Richard Huynh

As interviewed by Shruti P., March 13, 2013
"When the communists came from the North to the South, they shot many people, and didn't care who they shot."
Richard Huynh

Introductory Profile: About: Richard Huynh

My interviewee's name is Richard Huynh, who is also my next door neighbor. He was born in Vietnam to a Vietnamese father and a Pakistani mother. In this interview, we talked about his personal experiences in the struggles of South Vietnam's attempt in resisting the communist government. (1960-1975) North Vietnam was persuading the whole country in becoming communist but the US (aid of South Vietnam) tried to prevent this. This caused a horrible war called the Vietnam War. My interviewee was in fact a soldier from South Vietnam. His perspective of the war was more of a painful event. The angle of the interview was disturbing because my interviewee wasn't in a favorable position during the war and was more of a victim than a perpetrator.

Mr. Richard is around 60 years old. He has black hair, slowly turning to gray because of his age. He has a thick Vietnamese accent which could at times be hard to understand. He talks in a very confident tone and has a peaceful personality. He always volunteers to help around in the neighborhood and loves to talk and advice anyone as if they are family. Though he went through a harsh past, he is still cheerfully up and working. Now he is married and has two children and is always looking forward to making the best out of everything.

Throughout the interview, he had a strong voice, at the same time it was careful to maintain discretion. It was quite emotional so he paused many times to think about what to say and how to say it so it wouldn't sound too disturbing. He also used a lot of hand gestures to give more of an impact to what he was saying.

During the talk, he also didn't act up rudely or disrupt my speaking. It was a serious interview because we had to dig deep into his personal life. He had to go through many tragic events while in Vietnam such as being forced into the war and having to see deaths of thousands of people due to the war. His body language showed the pains of war and at the same time showed gratefulness that he is living in a free society.

Living in the South while the war was going on was quite difficult. Learning that the only way you know you would survive is if you escaped and leave everything behind was hard to imagine. I was very inspired and awestruck to see that my own next door neighbor was part of the Vietnam War and actually escaped to sail to the United States. I realized that anyone could be part of a traumatic social justice event and still have the liveliest personality you have ever seen.