Moving away from the political connotation, this paper expands on how young professional overseas Vietnamese, who are currently residing in HCMC, may validate their ethnic identities through various touristic experiences with Cu Chi as a commercial attraction. Using an experimental auto-ethnographic and qualitative survey research design, author’s experience and dialogs are injected throughout the paper, revealing both the intimate natures of identity and how they can be shaped even in the absence of engagement.
Made famous during the Vietnam War as underground passages of the Viet Cong guerillas, the Cu Chi Tunnels historical site is a tourist attraction, commonly associated with a kind of low-brow entertainment aimed at foreign visitors. This article expands the scholarship of this site using auto-ethnographic and qualitative survey research methods. Aimed at agitating Cu Chi’s kitsch and political associations, the author considers the Vietnamese market economy and the reversed-migration flows, in order to contextualize Cu Chi as an identity-negotiation nexus for transmigrant Vietnamese professionals. Particular focus is placed on how visitation to Cu Chi tunnels and the abstention of visitation can allude to the participant’s heritage affiliations.
For more information about the full-paper, please check out the highlights and abstracts at: Science Direct
Ref. : Kelly L. Le, « Cu Chi tunnels: Vietnamese transmigrant’s perspective », Annals of Tourism Research, 46C (2014), pp. 75-88.