were all welcoming.

Hanoi as a city is vastly different than Saigon though. Saigon is much more westernised.

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u/luxii4 May 07 '21

I agree with the commenter above. I was born in Vietnam but live in the states. I went back with a group of people, some were white and one was an American vet. They love veterans and do not hold anything against the Americans. Even though Americans did cause the Massacre at My Lai, the people that reported it were other white soldiers and they totally love Hugh Thompson and Lawrence Colburn. The people know the difference between the government and the people. But since it is a Communist country, the a Remnants Museum and other places are pretty one sided. I think it’s still good in that it is true what happened just that it only shows one side. There are a lot of backpacking places where travelers stay and a lot of people speak English so he will be okay. I also recommend getting out of the city and seeing the scenic places in VN too.

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u/10thDoctorTeacher May 07 '21

All good recommendations! Thank you so much!

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u/Elzerythen May 08 '21

Wife is from Hue. I went and visited to do our wedding for her side and talk about a VERY inviting and friendly group of people! I went so many places with them. As u/Bakergirl26 stated, the South is a bit more inviting. I really do recommend going.

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u/ArrrGaming May 07 '21

It was the most incredibly emotional thing to see all these older men breaking down looking at the exhibits

Sometimes in /r/military you read some true horror stories. There's also a sub they link to sometimes (I forget the exact name) just for stories like this and... you can't read them without breaking down in tears.

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u/Bakergirl26 May 07 '21

I didn't want to go into too much detail about the museum, but yes. Watching 70 year old men with their grown sons and grandkids walking around exhibits and seeing the truth of the war from the Vietnamese point of view was... Heartbreaking. Lots of tears. I knew a lot of these hard old timers had seen lots of scenes like those and it all came flooding back when seeing the photos.

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u/AceOfSpades2911 May 08 '21

Vietnamese here. I don't live in the Northern region myself, but from all the tidbits I've picked up from the social media, many "real sucker backpackers" came to Vietnam to play beggars and take advantage of others' generosity, and there are more of them up North (at least, from what I've seen). Plus, people in the South tend to be more open in many aspects (cultural differences between regions, y'know). It's most likely that was the case for you and your husband. Most of us have already moved on from the past's grudges. After all, what done is done. It's honestly sad to see that you and your husband and other tourists were affected because of some rotten apples that spoiled the bunch.

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u/iflipyofareal May 08 '21

I travelled in Vietnam in 2010 and I've never heard anyone else say this! My wife and I dipped out into Laos to Vientienne after Hue because we genuinely felt like we were unwelcome as we passed towards the North. There was no direct hostility or anything, but peoples faces changed, if that makes sense? I completely understand that sentiment, and even at the time just felt like a bit of a dick for being there given the history. I'm sad I never visited Hanoi though

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u/Bakergirl26 May 08 '21

I found that everyone in the country was pretty friendly and super nice except for the service people in Hanoi. Cab drivers, people in the train station, and the people running our hotel were somewhat rude and tried to scam us several times. There were far more scams running on the streets as well. Regular people were fine and indifferent to tourists.

We definitely didn't play the beggar backpacker thing - that started happening more after we left and I think that behavior is total bullshit.

Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Hue and Da Nang were my favorite cities and I'd love to go back.

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u/ReCodez May 08 '21

As a northerner, that's a bit insulting.

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u/NottyRuble May 08 '21

I generally agree with your assessment, but as a white American who lived in Hanoi for a couple of years would like to add that I never felt unsafe physically (and I traveled to remote places solo frequently), and was at most subject to low level financial scams seen all over SE Asia in tourist areas.

A couple of times speaking to older Vietnamese men, they did appear gruff when they learned I was American (as opposed to another English speaking nationality).

But still, Hanoi is my happy place, <3 Vietnam

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u/LoLDamo May 08 '21

Not American but English living in Vietnam and it never ceases to amaze me how positively foreigners are received here especially Americans.

I doubt he'd have any issues.

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u/Seilok May 08 '21

we like everyone, except racists, and china for some obvious reasons

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u/1l1k3bac0n May 07 '21

Just confirming because it's relevant in the context of someone visiting Vietnam, is your father a white, American veteran or a Vietnamese veteran/immigrant?

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u/10thDoctorTeacher May 07 '21

White American veteran, born in a dairy farm town and joined the military to get out of the small town. He's traveled a little more since then!

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u/williamtbash May 08 '21

Not OP but Vietnam is one of the safest countries with the friendliest most Humble locals. He will be fine. I spent some time there and loved it. My dad's the same as yours. Wants to go back but unsure how he will feel about it. Also it's harder to do long distance trips like that at his age.

