How background and culture plays a role in everyday life.

As I have gotten older, I sought out like minded people who I can share my life’s journey.

Luckily, one’s own individual culture can be practiced here in Canada.

I sought out Vietnamese people to connect with since 2017 when I ventured back to school at Durham College.

The reason I did was I felt I needed that deep down. I guess it is the phase in your life to seek out your cultural roots.

These Vietnamese students from Vietnam held a unique perspective and had smarts. They were able to learn English and navigate their way into doing school and work after.

It was surprising to see this. Back in 2008 when I was in university, I did not see many Vietnamese students. Now that Vietnam has quite developed, I see many Vietnamese students here in Canada pursing this and that.

A different perspective that you can relate with helps with mentorship and relationship building.

I saw this Japanese-American Computer Software Engineer now YouTuber mention this: Mayuko. She explores her roots time-to-time in her videos exploring her Japanese and American identity.

Basically find someone with a similar background as you or someone who can empathize with you.

I had to put myself out there and find my people so I could ask questions. I was looking for help and to help back. It is natural to ask for help and find that someone who can guide you on the right path. I did not do this until 2017.

I reconnected with my cousins back home in Vietnam recently. We talk online daily. I really needed that.

My cousins back home think like me. We are all supportive of each other. I am lucky to have these connections with Vietnamese here in Canada and my Vietnamese family back home.

The friendships I created with Vietnamese here and abroad helped me understand myself. No longer was I just an empty undriven person. I now had the opportunity to experience what it was like to be friends with Vietnamese and enjoy socializing about the things I experience first-hand being either Vietnamese, Canadian, and Vietnamese-Canadian.

I can always have a laugh with my Vietnamese friends and family as there are unique things that Vietnamese people only get. It is so much fun even just talking/messaging over Facebook/Discord. No need to travel or spend tons of money to have a laugh.

Vietnamese-Canadian Identity

The idea of Vietnamese-Canadian identity gets more confusing for me as I get older. I feel sometimes I just happen to be a Vietnamese guy living in Canada but it depends.

Sometimes different interactions alter that view.

The Canadian or American view of Vietnamese can be very bad or very good. It is usually so very Westernized and I find it does not define me.

I found that only Vietnamese from Vietnam can really display what being “True Vietnamese” really is. The Westernized view is not all encompassing of the Vietnamese culture and all it’s people. I have been to Vietnam many times and each time I go back I learn something new at different growth phases in my life as a Canadian-born Vietnamese. I have grown away from the Westernized viewpoint that I grew up from. Only Vietnamese people can truly show and tell what it is really like to be Vietnamese. You don’t go to a history museum to learn. You go straight to the source. Even going back to the motherland.

Vietnamese who have been in Canada long enough all share something universal. It is hard to explain.

Last August I was speaking to Vietnamese people around my age and older to volunteer at their non-profit charity organization for Vietnamese and we all just clicked. There was harmony being together over the Zoom call. We just are all Vietnamese working to provide services for Vietnamese and anyone willing to take part in our culture.

Other viewpoints from other cultures may work with, work against or even use ‘Vietnamese’ people.

I avoid being ‘different’ and just work with people who value me for me. It is a select few.

Or maybe I am misunderstanding the ‘Vietnamese-Canadian’ identity. I have not worked and played with enough Vietnamese-Canadians. But the connection I have with older Vietnamese here solidify me. I think I know what is going on.

Finally Vietnamese-Canadian?

I have no choice and things are going well 🙂.

My background, my dream, my voice are being presented finally now. I feel comfortable. Hopefully not too comfortable …

My background as a Vietnamese-Canadian is a downer and a privilege. Back when I was a teenager and young adult the ‘world media’ presented Vietnamese in a bad light in the area where I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s. I grew up in those years as negative with negative surroundings … while I was positive inside. I knew the media wasn’t telling my story or how I felt inside. How could they? They aren’t Vietnamese speaking with a Vietnamese mindset.

It has been over 40 years since the Vietnam War, and I have finally become strong enough to be comfortable in saying that I am Vietnamese-Canadian. I am 38 years old this year (2022).

The way I look and my Vietnamese culture/race has always been negative things before and still now. Let me explain …

I remember studying practical nursing back in 2019 at Centennial College in Scarborough and I was expected to play out “my role” as the stereotypical Asian man who studied really hard and took care of people and things because of the way I looked and because I was “older” and “mature”. Yes, in healthcare there is racism. It was stressful because I am not the stereotypical Asian man who studies healthcare all day wanting to become a healthcare professional like other Asians. I don’t think of myself grouped up with the Asians who do healthcare.

