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The Viet Nam War

The Viet Nam War

This is possibly the best show lately on NZ TV – The Viet Nam War. I have watched Band of Brothers and The Pacific, and have been waiting for something similar about the Viet Nam War.

It does show a different perspective from all the different sides involved. The topic is also very important for us at Tailor Made Suits, being a family-run business, with all of our staffs being born there. It would have been our parents or our grandparents that was taking part of the war.

In my very own family, my grandfathers were both parts of the North side, fighting on all fronts, including times in Laos and Cambodia. In the meantime, my grandma on dad’s side was managing a hospital taking care of the injured, and grandma on mom’s side was managing a child care centre and then a textile factory, producing clothes for our soldiers. This was also where our involvement in the textile industry started.

Luckily, grandpa on dad’s side was also a military doctor (grandpa and grandma met at doctor school); while grandpa on mom’s side was a chief of police; so they all didn’t involve in any killing, but more the helping and healing. This, perhaps, shaped my perspective a lot growing up, being open-minded about different perspectives of different people’s regardless of which side they are on.

My wife’s family was fighting for the South side. A lot of her family now resides in America, whom we hope to find some time to visit soon. And I am sure that each of our staffs would have a different family story to tell, and a different view about the war, who was right, who was wrong, or neither. But we ended up here in Auckland, and working together as a team now.

Interestingly too, Da Nang was the first place the French arrived when they invaded us. It was also where the American based for quite some time, as it is very close to the DMZ, before they retreated to Saigon later on. And this is where my family came from, and where Viet Nam head office is based for Tailor Made Suits.

As for generational changes, language is really a fascinating subject. Our grandparents were growing up during the French occupation, and some were sent to French schools, so they speak fluent French and some of that passed on to me. When our parents were growing up, we were getting help from the Chinese and Russian, so my parents speak fluent Russian. For our generation being born after the war, most of us pick English as our second language. Within the last 100 years, I don’t think any other country would have a similar pattern in terms of linguistically changes.