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u/PartyCurious May 08 '21

He would be fine and have a great time. I am an American that lives in Hanoi the capital of Vietnam. I go over to peoples houses that have brothers that died in the war. Never had someone be rude because I am american, always friendly. It is very safe here for Americans. When kids find out I am american sometimes they ask me. Do you know usa and vietnam went to war? I say yes. They will quickly say we won. It is a huge source of pride for the kids. Called the American war here.

If I was him I would go to phu quoc, saigon, da nang, hanoi and ha long bay. Maybe also angkor wat in cambodia because so close and worth it to see.

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u/ebo113 May 07 '21

Can't be any more dangerous than the last time he popped in for a visit.

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u/ProjectShamrock May 07 '21

I live in a part of the U.S. with a huge Vietnamese community and have friends who are both Vietnamese immigrants and descendants of Vietnamese immigrants. It feels like a lot of Americans who aren't of any sort of AAPI descent have become extremely familiar with Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cultures.

Apart from the food, what other aspects of Vietnamese culture should Americans from other backgrounds look into because it's something that would likely appeal to the majority of people? What music, film, art, etc. should we look into to gain a better understanding of Vietnamese culture?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Hi Project Shamrock! Great question about exploring the richness and diversity of Vietnamese culture!

Totally agree that food and beverage are easy access points into our culture, and, yes, there's so much more to appreciate!

For starters, Vietnamese music is AMAZING. You won't need to understand all the lyrics to feel the emotion of the song. Vietnamese music is very poetic, romantic and deep. I would start with some icons like Ngoc Lan and Khanh Ly. As a former painter, Vietnamese lacquer paintings are one of my favorite genres of art -- the colors, style and method are unlike any painting I grew up seeing in art museums here. In terms of films, my first rec is "A Village Called Versailles" which will offer one perspective into the painfully powerful Vietnamese American experience, post Katrina.

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u/ProjectShamrock May 07 '21

Thank you for the great response. I don't know if you'll see this for a follow up but it's kind of sad that you would consider yourself a "former painter". If the inspiration comes to you, please make time to revisit it. Sometimes we don't give ourselves enough free time to pursue our artistic interests (which I don't know if that is your situation or not) but I feel like art makes the world a better place.

Also thanks for the movie recommendation. I live in Houston and in the wake of Katrina I volunteered to help people coming from Louisiana and ended up being tasked with helping reunite families. That film must offer an interesting perspective that I hadn't really considered before.

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

I really appreciate the encouragement, thank you ProjectShamrock :) I'll keep the paintbrushes around.

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u/DEZbiansUnite May 07 '21

if you want some current music, check out Ngot or Thinh Suy if you want the indie feel, Son Tung or Min for pop, Wowy or Den for rap.

Also, just my personal preference but I prefer Le Quyen's rendition of the older style songs than Khanh Ly or Ngoc Lan.

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u/belltype May 08 '21

Following the "American War" Vietnam had a big fat ban on most music save for the romantic tones of prewar Vietnamese music--which, though nostalgic, is painfully campy at times. Kinda reminds me of that 50s lounge style of Flower of Carnage from Kill Bill.

For those of you still scrolling through this AMA, Vietnam has a cult following of its own metal. It's pretty gnarly as a bridge between cultures, and Viet rap also follows behind a lot of Eastern leads like China and Japan. Honestly, I want to encourage this mix so SEA Nations can provide a unique perspective. I believe western music has become common enough to simply be a part of everyone's culture.

Vietnam is probably responsible for virtually half of the anime out there as inbetweeners and full on management. In fact, Vietnam's post war economy is so focused on recovery and keeping up with current markets that they fear for a wave of aging population of workers and have Japanese advisors on this situation.

Another thing about Vietnam is its fashion. Nowadays I don't hear much in that sphere, but due to their past french connection, Vietnam/Vietnamese people have a thing for high fashion. The Ao Dai is probably the most unique and well adapted thing I've seen. (In fact, it's almost always the highest selling item in Final Fantasy XIV)

I think Vietnam is at the cusp of "advanced nation" due to how quickly they've become one of the top exporting nations and how fast its come along in their developments postwar. If anything, I'd like to see my culture mingle more than be taken as this sort of exotic exhibit.

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u/lampshade_rm May 08 '21

Something I also feel like people don't appreciate is the fashion, ao dais are sooo pretty. All my girlfriend's family get togethers have such pretty pictures cuz of all the ao dais.

also I love that everyone has to greet everyone, and the complexity of how to address people is super cool!