My mother ‘finally’ told me that when I was in her belly as a baby, she thought and felt I would become a ‘computer person’. I now understand that and am just pursuing computers now (I am just a computer technician really). No longer am I wanting more in different fields. It has made me healthier and happier just doing computers as I found there are so much more and great positive collaborative people I can work with in the computer space that I enjoy and grow from.

The teachers I met at Durham College are amazing human beings. I met two outstanding teachers who ‘fully embody computers’ which I will talk about later in another post.

Now, I thought I would be done with school this semester but it looks like no.

There are actual people (teachers) that learn more and more which changed my focus to be more like them which is mature thinking for me.

Doing more and more school just makes sense if I want to continue making content for my websites.

I realize I am a product producing person. My friend Ben Cybulski is the same way.

I should not diverge from that activity as that makes me, me. I have used computers quite a bit and kind of understand what to create.

I disconnected from the “physical world” and just focused on me.

Vietnamese are doing pretty well now I think. Well the friends that I know here and abroad are thinking progressive and technological. There are many Vietnamese IT professionals and Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) city has been known for software programming since 2016 or earlier I think (I jumped on the programming bandwagon 🙂). Even Vietnam is producing more IT products (CPUs/Motherboards) and even an Electric Car: VinFast.


I have these problems and feelings (this blog) because I am living out of my comfort zone of being a computer technician to become a computer programming and getting old.

Also being Vietnamese-Canadian, I have this duality problem.

I have spoken to other Vietnamese-Canadians\Vietnamese-Americans and they too have mixed feelings and mixed views. I am not the only one.

I can live in two worlds: 1. Canadian-Vietnamese and 2. Vietnamese. It is beneficial to understand 2 different worlds at the end. More ways to understand a problem.

But as I get older, I just see problems …

I think this is solved based on who you marry as the wife will decide how to live and where to live.

My Personalized Culture

I have lived the way I want for many years.

The way I live hasn’t changed much since I was little.

Recently, my mom said something powerful that it took me a while to understand its value.

She said “To be born a human is a privilege. When is the next time you have this opportunity? Don’t waste it away doing nothing.

I did not understand this at first.

How I understand it is that you should just do it.

Do what you crave. Do what you feel you need.

Basically, just experience everything there is to life!

The Vietnamese with Kenneth Nguyen Podcast

Very meaningful interview with Leyna Nguyen who is a famous TV reporter

After watching this interview it hits me. She is making a difference in her community by teaching Vietnamese all around the world learn English after being a famous TV reporter. And she is doing this all free.

Doing this keeps her young and motivated. She is sharing her wealth of knowledge. She is professional and understands the problems and addressing them.

For me I am just a computer technician. I am trying to do more and mature. I am trying to make myself a knowledgeable person with opinion and views that are worthwhile.

I currently develop software with my friends that is free and trying to teach anyone in my shoes to keep busy and get more out of life.

Some people already know what they are doing in life. I am interested in helping those people who are at a crossroads not knowing what to do.

Programming was the solution for me. But also because I was interested in it 40%.

I hope to make a difference to keep me young and motivated at 38 years old.

I think another 3 years of what I am currently doing will help solidify me.


I have a saying that I put in my social feeds that says: “Avoid polarizing negative people”.

So far the negative people in my life were stuck in 16th century frame of thought about how people should be and how things should be.

I have trying to avoid these people all my life. I only found a few people who think like me in this world.

Heck even sometimes I feel boxed in thinking old … I try to avoid it at all costs though by catching myself and removing the limits.

But as we get older and wiser, we can not settle and must think in new ways.

I am pushing hard right now trying to catch new ways of thoughts and feelings to hurdle me in good feeling directions.

It is about time now to push. I am getting older and don’t want to settle getting old and waiting around …

I need to keep fresh and young always.

You need to keep thinking in new marvel ways because isn’t that life? That is how life was made?


I used 23andMe DNA genetic testing and found my relatives finally all over the world.

I have 1500 relatives it says.

I connected to 12 of them so far (Mar 2, 2023).

I finally realize how extended family affects me.

I avoided family for all my life thinking my immediate family was the only thing worth working with and taking care of.

But I realize now, some of these 3/4/5th cousins on 23andMe think like me. They even look like me with the same nose shape.

My parents never sponsored family overseas to Canada. This affected me a lot. By now connecting to cousins that look and act like me I can work on growing up to be like them as they are comfortable with themselves with the way they look and think in the modern Western world.

My immediate family don’t think or act like me. I struggled throughout life trying to help my immediate family finish school at least to broaden their mind to think anything is acceptable and possible but they continued to try to make everyone work like a unit which is wrong when people naturally play and work with people who look like them in the outside world. At least a cousin that looks like you/thinks like you, you should be able to work with and start a business with rather than a sibling that makes you feel conflicted with.

