gulf's vietnamese community fights for survival

Here's another frustrating story for the thousands of Vietnamese Americans whose lives have been affected by the devastating oil spill. The fishing and seafood industry is a lifeline for 80 percent of Vietnamese living in the Gulf region: Vietnamese fishermen in Gulf fight to not get lost in translation.

A third of all fishermen in the Gulf are Vietnamese, making them arguably the most affected minority out there. But for many, language and cultural barriers have made the recovery process even more complicated, confusing and challenging:
The lengthy documents they initially were asked to sign used language even a native English speaker would struggle to understand.

The Vietnamese interpreters BP first brought in for safety and cleanup training stirred painful memories and suspicions because they spoke to the elders with a North Vietnamese dialect and used what some described as "Communist terminology."

The closings of fishing areas have been announced on radio stations these fishermen don't follow, so some have piloted their boats where they shouldn't, which means tickets from the Coast Guard keep coming.

For the Vietnamese-Americans living in the Gulf Coast region, the oil disaster is especially complicated. It's made murky by language barriers, cultural misunderstandings and a history of challenges that have shaped them for more than half a century.
It's a community that has been shaped by resilience. First uprooted from Vietnam as refugees, they were able start over and a create self-reliant community where their own local businesses thrived -- only to lose everything again to Hurricane Katrina. And once again, a community of survivors faces an uncertain future.

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