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u/xeric May 07 '21

You might want to check out the novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, a Vietnamese-American poet. The audiobook is read by the author. Really beautiful work

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u/da808state May 08 '21

Do you think it is appropriate to group Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders together?

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u/daven26 May 08 '21

I’m not even sure if grouping all Asians into one category does us justice. You’re literally taking half of the world’s population and just lumping them into one category.

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u/nhirayama May 08 '21

Yeap. Unfortunately I feel the same. There are elements of the Asian identity that make us very, very different from each other. While I support this cause, I can't say the same about others..

I hope the violence will stop and for that this movement is great.

But the idea of being grouped into one ethnic group is lazy, ridiculous and childish.

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u/MerlinsBeard May 08 '21

Sweeping generalizations are a bad thing?

/s

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u/flyingpomodoro May 08 '21

It’s a very American thing. In the UK, I hear that Asians refers to mostly south Asians. In the US, south/Middle-eastern/west Asians are usually excluded from the popular perception of Asians.

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u/Earthguy69 May 08 '21

I'm just asking but when did it become "known" that entire may is a month about this? Like who decides this?

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u/storiesti May 07 '21

Do you have any tips for studying Vietnamese?

Long backstory: My mom is Chinese from Vietnam and I grew up surrounded by Vietnamese people, food, temples and culture. But because my dad is an abusive Chinese ethno-nationalist (he’s not even from China tho) he completely suppressed any Vietnamese language at home. I struggle with identity issues and not fitting in either the Chinese community or the Vietnamese community. I don’t fit in with the Chinese community bc of cultural differences and some language differences, and I don’t fit in with the Vietnamese community bc I don’t speak the language, etc. For example, my Cantonese slang is that of Vietnamese people speaking Cantonese.

My mom would bring me to all these Vietnamese Mahayana temples and the elders would recognize me and comment on how they saw me grow up since 3 years old, and she would also tell me stories of the Vietnam of her childhood when I couldn’t sleep. And now she’s surprised I want to learn Vietnamese and visit Vietnam? The Vietnamese communities where I grew up always accepted me more than the Chinese communities, but it always pained me that I could not really reply to them.

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u/splendidcheese May 08 '21 edited May 08 '21

Your family situation reminds me a lot about Ali Wong that I read in her book Dear Girls. I think you might find it really helpful. Ali Wong says that her Chinese father was grouchy whenever her mom (I believe also Chinese Vietnamese) spoke Vietnamese so her mom started speaking it less and less and just never used it around their home and had to instead speak only Chinese to husband and children. So even though Ali Wong is both Chinese and Vietnamese, she said because of her father she didn't get to explore her Vietnamese side until university. She said her upbringing was the opposite of her husband's, who is Japanese from his dad and Filipino from his mom I believe, and her husband's parents encouraged their children to explore both of their parents' heritages.

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u/storiesti May 08 '21

I must read this book. Thank you for the recommendation.

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u/DEZbiansUnite May 07 '21

How much do you understand? If you're starting out from nothing at all then I would suggest approaching it like an elementary school student would and build up from the ABCs and learning the tones. It's ok if you can't differentiate between the falling tone (nga) and the questioning tone (hoi) since the Southern accent pronounces them the same anyways.

It might be hard to learn different regional dialects right off the bat so I would suggest picking one and working from there. Usually Northern or Southern is the way to go, the central dialect is the toughest unless that's where your family is from.

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u/hoangnguyen419 May 07 '21

I'm Vietnamese and Black American. The social climate right now isn't fun and not including feeling of not belonging to either group. I'm with Viet people, I feel Black and vicer-versa. I avoid the media nowadays. I rather just be on my own lol I accept myself. I speak Viet pretty well for being born in the U.S.. I hope you find happiness and comfort. Take some Viet classes. I did. It helped a lot.

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u/lefrench75 May 08 '21

If it helps, I'm Vietnamese too, and you're no less Vietnamese than any other Viet person. You belong to both cultures and both cultures belong to you.

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u/hoangnguyen419 May 08 '21

It does help. I appreciate your kind words. I would gladly be part of both cultures! Kindness is free and everyone deserves acceptance. Thank you!

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u/DrGoodTrips May 08 '21

I’m white and Vietnamese. I feel you bro. Your never quiet one or the other. The way I look at it though, no ones gonna tell me what I am or am not. I’m Vietnamese and proud, and you are too!

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u/hoangnguyen419 May 08 '21

Yeah! You're right! I'm real proud to be both Black and Viet.

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u/storiesti May 08 '21

Thank you, your message helped a lot. I accept you for who you are as well. I will try taking some Vietnamese classes. Maybe one day you and I will find groups we feel we belong to. And finally, may you also find happiness and comfort wherever you are.