Everyone on their Own

There isn’t much to say about cousins … yet?

Living and working in the Western world, the capitalistic goals overthrows everything else?

Family are all trying to survive on this side of the world and gather enough for retirement at least … there isn’t room for anything else …


What is life about at this point as a older man?

I went to the multicultural city of Toronto yesterday (March 24, 2023) and tried to have fun. I walked along Front Street near Union Station.

I went to St. Lawrence Market. I haven’t been there in 20 years.

Things are different this time around mostly. I behave controlled and mature now.

For the past 15 years after finishing university in 2008, I was trying to build my personality. Build my character and build my voice. I now have depth to my character now.

In general society, we are painted stereotypically based on what we look like and the first 3 seconds of interaction.

If the person you are interacting with is from your culture, there can be more depth.

After interacting with Vietnamese-Canadians (mainly Vietnamese born in Canada), I feel understood and accepted finally.

I have been living on the edge living out here in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

I lived in the model minority ‘Asian’ stereotype.

I accomplished various things living this stereotype.

Not knowing much, I did Asian things like getting a Life Sciences degree, working many various jobs and even almost accomplishing a Computer Programming diploma.

It has given great understanding in life. All Asian parents want their kids to try Life Sciences to become a doctor or an engineer.

By accomplishing my programming diploma soon this year, I realized this push by Asian parents to want their children to accomplish these things are well warranted for me.

In my case, 90% of my impulsive behaviour has been controlled and refocused to other creative activities like developing things I like with my friends.

Without the structured ‘Math’ in Life Sciences and Computer Programming I would have been a mess focusing on just feelings and not controlled and disciplined.

I also knew this when I was little in kindergarten, what you have internally matters the most. By continually growing your skills and interests you are living on the edge to see what is next. Being on the edge is growth and health. Do not stop learning and growing. This is true when you get to my age and your start falling apart physically.

*** This is especially true if you don’t fit the majority look and stereotype.

I did over 20 jobs and studied various things. This kept me healthy and mentally well.

I guess for me is to keep going like this forever and ignore the superficial things because I am not the majority.

Not Cultured

At the end of the day, focusing on the good things only matter.

That is what makes life special and good.

Be around people who don’t push your buttons.

I have been through enough to see the good and the bad.

I am who I am because of the things I have seen too.

People can interpret things so negatively only which is partly true but you must work with people on your same frequency to see the pursuit of good and move forward.

Enjoying the Public Space

Old people hardly judge you based on your looks. They look at your character mostly.

I was at a fast food joint the other day with my laptop working on my stuff. I thought finishing school now I would enjoy myself outside.

90%+ of the interaction is based on the way you look and how old you look really.

The more older you look equates to how they are going to treat you really.

Is it worth it to sit in a public space and work on your laptop? Not really.

Getting treated like an old fart isn’t the best.

Working on your laptop in a greasy fast food joint doesn’t feel appropriate.

What are you trying to prove or show while there? Are you really just working on your laptop ignoring the outside world?

My brother William worked many years full time as a call-in phone IT support person for a major Internet provider.

He realized at home in your own space is the best way to work and do your own thing.

He doesn’t sit in coffee shops or fast food places. He goes through drive-thru to order his coffee.

Yup, I realized what he does now is for his individual mature growth and stability because he has seen enough of society to avoid the stares and criticism.

Treated Differently

I realized all my trouble really now after finishing school was based on my background, looks and age really.

There is culture. There is race issues. There is lookism. There is ageism.

The only way to combat these issues is to do your own thing and let people be aware of these issues including your friends, family and people when problems arise.

Can I just work by myself? I need friends out in the world who share my treatment in society to at least talk about these issues to relieve stress.

Talking to your People

I was hesitant to talk to Vietnamese people when I was younger and still now. I try to see things through the universal lens.

But after talking about my issues to Vietnamese people whether they are born in the West or from Vietnam, I am growing.

I am able to talk about things that feel necessary for growth and reflection and health.

In society, I was unable to voice my views, opinion and beliefs in fear of isolation or prejudice.

The reality is that everyone has their own culture and views.

If you don’t agree with someone’s views and culture, you can just focus on yours.

There is a universal culture.

I believe my viewpoints are more aligned to universal beliefs. So I just ignore everyone else’s if they don’t align with mine because they know their beliefs aren’t universal if they took the time to sit and look.

Realized My Culture

I heard from my mom, a Vietnamese person’s life can go 2 ways:

  1. Really bad
  2. Really good

There is duality with Vietnamese people.

I just have to accept it.

