In Houston: Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Just a reminder to all my folks in Houston that the Smithsonian exhibit Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon is being hosted by the Houston Community College (first floor of the administrative building) through November 30th and that if you get a chance you should get on out and see the groundbreaking exhibit:

The exhibit tells of the experiences of Vietnamese arriving in America after the fall of Saigon in 1975. More than one million Vietnamese came to America, many suffered great hardships along the way. But the exhibit focuses on adaptability more than tragedy, showing how the Vietnamese have assimilated into mainstream American life while still retaining their traditional folkways and culture. It is the first Smithsonian historical exhibit dedicated to Vietnamese Americans.

First displayed at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., “Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon” is expected to tour 12 cities through 2010. Houston is the third stop.

In addition to the main display, the Houston exhibit will include an area devoted to the experiences of a group of Vietnamese who went through an HCC refugee program. More than 60,000 Vietnamese now live in the Houston area. Vietnamese is the third most commonly spoken language in the area behind English and Spanish, according to the Census Bureau.

“Houston Community College is honored to host the Smithsonian exhibition chronicling the growth of Vietnamese America,” said Dr. Mary S. Spangler, Houston Community College Chancellor. Spangler noted that HCC takes great pride in its long-standing role partnering with the local Vietnamese community, which began with the arrival of the first refugees in 1975.

The display will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon" is “Developed by Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific Program and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The national tour has been made possible by Farmers Insurance.”

For more information, please contact Gigi Do, Exhibit Chair, at 713-718-5058. Information on the Smithsonian project can be found at

Check out the Vietnamese American Heritage Project for more information.