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u/Magellie May 07 '21

Hi Sahra! I know that Viet Kieu often have a difficult time connecting with Vietnamese locals, especially if they aren’t as familiar among them towns and cities. How did you begin to build your relationship with the Vietnamese coffee farmers as a Vietnamese American?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Hi Magellie! As a Viet Kieu with a majority of my family still living in Vietnam, I get a lot of assistance in connecting with Vietnamese locals. I may travel to Vietnam alone but once I arrive, I spend all of my time with family. One thing that has helped me build my relationship with Vietnam is studying the written language. By learning how to read and write in Vietnamese, it's improved my Vietnamese speaking skills. In regards to building a relationship with our coffee farmers, my family supported me in establishing this in the early days. Trust is the most important thing in building relationships so I'd recommend finding ways to establish trust with anyone you're trying to build with -- personal or professional!

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u/brodingus May 07 '21

Did you hear about the discovery of Coffea stenophylla? Arabica like flavor, but grows in warmer climates. I wonder if this variety would grow well in Vietnam?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Based on the fact that Coffea stenophylla grows in similar conditions as robusta (Coffea canephora), and Vietnam is the #1 producer of robusta coffee beans, my assumption is YES, Coffea stenophylla would grow well in Vietnam! Did we just unlock the future of coffee???

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u/brodingus May 07 '21

I sure hope so. Not sure about it's viability currently, seems to be a low yield plant. Promising genetics for the future of coffee though!

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u/pngoo May 07 '21

Loyalty or Truegrit for you? I just bought a bag of Loyalty and it tastes great, but not as strong as I was expecting. I’m planning on trying Truegrit next for that Vietnamese-coffee kick

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

It depends on the drink recipe I'm making! If I'm making a coconut or pandan latte, 100% robusta with Truegrit is the way to go. If I'm making a Vietnamese latte or cappuccino with a smidge of sweetened condensed milk and steamed milk, I go with Loyalty.

When you say "not as strong" -- is this related to the taste or the caffeine kick? Admittedly, our Truegrit is a medium roast to bring out the most flavor notes, so it won't have a dark roasted experience. However, the darker the roast, the more caffeine content is lost through roasting. So if you're interested strong coffee in terms of caffeine content, Truegrit is the way to go! Also depends on your brew method and coffee to water ratio. But if you wanted a dark flavor that signals strong, I can totally see where Truegrit may not meet your expectations there.

Thank you for trying us out!

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u/pngoo May 07 '21

I’m speaking for both the caffeine content and dark taste. Thanks for the clarification on what to expect - I’m still excited to give Truegrit a try even if it may not be as dark as I’m used to. I’m a huge fan of Vietnamese coffee and am so glad to see your company doing what it’s doing.

Something I’ve also noticed is that my brews aren’t as dark in color compared to when I use my other Vietnamese coffee brands, even with the same coffee content and brew times. Do you know if this is also due to Loyalty being a medium-roast vs a dark-roast?

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u/EnderSavesTheDay May 08 '21 edited May 08 '21

I am also a 1st gen Vietnamese American. I started home roasting during the pandemic so see your ads all the time!

I am 33 and just recently learned Vietnam has 54 distinct ethnic groups--the most in all of Southeast Asia. Has your business dealings shed any light on the issues they face today and ways we can help lift their voices?

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u/whatsajawsh May 07 '21

Your roastery is in Brooklyn, so what’s your favorite coffee shop in NYC?

Mine’s gotta be Joe on Waverly place. Just wish there was sitting room

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

My favorite coffee shop in NYC/BK is Mixtape Bushwick!

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u/chausitinh May 08 '21

Chào chị.

What makes Nguyen Coffee Supply different from, say, Trung Nguyên or other brands from Tây Nguyên?

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u/Dawn_of_Dark May 07 '21

Hi, Vietnamese person here. I’m currently living in Vietnam and had lived for some years in California before. I am a big coffee fan. I drink a lot of specialty coffee these days, from both foreign terroirs and Vietnamese origins. Through friends and coffee community, I have heard of your company and the work you do interests me, so it’s quite fun to see you taking questions here on Reddit!

As a Vietnamese person, I am quite familiar with the way coffee is most consumed in Vietnam: by using phin or espresso machines with Robusta coffee, often served with condensed milk and ice. Nowadays, I enjoy drinking this now and then, but I must admit it cannot be compared to the specialty grade Arabica coffee I prefer to brew and drink. My question for you is thus: as a coffee entrepreneur, why did you choose to focus on Robusta and not Arabica coffee from Vietnam?