Things are naturally this way

People will be people. It has been like this for hundreds of thousands of years.

No point in side with people who don’t see or agree with you and have their own agendas for themselves to feel good about themselves too.

I must do what I want for my own wellbeing and mindset and ignore.

Living in my Culture

Like I found out before while exploring my Vietnamese culture, there are two polar ends about Vietnamese culture and only Vietnamese people accept it and understand it. Good and bad. That is just the way it is.

As I have been learning and socializing within my culture, I found that I can grow in it and do things instead of waiting around doing nothing because of the way things are structured here in the world.

If I don’t live in my Vietnamese culture then there is nothing for me. Do I just accept how it is set up?

Luckily, I found other Vietnamese-Canadians who share my thoughts about how to live here in Canada and the world. We accept how things are for us and work towards doing things to grow our way.

Just let them Know

My life just consist of doing what I love.

There is only one way to live and I understand it from the Western perspective. Any other perspective doesn’t make any sense once you lived enough here in Canada.

I am being independent minded and creating things and developing my own personality.

You can not change it once you know and especially when you are born here.

Live with Merit

I have to live with merit defined by me and my culture to have progress.

If I live in my world, I get things done that is meaningful to me.

This is especially true when I am older now.

New Frontiers

Yup, I realized that I was right.

As a first generation Canadian who is of Vietnamese decent, everything I am doing is new to me.

I think Canadian/Western, trying to live here in Canada while thinking sometimes Vietnamese like myself and like my parents.

It is a mix of 3 ways of thought. I am the first generation here in Canada after the Vietnam War trying to make something out of myself with hardly any guidance.

Everything is new and has lots of trials and errors trying to live.

Trying to live like my parents is OK but clash because I am trying to live with purpose while they tell me to just “work to take care of yourself” from my dad.

Advancing Mind and Culture

I bought a game called Civilization VI (6) a couple of weeks ago.

I played some of the tutorial. Not finished it yet.

Just today I watched the trailer for it.

Somethings that sparked an interest for me while watching the trailer:

  • Culture advances
  • Some other cultures try to destroy yours
  • After all said and done, we all aim for the stars

I realized after finishing school for 2+ months, I am not advancing.

So much reflection I have been doing and all I am doing is walking around eating at different restaurants and quite a bit pizza.

I guess I have to figure out how to advance my thinking and culture.

People Who Feel The Same

I finally finished school and did what I wanted. I even did more and saw more. Some surprising things and some not LOL when trying to do more.

Now it is a social game.

Great thing is that I finally think I did enough “textbook” school. It is a great feeling having all these ‘papers’.

The aftermath of doing these ‘papers’ is now I can tutor for basic survival.

I am finally socializing with people who feel the same as me because I jumped on Overseas Vietnamese.

I am meeting the Vietnamese people from all over the world there.

Now there is ‘no layers’ between one Vietnamese to the next. I can be 100% comfortable without feeling different. Things are clear as day socializing with other Vietnamese.

I feel the connection and the struggle and determination to voice independent views and thinking when conversing with Western Vietnamese.

I am learning to think and become independent with a voice of my own in this world finally.

I can not learn from other people who don’t think independent and as they just conform to society ways. It has been 39 years of conforming.

Meeting unique thinking individuals who have something different and have something to add is so riveting and compelling.

I must learn and interact more now. I am finally become a person with a backbone.

You should not think that you are a straw in a haystack. You should grow up with everything to become a ‘person’ instead of meat and bones.

Racism and Duality of being Vietnamese

There is only one way to live for me.

Racism I faced and the duality of being Vietnamese only allows me to keep going.

When relaxed and in general public I get “raced” upon all the time by immature people younger people.

Luckily I have friends who don’t treat me different.

People can have prejudices and biases both conscious and subconscious and their ego to treat people however they want to make themselves feel comfortable and in power.

We can be honest with our feelings and choose how we want to treat others. I need to work on that.

More To What I Know

I am still young and learning about life.

You meet these immature young people who want to categorize you and put you into a box.

I know what I know but there is more to what I know.

I learned to be healthy, strong and youthful, you need to prepare for the worst but expect nothing.

Past classmates and so called “friends” don’t understand that. This is the next step you learn outside school and in life.

Life gets past the racial and cultural norms and you must grow to prepare for the worst …

You must grow individually and become complex with more needs and wants to live a healthy, strong and youthful life.

Studying computers the “Western way” helped me build me up.

Creating tools and utilities is my way to grow and keep my mind well.

How much more complexity do we need?

I found the complexity and to add complexity in learning and creating more software in my own alone time and with my same frequency friends.

I have been having a difficult time trying work with others outside my friend group.

