Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LLR (Book): Southeast Asian Exodus: From Tradition to Resettlement - Understanding Refugees from Laos, Kampuchea, and Vietnam in Canada

Title:  Southeast Asian Exodus: From Tradition to Resettlement - Understanding Refugees from Laos, Kampuchea, and Vietnam in Canada
Edited by:  Elliott L. Tepper
Publisher/Year:  Canadian Asian Studies Association, 1980
ISBN:   0920296084
Lao book - Southeast Asian Exodus:  From Tradition to Resettlement - Understanding Refugees From Laos, Kampuchea, and Vietnam in Canada Edited by Elliott Tepper

I have a keen interest in reading about refugees and immigrants into Canada with a particular focus on Lao immigration.  I found this book at a used bookstore years ago.  I brought it out more recently to read over again to write this little review of mine.

This book provides a good grounding on Southeast Asian immigration from a Canadian perspective and context.  It has an overview of what caused the exodus and how/why they came to Canada.  It was also originally aimed at helping Canadians understand or how to cope with the recent number of Asian immigrants in Canada.  No doubt, there are a lot of general books on this topic from that period in Canada but this was one of the first during that time and it provided quite a bit of cultural and historical insight.

Whenever there is the topic Southeast Asian immigration it inevitably turns to the Vietnamese (or even Filipinos), as of course their immigration numbers are higher.  While this book is still worth reading, there is a part of me that yearns to read a book that caters wholly and specifically to the Lao experience within the Canadian context.

Side story:  Interestingly, I met the editor of this book, Professor Tepper, back in 1999 or 2000 though at the time I didn't know that this was the same person who had written this book.  Although he is a political science professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, through speaking with him I found out he was involved with Asian studies and surmised this must be the same person who wrote this book (though I never did outright just ask him).

Just for your interest, I've included the complete table of contents of the chapters (essays) that were written.  It does cover quite a bit.

Contents:

Introduction:  The Need to Know by Elliot L Tepper

Part 1 - People's and Cultures
  • Vietnam:  The Culture of War by N.H. Chi
  • Cambodia by Robery Garry
  • Laos:  "The Prince and the Barb" by Peter Royal
  • The Chinese in Indochina by W.E. Willmott

Part 2 - Lands and Politics
  • The Tropical, Agricultural Corner of Asia:  An Introduction to Southeast Asia by Rodolphe De Koninck
  • Indochina:  The Historical and Political Background by David Wurfel
  • Why Can't They Stay in Southeast Asia?  The Problems of Vietnam's Neighbours by Richard Stubbs
  • Refugees in Thailand:  Relief, Development and Integration by Suteera Thomson

Part 3 - Problems of Resettlement
  • Canadian Policy on Indochinese Refugees by Howard Adelman, Charles Le Blanc, and Jean-Phillipe Thérien
  • Cultural Factors Affecting the Adjustment of Southeast Asian Refugees by Penny Van Esterik
  • Community and Inter-Ethnic Relations of Southeast Asian Refugees in Canada by Doreen Indra
  • The Economic Adaptation of Southeast Asian Refugees in Canada by Norman Buchignani
  • Psychiatric Problems of Immigrants and Refugees by Matthew Suh, M.D.

Conclusion:  Towards the Future by David Wurfel

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