I am aware that Vietnam produce predominantly Robusta (up to 95% of total coffee being produced), but I have had the pleasure of drinking the rare Arabica lots from Vietnam origins that I think are excellent and delicious, and dare I say even comparable to specialty coffee from Colombia or Panama. I also admit that Vietnam has a long way to go to able able to catch up to the leading countries in producing the best coffee. It seems to me support or interest from a foreign businesswoman like you (a Viet Kieu no less) would have a such a positive impact on bringing everyone’s attention to the best coffee Vietnam has to offer.

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u/DaegobahDan May 08 '21

How do you feel about lumping all Asians and Pacific Islanders together when its a minimum of three separate histories and progenitor cultures?

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u/Ullopaa May 07 '21

I heard about you before when I was researching Vietnamese coffee which I want to try. Great to see you on this subreddit.

My boyfriend is a second-generation refugee Vietnamese/danish. So I have many wonders and questions about Vietnamese culture and especially what it's like for him to find his own identity. Even who he was born and raised in Denmark, I can imagine it must be hard to feel like you belong. He grew up in two different cultures split between his home life and outside life.

I have often experienced racism with him where they will treat me better than him. The other day when I came to the local store to pick up a package I had ordered online. I just had to give her the package number and she gave it to me.

A couple of days later my boyfriend had to pick up a package he had ordered, he picked it up at the same store and by the same person. She asked him to show his passport for Id to confirm it was his package (which he had actually brought cause he knew stuff like this would happen). I stood beside him while it happened and then we walked away I told him it was weird he had to do that cause the other day I didn't have to show ID at all. He told me they were racist and this is normal for him to experience. It made me really heartbroken, and I especially hate this kind of racism because it's the hidden kind that's not gonna raise an eye from the public and realize how bad Asians are treated everywhere.

I wish people would take Asian hate more srs. My family will often make Asian stereotype jokes about my boyfriend, and while he is fine with it and I can take an edgy joke and know it's not meant harmful, those small things like "just joking" are very harmful because it's gonna make it harder for anyone to take the Asian hate more srs.

As a white Dane, I feel like it's not in my place to try and fight Asian hate, the voice should come from the victims. But I really want to speak out.

What can I do to spread awareness of Asian hate in my community? How can I help out in a respectful way?

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u/ShitJadeSays May 08 '21

How do you pronounce Nguyen? I've heard so many versions of it I have no idea what's correct. Where I work we have tons of Asians nearby and I hate mispronounced their names when I pull them up for rewards accounts. I always try, but I wanna get it right.

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u/Somadis May 08 '21

How many cup of coffee do you drink a day? Also, where can I buy your coffee in the Dallas area?

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u/KritzKrig May 08 '21

How do you pronoun Nguyen is with or with out the “G” and also how hard do you pronounce the n?

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u/NateDawg655 May 07 '21

How do you brew your morning cup of coffee at home ? How would you overall describe Vietnamese coffee tasting notes ?

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u/chickennoobiesoup May 07 '21

Not OP but if you haven’t brewed coffee in a little metal pot with a grate on the bottom that sits on top of your cup then would highly recommend

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u/Fun-Transition-5080 May 07 '21

It’s my understanding the indigenous Vietnamese have been run off their lands and coffee plantations run by the state constructed on these lands. Are your suppliers part of this?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Our suppliers are not part of this as we work with a multi-generational family-owned and operated farm.

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u/Fun-Transition-5080 May 07 '21

I’m glad to hear it. The locals in the highlands in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have had a rough couple of decades.

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u/Sxeptomaniac May 08 '21

My in-laws are Khmu, the indigenous peoples from the Laos back-country, and this is true. They've been having a particularly difficult time with Chinese companies buying up land from anyone desperate or misled into selling. The purchased land is then stripped of all the resources that the village would traditionally rely on, compounding poverty, so the companies can buy more land to strip.

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Thank you for letting us know. We'll look into it!

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u/1303 May 07 '21

Can you link a source for this claim? I tried Google'ing around but couldn't find anything relevant.

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u/Fun-Transition-5080 May 07 '21

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u/orphan_clubber May 08 '21

for anyone reading this: this site is a US state backed think tank. It’s like linking radio free asia.

I’m not saying this isn’t happening, but the source linked is incredibly dubious.

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u/Nicheti1A May 07 '21

I'm curious about this, too.

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u/AddSugarForSparks May 08 '21

... hipster cafes around Brooklyn were selling “Vietnamese coffee” — coffee made with sweetened condensed milk — that didn’t use Vietnamese beans. “If you’re trying to profit off that cultural cachet, then Vietnamese producers should be a part of it,” she said.