Outside my friend group there are too many barriers set up by “others” and it is just impossible to try to make headway to work and open pathways for development in all aspects of life. The “others” place cultural norms and stick you there indefinitely.

I realized all this after finishing school and then interacting with the world.

I made lots of Vietnamese friends to come to this conclusion from all sorts of different fields and experiences. Some from Vietnam and from Western areas.

People Who Feel The Same (Part 2)

It took me 2 years to finally connect with people from my same culture and upbringing.

Previously for years before, I was trying to be the everyday “Joe” here in Canada. I was ignoring my “roots” and nobody showed me the way until recently.

By talking to other Vietnamese-Canadians, I found out about my culture’s’.

I learned about Vietnam, Vietnamese in Canada cultures and finally the trouble and problems we face living within 2 cultures.

Once I learned about “relationships” of Vietnamese-Canadians, it finally clicked for me. I finally learned all there was to live here in Canada.

I first talked about school and work and now about relationships with Vietnamese-Canadians. Complete circle. Understanding how relationships are formed and maintained helped me.

Now I am content. I understand the full complexity of Vietnamese-Canadians in Canada navigating their way in life.

Before I was working and living without my Vietnamese-Canadian peers. I maxed out growing. Only by connecting with Vietnamese-Canadians, I understood more. There is the subculture of being Vietnamese-Canadian trying to make things work here in Canada with each other. Trying to make families and having a sense of community, culture and mutual understanding and connection.

There is such thing as the Vietnamese community here in Canada and I should not ignore it.

Vietnamese-Canadian Perspective

After talking quite a bit to Vietnamese-Canadians, I found out there is actually a solid Vietnamese-Canadian perspective that I was unaware of before.

I have been ignoring what matters to me.

I was listening to “others” ignoring what I wanted and needed.

I share a viewpoint with other Vietnamese-Canadians. It is different and not what I expected. It isn’t very “Asian” at all.

Well it doesn’t feel really “Asian” and it is probably me just being mature and not thinking cultural.

I finally tapped into it.

I am relieved.

Vietnamese Perspective

The “Vietnamese Perspective” is important and somewhat different from what I believe in.

But after awhile everyone feels the same I guess?

I see Vietnamese students from Vietnam want to achieve things like education, jobs and family like every other immigrant coming to Canada.

Where as I got sold the Canadian/American dream.

The Canadian dream is soft. I am doing what I want everyday living for myself.

I am old and have not started a family yet. I create stuff and content instead of working a stable job.

What is life then?

Does life get to a point where everyone thinks and does the same stuff everyday?

I want to get a stable job and have a routine and expect the same results like everybody at my age?

It is getting late now. I am 39 years old now. I should work now and start a family soon.

Can you sell the Canadian dream of doing what you want and have a normal life?

Or must you do a normal job and get normal things?

That is where the “Vietnamese Perspective” is warranted. Expect normal life goals and do something normal.

When you have Education in Logic

Education saved me.

With education in ‘logic’, I am able to do things beyond cultural and racial systems that I think are ‘there’.

I don’t understand the problem with people I grew up with that stopped me from achieving what I wanted and stopped me from pushing to see what was beyond. I guess they don’t see and have not matured yet … the thing is that we all get ‘old’.

You are supposed to go beyond the limits of what you think you cannot do and reach full skills in all areas of life.

After that you understand ‘the basic life’.

For example, learning ‘logic’ has helped me in my life to understand the following:

When you go out into the fast food restaurant and see the self-order kiosks and the punch-in ordering machines by staff, the educational background of computer programming can enable you to understand not only the food business more but also the machines running the business.

You could probably even create the machines necessary.

With programming you can connect the social food enjoyment world with the electronic world.

You literally become the greeter of worlds: “Hello, World!”.

That is how you are supposed to think and do, which I realize lately more and more.

You should be able to handle setting up a business for basic survival if needed.

But something about logic is bad … if you are too logical will anything be natural or emotional?

Logic makes you have too much control over your emotional state and you seek out doing things more and more reaching out farther and farther.

When to settle?

Finally done talking to my peers

After talking my heart out online and to my fellow Vietnamese group about my concerns, I am all out of things to talk about and say.

There was the period where I was talking a lot and then stopped.

I realized I finished talking about myself mostly.

Now I need to move on and talk about mature things like work and marriage.

How do I make enough money?

Luckily I have my group from RHR ( to talk about mature things. I am lucky to have this group of mature people to talk to.

Also the Vietnamese people I am talking to, we all understand each other now.

I realize more and more now, I am probably the oldest Vietnamese guy working in my niche after the Vietnam War migration I think. What can come of this if I continue this pathway?

