What is a Viet Kieu? – Viet Kieu Meaning
You’ll hear this term used very often. It refers to all Vietnamese who have left their homeland to live in another country. Many are now coming back to Vietnam to conduct business for their own sake or as representatives of foreign companies or organizations. Having someone who understands the local language and customs as well as being familiar with some Western ways is a boon to foreign organizations, but can sometimes also be a mixed blessing.
The Number of Viet Kieu Living in the World
There is about 4,500,000 Viet Kieu living in different countries in the world:
- The United States: 2,200,000
- Cambodia: 600,000
- France: 400,000
- Japan: 370,000
- Australia: 300,000
Is Viet Kieu Returning to Vietnam?
Most Viet Kieu have left for either political or economic reasons and have not been back for decades, Meanwhile, the country has changed so much it may seem as though they have taken a time machine from the past rather than a plane to come back to Vietnam. Their ideas, their manners, and even their language can seem strange for younger generations. Those who have stayed behind to live through the difficult years will sometimes refer to those who left as deserters or even traitors. But as more and more Viet Kieu flock back, heeding the call of the government to help in the country’s reconstruction efforts, this distrust will vanish and family ties will once more take precedence.