When you eat Italian, do you make sure all of the pasta is sourced from Italy?

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u/F_D_P May 08 '21

The most popular pasta brands in America are Italian brands...

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u/alliknowis May 08 '21

Why do companies making statements like this always seem to be taking advantage of gullible consumers? It's another variation of 'One dollar of every purchase guess toward...', and they're rarely genuine. The conversation could have happened without selling your product.

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u/empty_coffeepot May 08 '21

My parents are also Vietnamese refugees. They immigrated in the late 70's to America. They are hardcore trump supporters and so is my uncle. I recently met up with one of my Asian high school friends who confessed to me his parents were trump supporters as well. I told him he's not alone and my theory is there's no moderate source of Vietnamese American news out there. If you search for Vietnamese news on YouTube you are flooded with the equivalent of OAN and Newsmax. It fucking drives me insane whenever I visit them, what are your thoughts on this?

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u/Manaleaking May 07 '21

I remember your last AMA. Thanks for coming back. How do you hire the right people to maintain the relationships with your suppliers and clients? How can you tell someone in that position is good at their job? What are your plans in terms of succession in the business?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Hi again! Thank you for joining us again :)

Hiring is always tough, especially in the early days. Currently, I am still the main point of contact to maintain relationships with suppliers -- especially all of our partners in Vietnam -- because this is a very special relationship rooted in my family history, cultural connection and trust. Also, it requires someone who can read, write and speak in Vietnamese, which I currently do to run the business.

In terms of succession plan -- I haven't thought this far yet since we are just getting started!! However, it is my dream to build this company up to be bigger than me, fully sustainable without me and to become a positive, regenerative ecosystem for everyone along the supply chain to consumers.

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u/caphesuadalover May 07 '21

What are some brew tools and techniques from Asian cultures we should know about?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

We're huge champions of the traditional Vietnamese phin filter or Vietnamese coffee maker!!! There's no paper waste, it's super easy to use, makes a versatile cup of hot or iced coffee, strong espresso style or light americano style (with the second pour). We are TEAM PHIN!!

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u/alarmclock3000 May 07 '21

Why did you decide to use "Nguyen" Coffee Supply when there are so many Nguyens out there?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Because I wanted to bring more visibility and representation to my community by putting "Nguyen" front and center. I also think it's a great access point to discuss pronunciation, diacritics, tones and linguistics.

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u/jBrick000 May 07 '21

What is your opinion on education making it harder for Asians to enrol based on SAT scores?

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u/Job_Precipitation May 08 '21

It's the systemic racism they keep talking about.

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u/[deleted] May 07 '21 edited May 07 '21

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u/randomwalker2016 May 07 '21 edited May 07 '21

Hello from a HK/Singapore/China mix-blood. I haven't tried Vietnamese coffee. Is there a mix of French culture in Vietnamese coffee? I'm pretty sure British culture influenced HK milk tea- and most likely Singapore Teh-C.

What makes Vietnamese sandwiches so delicious? Is it fish sauce?

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u/LightSlayerPantyOn May 08 '21

In one of your responses, you asserted that Vietnamese music is amazing. How then does that explain my years of suffering and torment when my parents cranked up the speakers to their Pioneer laser disc karaoke machine?

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u/Paradisoer May 07 '21

Hey Sahra, thanks for speaking up about your experience.

When I was growing up as a 1st generation immigrant, I was dealing with a lot of identity issues, not fully understanding why I was told certain things or to act a certain way. As I became older and found successes in life, I began to connect the dots on what I had thought were issues with the way my parents express themselves. Their worries and lack of safety actually manifested from a war-torn country during their childhoods. My mom witnessed her father burn in a fire when a bomb was dropped in South Vietnam while my dad's father endured decades of PTSD from the war.

What is your advice for young people who may not understand the generational differences of being an immigrant?

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u/DocAntlesFatLiger May 07 '21

Slight side track, but do you (or other commenters) know why Pacific Islanders are lumped in with Asian Americans sometimes in the USA? I'm from New Zealand and have often noticed that USAmerican concepts of ethnicity are a bit different to ours. Asians and Pacific Islanders are two of our biggest modern immigrant groups, as well as some of our earliest settlers. Here I've never seen them considered a single group or even closely related groups and I'm just curious as to how that happened.

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u/thatdandygoodness May 08 '21

Take this with a grain of salt, I’m just some random stoner who wants to give his two bits from his personal experiences. Your mileage may vary.