What comes of myself if I go a different pathway?

Culture of Healthcare

What I experienced studying and working in healthcare was so damning.

Things I experienced while studying practical nursing:

  • Racial hierarchy exists
  • Cultural hierarchy exists

Being the only Vietnamese guy who studied practical nursing in college during my time in the most diverse school in the world (I think) Centennial College Morningside campus in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada was chilling to the bone.

With fellow practical nurse students, you saw how people perceived you really as you are in the room working with each other for 4+ hours weekly or more.

As a older man, only older people knew what was going in the back of my mind.

I looked carefree but I was processing everything really.

Is healthcare really like that? People like me who are Vietnamese are making their way through the system as the underdog through the light racist treatment and in your face prejudice? Learning and working my way through the Western stereotypical flat biases?

Is that life?

But what happens when you try to work in fields that really perpetuate racial and cultural stereotypes where coworkers/fellow students and bosses expect you to conform to the prejudice?

Screw that! I met a lot of people in the tech/science space that have racial and cultural biases which I avoid. Those people are not mature and have not worked in the real world yet where that can not be tolerated.

I guess that is life.

You have to get your way/find your way through the “classism” or just work with your friends???

Asian Culture

It is odd growing up in the West.

The stereotypes that coloured children grow up with is out of place when you finally see your true culture through a mature grown up lens.

Southeast Asian culture like Vietnamese is nowhere near how other races define it once you understand it through your parents, relatives and friends.

Avoiding stereotypes from the general public is key to wellbeing. This is especially true when you get old.

Not sure how to avoid the young immature crowd in workplace and school settings.

I guess I have to find a mature environment where they allow me to grow and change preconceived norms??? Does that even exist?

Just live your way

Growth and all things moving on … I think I should just live my way.

Life is always changing in the Western world.

I am trying to adapt but it seems all foreign when dealing with the “now”.

I should just find people to live my way that feels comfortable 90% of the time.

I am sure I know what I am doing if left to do what I want and my individual culture.

With all this diversity you see, is living in your own enclave still the thing to do for me?

I am pretty sure I need to find a Vietnamese-Canadian wife to have some foundation to live from.

There is a different way

Seriously, life comes to a point where you actually think differently from other people day to day.

Otherwise, how can new things and new experiences be made?

I really think I have to understand my culture more from the North, Middle and South of Vietnam to appreciate the different types of thinking and seeing things.

Otherwise, everything else is kind of just a downward spiral thinking like I do out in the public.

Westernized Culture

Living and born in the west is great.

But is there something I am missing from interacting with my homeland culture in Vietnam? Is it in the blood? Can you just ignore it?

I guess your family back home can push you to do things for the better.

Without me acting like “big brother” to my younger cousins, I would not have what I have right now.

Does anyone care? or is it just experiences in the whole wide range of experiences in the world? Any experiences unique that changes you?

Can I just live the “Western way” and just accept it?

With the wide range of experiences I faced, I am up to this point which I feel happy about.

By not listening negative people, I lived a happy fun life full of wonder and creativeness.

I am like “100% sure” I did the right thing.

By not being superficial and limited by societal pressure, I did what I did and wanted. Gave me tons of joy and happiness.

Yes, I am sure I did the right thing …

This is what happens when you get old. This is natural. I am like one of the oldest Vietnamese guys born in the West who is now middle-aged now in this older life stage combining the West and exploring Vietnamese culture.

Don’t talk to negative people.

Beyond your skin

When I am working out in society it is “balanced”.

But I am fortunate to have what I have in mind, body and spirit.

But outside working life is the same since I was 21 years old when I got my first real job LOL and I am 39 years old now. It is not that bad I just need to accept it??? But I am old now … I can not do physical work no more I think.

Good thing I finally did some programming to build and create things without anyone prejudging me for the lack of skills at first glance. I guess that is life.

I always had the belief that anyone can do anything. Now that I have some programming skills I can do things and show people as well.

People look at me differently in public now when they finally interact with me they can feel and understand I have some skills because of programming mostly.

Anyways, to rise above your skin and race you must keep working on your passions.

As I have gotten older, I realized this more and more. That is why teachers and parents ask their children while they are young “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

At my age all the “other grown up stuff” is mostly unreasonable and not important. It is what made you happy when you were young (your passion) that will drive you. This is what I found for me.

Diversity at college

In 2019-2020, I was at the most diverse college in Canada probably, Centennial College.

I was living at the Progress campus living in the dorm, Centennial Place.

I took 2 buses to get to Morningside campus to study.

I thought to myself, is this life?

Just studying and working? Was I going to do this for the rest of my life?

