Bich Minh Nguyen ‘s “ Stealing Buddha ‘s Dinner ” is an abundantly written memoir that revolves about herself as a Vietnamese immigrant in hunt for her individuality. This autobiography starts off when her household is forced to go forth Vietnam because the North Vietnamese is seeking to turn their authorities into a communist one. In the memoir, she experiences a sudden alteration when she travels half manner around the universe on a boat and eventually geting in America ; which is her newfound place. As a immature miss, traveling from state to state with infinite civilizations to be able to derive cognition of is a dramatic passage. There is so much for her and her household to larn about ; particularly the new linguistic communication. There is evidently a large accommodation for her household migrating all the manner from Vietnam. With Nguyen as the immature miss, she learns more about the different sorts of people, nutrients and civilizations. She goes through these experiences while seeking to happen out about who she is. This immature miss attempts to happen herself in this American experience by researching the admirations of the nutrient, people, civilizations and faiths. In add-on, this memoir reveals that the American spiritual experience is rather different ; there is a batch to larn traveling to a state that is diverse and different from your native abode.
In the beginning, Nguyen discovers the many different sorts of alien nutrients that she falls in love with. From fruit to confect and debris nutrient, she finds a passion for American nutrient because she hungrinesss for an American individuality. Nguyen ‘s male parent would come place from work with a new sort of confect in his pocket each twenty-four hours. Nguyen says from the memoir, “ We could n’t acquire adequate Luden ‘s wild-cherry flavored cough beads, or Pringles stacked in their glistening ruddy case shot, a mille-feuille of promises. ” ( Page 14 ) Nguyen claims that the Pringles moustache reminded her of Santa Claus because he has a large white face fungus. She continues on to research many types of nutrients such as fruits. Noi ; Nguyen ‘s grandma would travel out to the husbandman ‘s market and deal for fruits. Once her grandma Noi let her and her sister seek the fruit, Nguyen wrote, “ We could ne’er acquire plenty. The fruit seemed dearer to us than confect, and I believed that the transmutation from Earth to glittering pieces involved some sort of thaumaturgy. ” ( Page 19 ) Nguyen ‘s infatuation with nutrient is a measure closer to happening her American individuality. She ‘s easy larning about what American people eat that she even forgets about Noi ‘s traditional fortes. Nguyen is easy losing her Vietnamese individuality, but she is deriving cognition about an American 1. The American spiritual experience requires geographic expedition and find given that this is all new for Nguyen and her household.
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Leaving to such a different environment involves more larning about the many societal imposts of the new state. Basically, with a state every bit diverse as America, there are many people you meet and socially bond with. When Nguyen and her household went to a Vietnamese party on New Year ‘s Eve, her male parent spotted whom Nguyen said were “ two adult females hesitating at the room access. One had curly black hair, and it took him a minute to recognize that she was n’t Vietnamese. But she did n’t look white, either. ” ( Page 20 ) The male parent and Chu Anh seemed to be interested in the adult females. Nguyen explains in the memoir, “ The two adult females were Rosa, a second-generation Mexican American, and Shirley, a girl of German-Jewish Immigrants by manner of the Dominican Republic. ” ( Page 20 ) The adult females were an ethnicity that Nguyen did non cognize in the beginning, she was excessively immature to cognize what they were ; all she knew was that they were decidedly different. Her male parent subsequently decided to get married the Mexican American, Rosa, so she becomes Nguyen ‘s Latino step-mother. This event in Nguyen ‘s life must hold been a small confusing for her American individuality because now she is larning about another civilization. Not merely does she happen out that there are people of different ethnicities, she besides finds out that they have dissimilar civilizations. Nguyen starts to derive cognition of Mexican civilization from the nutrient that Rosa cooks for her. Unfortunately, during all this, Nguyen ‘s household starts to lose portion of their faith when the male parent puts aside the Buddha communion table. However, as Nguyen additions knowledge about other civilizations, she is besides larning about diverseness which is involved in the American individuality.
One thing that is questionable of Nguyen ‘s individuality is her faith. Nguyen is Buddhist, yet she feels excessively American to pray in the temple. She says in her memoir, “ I felt so out of topographic point – excessively American, non genuinely Buddhist – that I ne’er did rally the nervus to come in the supplication room, allow entirely near the enforcing statue of Buddha. ” ( Page 186 ) Nguyen would pattern Buddhism at place, but she besides goes to Saint Joseph ‘s Catholic School. There, she would larn about God and Catholic religion. Her male parent would state her the differentiation between the two faiths because she questioned plentifulness about both of them. It seems that Buddhism kept her away from her American individuality. Nguyen says, “ Whenever God was cited – in the Pledge of Allegiance or on coins – in my head I substituted the word Buddha. ” ( Page 192 ) Since her male parent teaches her a batch about Buddha, she believes that Buddha is her God. It is really surprising that Nguyen did non make up one’s mind to larn about Catholic faith since she thirsts for the American individuality. She was more interested in her ain faith instead than the American 1. However, this shows that the American spiritual experience is really different because there is a batch to derive cognition of. America has public Catholic schools for people to larn about faith and offering free instruction. This shows that they are seeking to change over the Americans into their faith. Nevertheless, Nguyen makes the determination of taking Buddha over God.
As Nguyen learns the many differences of the American civilization from her ain, she is decidedly detecting the American spiritual experience. She desires the American individuality, and that is what she gets. However, when she heads back to Vietnam, the people see her as American instead than Vietnamese. This made her instead uncomfortable because she sees herself as a tourer amongst people of her ethnicity. She could non even pass on with her household because they knew no English, and Nguyen did non cognize any Vietnamese. The American spiritual experience decidedly changed who she was supposed to be. She learned a batch about her ain faith, and the faith of the Americans. This memoir showed that there is a batch to be taught about faith and how it relates to nutrient, people, and civilizations.