Anyone that comes to America from the west/pacific is lumped into this group. Cambodia, Japan, Tonga, Faka Rava, Tahiti, Korea, New Zealand. Basically anything that’s on the Asian continent or located in the Pacific (other than Australia), will be considered part of this group.

When I’m back in California where I grew up, as soon as I tell people I’m half Polynesian, I’m instantly considered as a part of this group. When I’m here (would rather not say which specific archipelago I’m living in), I’m considered a mixed-blood as soon as people hear my name or that my mom is from here. Here I gain respect/local privilege. Back in the states I usually get treated with slightly elevated interest but I’d say I would regularly catch a hint of disdain, almost like I’m “less than.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “oh my god wait. Wait. So you’re from the SOUTH Pacific!! Where even is that?! But you’re white!” and then in a horrified whisper “so like...are you guys canniba—HAVE YOU EATEN HUMAN?!?!” I’m not shitting you this has happened on multiple occasions. People somehow have no idea where Pacific Islanders live, nor what we’re like. They assume we’re a bunch of savages stuck in the 1600’s if they even know what a Polynesian person is.

West 13! Tītoi.

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u/DocAntlesFatLiger May 08 '21

Thanks for your perspective! Seems like a real blind spot about our part of the globe. Although I'm sure I have plenty of blind spots too, just can't see them.

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u/thatdandygoodness May 08 '21

You nailed it bud. In school we were taught about Pearl Harbor and that country next to Australia that’s great for filming movies.

The nuclear testing our nūna’a were forced to go through was NEVER mentioned. Tattoo culture is kinda weird and complex, so it’s only certain people that know about the history of tattoos. But most only have a very general understanding of where it comes from...kinda. And I’ve yet to met anybody in the US that can tell me what even a single aspect of a Polynesian design means, let alone which archipelago it came from!

Sure we know the Marquesas and the Cook Islands and Fiji and Easter Island exist, but they’re only ever mentioned in passing. Hell, I’d bet half the kids I grew up with don’t even know they exist.

There’s a lack of knowledge about our culture, but you’re admittedly right, there’s always going to be blind spots all over the world. And honestly in most ways, it’s nice living on a small island with a very communal feel about it, hearing our native language spoken in daily conversations and songs, seeing people dance the same way our ancestors did, eating the same foods our ancestors did, made with homegrown/wildfound foods. I don’t want to see hotels and coke cans filling up the mountains and rivers, I want to see people that are so friendly it’s faster to hitchhike than ride the bus. I want to see rainbows sprawled over trees, not a Costco that blocks the rainbow and had the trees removed for a parking lot. But I also want people to know about this place. And want to learn more about the other blind spots that are out there, but don’t have the means to travel to these places/sometimes don’t know where they are.

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u/DocAntlesFatLiger May 08 '21

That's a beautiful sentiment. Next on my list of islands to visit is Rarotonga... And only partly because the Cooks are joining our bubble this month so it's the only place I can go ;)

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u/cbrad1713 May 07 '21

Do you ever get sick of being referred to by some not by your actual heritage or background, but by acronyms?

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u/ActionPoker May 07 '21

Pho or bun bo hue?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

This is tough....... if I HAD to choose, I would say pho. You?

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u/LabashTheMighty May 07 '21

As an Asian-American who do you believe is the most likely to commit a hate crime against Asians? How do you feel about the medias handling of the current anti-asian hate crimes?

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u/orientalthrowaway May 08 '21

Of course she won't answer this. I also think she wouldn't encourage to arm themselves either

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u/Milkhemet_Melekh May 07 '21

As a Jewish-American, I would like to note that the experiences of different Asian American communities - Jews included, as a West Asian community - often overlap. While I've had fun discussing similarities and overlap with Indian and Chinese friends, associates, and scholars in particular regarding our modes of cultural expression, philosophy, and traditional beliefs, while the association of Jews and Chinese food is almost stereotypical of the US, I think there's something deeper here to explore.

East Asian Americans and Jewish Americans both often fall into stereotypes of privilege and are treated almost in a sort of scheme of 'adopted whiteness' by some activist circles. I think we can both agree that we suffer for it, our struggles are often not as recognized, and being treated with the 'model minority' stereotype is not only often inaccurate, but is directly harmful to both us and other minority groups in the US. Moreover, it disguises that, even in cases of significant financial success, we are still under significant threat of discrimination, generalized bigotry, and exclusion. Even progressive spaces may act exclusionary towards us.

It's this reason why I'm glad we share a heritage month - apart from the fact that Jews, geographically, originate from Asia, I think there's more than enough cultural and philosophical overlap, as well as a rather massive overlap in the hyphenated-american experience at play as well. I've discussed this with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Nepali, and Jewish friends and associates, and it seems to be a general agreement, at least among those I've talked to.