I did not know enough and was always stressed and tired studying practical nursing.

There was always new material to master. I was also peer-tutoring practical nursing too.

Some people looked they were in their element in the program.

I was a joker but inside I was processing quite a bit trying hard to master the subjects and get work.

It seemed in this diverse school and area, everyone was doing their thing. People were at different stages in their life. Some knew more about this and that and some people just struggled by.

I thought to myself, could I just live like this forever? I felt good in healthcare. I thought it would be nice to do more and study more health concerns.

I felt like I was part of a community of healthcare nurses. I did care.

I just had overbearing positivity where ever I went.

But I was not in tune. I was studying 8-10 hours a day about health, problems people could have. It was sad and uplifting. I was solving people’s problems. But I was tired.

Talk more about work and life in another post …

Like what should you be thinking about? What could you be thinking about to feel well.

Your own culture

For almost 3 years, I was communicating with Vietnamese people in the GTA.

I realized talking to the more Vietnamese-centered Vietnamese people helped me understand how to deal with life’s day to day interactions here in Canada.

I could retreat to my Vietnamese-Canadian friend to escape.

That is the difference.

I believe as the world becomes globalized, I was losing a sense of community. I was becoming a lone ranger.

I mean I look different, therefore everything should be different in the way I interact on the whole.

Retreating to Vietnamese-Canadians gave me a sense of refuge.

My feelings were understood. I felt connected in the community. I had a sense of community.

Also talking to Vietnamese-Canadians who are successful in the workplace introduced me to the successful Vietnamese-Western lifestyle.

I learned more in depth what was occurring to maintain a life here in Canada like other Vietnamese-Western families. There are actual levels instead of just the superficial and the general Western culture we live in.

Vietnamese-Canadian families have something more to share if they have all their 1st and 2nd cousins here in Canada. They know how to live!

Basically, we sit and chat about the struggles of life to release stress then go eat Pho and the women go get their nails done.

We accept the whole Vietnamese-Western culture of everything. Just accept it and study and do what we can to live and get done our goals.

We accept the good and the bad. Just talking about it with other Vietnamese is half the battle. Talk about our daily struggles and make it periphery.

We need to rant and spew whatever we have inside.

Do this to expel pent up energy and stress. Cleanse ourselves from whatever is going on.

I needed a strong successful Vietnamese-Canadians to show me this.

Thank you all.


I am pretty sure after learning more about Vietnam and interacting with Vietnamese people, I understand ‘Freedom’.

All the successful and independent Vietnamese people I am meeting don’t feel the need to have to put themselves last.

They behave in a way that they get understood and known for themselves.

They don’t need to fit in the current so-called social hierarchy that exists because everyone matters.

If I listened to all the “bad/downward talk” I could not do anything at all. I could not operate.

I think when you reached this feeling of not putting yourself last (a certain “age”), you don’t want to just fit in because it could be harmful for your wellbeing. You are too old to just take a backseat in your life.

You must see how to voice your opinion and individual views at the table like everybody else.

I need to care for myself to operate healthy and happy. It is both intrinsic and extrinsic.

I need to master something to feel good (intrinsic) and I must show work and get work done (extrinsic).

I need to benefit from doing something that is recognized in society as a whole.

Can I do this like a professional? Doctors are professional, performing calmly while giving their advice.

Basically, I should work on my programming skills and develop stuff that makes me proud while helping people all the time?

I get intrinsic good feeling of mastering a hard skill.

I get extrinsic good feeling and reward helping and developing for people.

It is both intrinsic and extrinsic.

I think I have to do this. The reward of getting a rewarding feeling is so nice and makes me so happy.

I realized I needed this after finishing school and trying other things and reflecting.

It is nice to do something different and in-tune to yourself.

I am feeling that is all there is to life. You must try to do something that is your calling and see where it takes you.

You then have a voice at the table to voice your ideas and views.

Being at the table using your skills you developed is such a good feeling.

You are actually using your talents you developed and it is beyond you.

I only realized this at an old age of 39 years old now.

You must develop a skill that is rewarding for you and outside in the world that is unique and cool.

New at this

I always forget I am like one of the oldest Vietnamese in the West that is born in the West.

Am I doing anything new?

Is there some Vietnamese guy out there that old and doing stuff just like me?

Is this just a natural progression doing what I am doing?

It feels not normal and normal doing what I am doing.

I am trying to live and feel new things to get me out there and unearthly out of my skin.

I can’t listen to anyone but myself at this point.

I must grow and explore and grow some more.

Also my parents don’t have a say in what I am doing and experiencing as a Vietnamese born in Canada.

What can I do and expect?

More questioning and exploring this and that in my lifetime.

