A couple of insignificant words shouldn't matter much, but to me, it meant a lot. Forgetting a few words meant having awkward, half-formed conversations with my parents. It meant feeling alienated from an ethnic community that was strongly bound by a common language. Most importantly, it meant losing an inherent part of my Vietnamese identity. Each time I forgot another word, it was like I was a little less Vietnamese.
Mai Nguyen is a freelance journalist based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Marie Claire, Vox.com, Canadian Business, National Post, and Reader’s Digest, amongst others. She writes about business, travel, finance and pretty much anything that interests her.
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