I'm curious over a few things, such as how the Vietnamese community feels about this comparison, this paradigm? I believe Vietnamese Americans are one of the most severely affected by the harm of the Model Minority trope, as compared to many immigrants from Northeast Asia, those from Southeast Asia often came as refugees and struggled even more to adapt to their new home.

Moreover, I'm curious if similar sentiments to what I've expressed here have been echoed in the circles you've been active in? I'd hope so, because I do feel there's a genuine connection here - but always best to hear from the mouths of those most active, of the representatives and leaders of communities.

Most of all, though, I'd like to hear what advice you have for combating the dangers of the Model Minority stereotype, and getting those affected access to the social spaces and support that they need.

Thank you for your consideration!

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u/HappyHappyGamer May 08 '21

I don’t have much time to respond, but you speak my language. Not many people really are aware of these dynamics. Would love to speak with you about it if it is ok! Ok back to work lol (shouldn’t be using reddit right now LOL!)

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u/Milkhemet_Melekh May 08 '21

I'd be happy to discuss it, yeah. It's not really my AMA but it's important to have these discussions.

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u/cream-of-cow May 07 '21

I'm only familiar with Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk, I consumed so much of it in the 1980s and '90s before I cut out dairy and sugar. Has coffee culture in Vietnam changed in recent years with different drinks or their own take on drinks?

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u/ravenitrius May 08 '21

This is kinda embarrassing but I am a child of two vietnamese parents whose parents were from both north and south. I know not nothing of my family’s language. I also have the last name “Nguyen”. How do you cook your Pho?

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u/DrGoodTrips May 08 '21
  1. What do you think about war babies/mixed Asians and their children, and their role in the movement?

2.What do you think about Vietnam and the Vietnamese government right now?

  1. What do you think about the tensions between Viet kieu and those still in Vietnam or more generally the north south divide

  2. What else do you think can be done that is not already being done?

  3. Do you have a bahn xeo blanket?

  4. If not, you should get one ☝️

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u/lampshade_rm May 08 '21

Hey! 2 questions:
1. what's your fave protein to eat in goi cuon? (mines salmon or banh xeo)

  1. My girlfriend's parents are refugees from Vietnam. They protest against the Vietnamese government often and are the organizers for these events. However with the pandemic and the isolation, they've fallen into the fox news/right wing internet hole and it's hard to get them out (They also refuse to acknowledge we're dating but that's a whole other thing). Do you have any advice for people that have parents who have survived and fight against an oppressive government like that of Vietnam, but are falling prey to propaganda still?

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u/Alwayssunnyinarizona May 07 '21

How did your upbringing and culture drive your interest in becoming a coffee entrepreneur?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Hi Alwayssunnyinarizona! This is a great question.

Growing up in Boston as a 1st generation, Vietnamese American and daughter of refugees in the late 80s and 90s, I often felt invisible due to the lack of representation in media, music videos, magazines and TV. When I discovered activism in high school through the Coalition for Asian Pacific American Youth (a non-profit org housed within the Asian American Studies Program at UMass Boston), I grew a passion for social justice, which put me on my lifelong path to increasing visibility and representation of my community.

When I discovered that Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world, I realized that many people including myself were unaware of this fact, and this is due to lack of transparency and representation. Vietnamese coffee has essentially been excluded from and rendered invisible in the coffee community. This is when I saw a connection between the Asian American experience and Vietnamese coffee (beans & farmers) -- we are rendered invisible by mainstream society.

This is when I decided that I would change this by becoming a coffee entrepreneur and starting Nguyen Coffee Supply. By bringing visibility and transparency to Vietnamese coffee farmers, the 2nd largest producer of coffee in the world, we create opportunities for economic advancement and agricultural, social and cultural sustainability.

We established our first farm partnership in 2016, incorporated in March of 2018, and launched nationally (product in market) on November 17, 2018.

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u/Alwayssunnyinarizona May 07 '21

Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world

I learned something today, thank you! I am glad that you were able to strengthen your cultural identity through that coffee connection!

I am not the coffee drinker in the family - my wife is, but I love learning how things are made. If you have time, I'm curious to hear what your thoughts/plans are for promoting your connections through e.g. tourism (farm tours, etc.). Best of luck!

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u/ScarletFeverOrYellow May 07 '21

Your coffee is delicious! My partner and I are big fans. Which one is your favorite?

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u/nguyencoffeesupply Scheduled AMA May 07 '21

Thank you so much. This is like asking which child is your favorite. I love them all equally! And I drink Loyalty everyday. :)