Alumna Y-Dang Troeung, BA (’03) and MA (’05), is the subject of one of our most popular Words in Place profiles. A professor at the City University of Hong Kong, she has also written about the current refugee situation, and her own birth in a refugee camp. We have excerpted her piece here, and include a link to the entire article–her story includes a meeting with Pierre Trudeau. –JLH
“Never a Last Refugee”
My parents named me after camp Khao I-Dang, the refugee camp where I was born. They did so to remember their survival, and those international aid workers who cared for them after an improbable escape from the labor camps in Cambodia, across the landmine-riddled jungle, to the border of Thailand. As difficult and confusion-inducing as my name is, I wonder now how my life would have turned out, had they had named me “Goderich” after the small Canadian town where a kind group of sponsors first pooled their resources to bring us to Canada. Or if they had named me “Trudeau,” after the man who held me as an infant when my family first arrived in Canada, the man who is the centerpiece of my family’s postcard-perfect photograph commemorating our arrival.
For the rest of Y-Dang’s piece, please see Compassionate Canada: Stories in Solidarity with Refugees.