Temporary Migration Pool

Publié le par sandrine

“Most research places foreigners and Viet Kieu in the “temporary migration pool,” since few actually aspire to become permanent residents of Vietnam. According to The New York Times, over 80000 foreigners are currently living and working in Vietnam on legal working permits, over half of whom live in Ho Chi Minh City, with an unknown number also working and living in the city on long-term tourist visas. In addition, more than 200000 Viet Kieu at any given point are visiting or living in Ho Chi Minh City.
Although most foreigners who my research team and I met tend to call themselves expatriates (or expats), a more accurate term for them would be what British psychologist Greg Madison refers to as “existential migrants”, or voluntary migrants who traverse the globe to explore foreign culture in order to assess their self-identity – like most respondents in my study, existential migrants are generally young adults from their mid-20s to late 30s grappling with abstract issues concerning the meaning of “ home” or “belonging”.
These people are different from a “true” expatriate, who according to the British anthropologist Anne-Meike Fechter in her book, Transnational lives, “is someone who takes up an international assignment for their current employer.”
(The Price of Happiness: Foreigners and Viet Kieu Living Large in the City of Disparity, Hung Cam Thai – Asialife)

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