I guess I will keep asking questions and exploring.

Is there anything new?

You just got to think and do something different.

After 25, you should attempt to do something that you can call your own.

When I was in grade 12, fellow classmates in high school expected things from me.

High school wasn’t all that bad as long as you aspire to do Western individualism.

There are some people even at their old age who wants to set place the social hierarchy.

They don’t believe in 100% Western individualism.

I sometimes believe in both harmony and Western individualism.

But at my old age, I believe everyone wants to aspire to be individualistic.

I guess I will keep doing my thing and see where it takes me.

If you fall and depend on people, you get looked down upon by the people who are so critical of you.

It may be better doing your own thing and just concentrating on yourself.

But take the time to reflect and think opposite sometimes. It doesn’t help if what you are currently doing is not helping you intrinsically and extrinsically.

Vietnamese group at middle age

Vietnamese friends on LinkedIn who are around my age in Vietnam mostly I have been able to talk to and connect with.

They understand the Vietnamese and Western mentality.

They are looking to network and work together.

I know what I have at middle age now since connecting with them and learning from them.

Fixing social inequalities

Outside society is OK but not great as a Vietnamese-Canadian.

As a Vietnamese-Canadian, I have to find my way around the biases and stereotypes and problems to fix the social inequalities that I face.

Different culture

Yes. I have a different culture and expectation in the big broader sense.

Vietnamese have different expectations and viewpoints. I am realizing this now after socializing with other Asians.

I can finally be myself and different. I can attend to things that Vietnamese people like me want to achieve that is different from others.

Unique and different now.

I am being unique and different now.

I was so focused on what other people were doing that I was lost for many years.

I got to listen to what my heart says.

Community healing and Capacity building

As I have gotten older I realize that I do suffer from the trauma of war through my parents.

To alleviate the troubles I sought out education and upward social mobility.

I am learning about how the modern world has affected me.

Things like streamlining technology has affected me so much I went toward to just building software in what I want. Working towards streamlining technology is competitive and stressful. Building software that reflects me is almost stress-free and gives me the good type of stress.

Therefore to build a community and independence, I sought more learning through studying everything I wanted first and networking with my peers.

This builds capacity.

To live broader and to apply yourself better to live in Canada and in the world, I must acquire new skills and new knowledge and new research in my life in my people and the world.

Behave this way at my age

I am learning about my culture and comparing. Comparing what I have and don’t have and what I should learn.

There must be something important. Something important to me to do the things I am talking about.

Growth and development of a ongoing changing “Vietnamese” identity?

Learning about computers

I think this is the progressive and natural way to try to learn about computers from my perspective. Computers are the last frontier and a Vietnamese guy like me can offer a new unique perspective on this subject.

What else am I going to study that is extrinsic and has value outside in the world?

Need for space

Need space to develop own sense of Vietnamese identity in this world. Well I need something for myself.

Vietnamese-Canadian ‘middle-age’ culture

What do I have to say at my old age here in Canada? It is surely not immature and young no more.

I can not just chill and accept the general lifestyle of yesteryear.

Things must be different.

Being older is different.

From the negative perspective, I passed the halfway mark 😂.

Old person has to say and have something.

Need to hold back but grow too

Am I living right?

Am I pursuing a “healthy driven” lifestyle?

Does being Vietnamese mean anything to me?

Do I need to explore growth in the Vietnamese identity after the Vietnam War and being middle-aged?

I think everything needs to be talked about.

I need to grow beyond the general thinking.

Vietnamese guy like me

Don’t I have a perspective?

People coming from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds may offer something unique and different.

I am pretty sure if left to what I want to do by myself and with my friends that we have something or at least something for ourselves without the negative/opposite outside influence.

Maybe a Vietnamese-Canadian guy like me who grew up in Durham Region has actually something to say and worth exploring???

Does what I do in or out of “the talks”?

More education for this Vietnamese man

After the Vietnam War and other growing pains living in the West, I actually think education and keep going doing what I am doing is life for me and for anyone whose background is like mine.

It is the only world and pathway that is needed to build a life and foundation for the future for next generations.

Future aims.

It makes sense if coming from a history like mine.

In your own skin

Is being Vietnamese all that different? I have been socializing with many other Vietnamese and realize we have our own thinking especially with Vietnamese born here in Canada. It is really interesting have this social group. I must keep socializing and working in my group.

Teaching English in Vietnam in 2016 for David Nguyen

Link to page talking about ‘Teaching English in Vietnam in 2016

Brief Teaching Online Conversational English in Rural Vietnam in 2018 for David Nguyen

Link to page talking about ‘Brief Teaching Online Conversational English in Rural Vietnam in 2018