Each year, since the creation of this student organization in 1979, the Vietnamese Student Association at UC Berkeley has brought together many talented individuals to express this talent on and off stage through our Culture Show with singing, dancing, acting, and many other forms of art.
Entirely student-run, it is not only an opportunity for students to perform in front of thousands of audience members, but also an opportunity for many other Vietnamese students interested in theatrical production, in other words, the crew behind the stage production, to become involved firsthand.
Our annual Culture Show aims to bring to attention the domestic and global issues that affect the Vietnamese community as expressed through the show’s storyline.
This year, we strive to continue the tradition of bringing the Vietnamese community together and sharing Vietnamese history and culture by focusing on the event Operation Babylift, an event that is important to both Vietnamese history and adoption history.
In 1975 over 3000 infants and children were airlifted from Vietnam and adopted by families around the world over a course of a few short weeks. These children were the bụi đời, or the dust of life, of war-torn Vietnam and had been cast aside into impoverished orphanages. They were offered new lives, and their stories continue today.
Culture Show 2013 is called VERTIGO. It explores the life-course of an adopted Vietnamese child (later known as Daniel Miller) who becomes part of the Operation Babylift legacy, a consequence of the Vietnam War that sent thousands of Vietnamese children to the United States for adoption. His adoption by White parents and upbringing in the American Midwest culturally strip Daniel of his Vietnamese heritage and replaces it instead with a life of isolation, misunderstanding, and a strange feeling of vertigo. In order to restore balance in his life, Daniel moves to Los Angeles where he finally takes on the challenge of authoring his own destiny and redefining his sense of identity, family, and purpose.