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Children of the Dragon, Citizens of the Plains: Nebraska’s Vietnamese American

by the Nebraska Folklife Network Inc., Lincoln NE © 2006

Manual (in Notebook)

  • Teachers Guide (90-100 pages) Contains 12 lesson plans, 4th and 8th grade NE educational standards addressed, handout masters and an appendix of reference materials.

Photos and other Image

  • Image Packet (Contains a two-part timeline, and 40 other images, including photographs, drawings, maps, etc. All are 81/2 x 11 and laminated. Details are on a list of images in the packet and on the backs of the images.)


  • Traditional Clothing - both larger and smaller sizes of each item are included for two complete girl’s outfits and two complete boy’s outfits. Velcro fasteners, elastic, and a roomier cut than the traditional clothing make putting them on easier. The long tunics with loose pants are called ao dai, which literally means “long dress” or “flowing tunic”. Traditionally girls’ tunics are more fitted and longer than boys’.

    Girl’s outfits consist of light blue tunics and white pants. Girls traditionally wear lighter colors.  The synthetic fabrics resemble silk. 

    Boy’s outfits have a black or gray tunic and gray pants. The fabrics are intended to resemble silk or raw silk.
  • 2 small examples of non la, (the traditional conical straw hat.) These hats are worn for sun protection, especially when working in the fields, and are common throughout Vietnam. A full size non la is much too big to fit into the kit.

Other Objects

  • 1 (2 x 3 foot) Vietnamese Freedom and Heritage flag (formerly the flag of South Viet Nam) – This is the flag that is recognized by the Vietnamese Americans in Lincoln and other communities of the state. It was also proclaimed in 2007 by the state as the official flag to represent Vietnamese people in Nebraska. The red flag with a yellow star of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which is currently in power in the home country, is not generally recognized by Vietnamese Americans.
  • 3 miniature flags with stands, one of the Vietnamese Freedom and Heritage flag (former South Vietnamese flag). one of the North Vietnamese flag (yellow star on plain red ground), which was proclaimed by the new Communist regime as the national flag of Viet Nam after the fall of Saigon in 1975, and one of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
  • 1 miniature conical leaf hat (non la) such as is often used as a Christmas ornament, from Viet Nam. The hat is seen everywhere and is an enduring symbol of the country.
  • 1 “Lucky Chess” game (English instructions are included on the Vietnamese games handout in the teacher’s manual.)
  • 3 pairs of chopsticks
  • 2 examples of Vietnamese tea. One is made from artichokes. Notice the medicinal purposes listed for it on the package. The other is labeled “Refreshing Tea” in English.
  • 1 lacquered wooden box with a red cloth inside to use for role playing a traditional wedding celebration
  • 2 Lunar New Year greeting cards for role playing the celebration of Tet.
  • 4 small red envelopes for role playing the exchanging of wishes for good health and li xi (pronounced “lee see”). These small gifts of money are given by elders to children in exchange for their good wishes during Tet.

Audio Media

  • The Music of Vietnam: Volume 1.1 (CD), 1994, Celestial Harmonies, Tucson AZ (Music on many different traditional instruments. A copy of the extensive notes in English is included in the manual in the appendix.)
  • Excerpts from interview with Ngan Dang of Lincoln about Vietnamese culture and traditions. (CD). (Transcript handouts are in the manual appendix.)
  • Excerpts from interview with Dau Nguyen of Lincoln about his immigration from Viet Nam and his Vietnamese heritage. (CD) (Transcript handouts are in the manual appendix.)
  • Excerpts from interview with Thanh Pham of Lincoln about his experiences in a Communist prison camp, his immigration from Viet Nam and Vietnamese culture.  (CD) (Transcript handouts are in the manual appendix.)

Video Media

  • Escapi New Media Studios AB
    Globetrekker Vietnam, (DVD 60 min), 2004, Pilot Productions Ltd, Los Angeles, CA
  • Master Communications, Inc.
    Families of Vietnam, (DVD 30 min) Families of the World Series, 2004, Master Communications, Cincinnati, OH 
  • Ray, Rick
    Raise the Bamboo Curtain: Viet Nam, Burma, and Cambodia (DVD Viet Nam section only - 45 min), 1994, Wish You Were Here Productions, Glendale CA
  • Vietnamese Traditional Foods: (DVD 14 min) Excerpts from video interview with Henry Ho, Hop Nguyen and members of their family at their home in Lincoln on the occasion of a traditional dinner. Nebraska Folklife Network, 2005, Lincoln NE


  • Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia – Road map, 1995, New Holland Publishers Ltd.
  • Garland, Sherry
    Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam, 2001, Harcourt, Inc., San Diego CA
  • Hop, Nguyen Thi, Yoon, Selina
    Sing ‘n Learn Vietnamese, 1998, (paperback, contains audio CD), Master Communications, Inc., Cincinnati, OH (Bilingual)
  • Lee, Jeanne M. 
    Toad is the Uncle of Heaven, 1985, (paperback), Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY
  • Nhoung, Huynh Quang
    The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam, 1982, (HarperTrophy paperback), HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
  • Tran, Bac Hoi, Norris, Courtney
    Vietnamese Dictionary and Phrasebook, 1994 (Third Printing), Hippocrene Books, New York, NY
  • Tran, Ngoc-Dung, 
    To Swim in Our Own Pond: A Book of Vietnamese Proverbs, 1998, Shen’s Books, Fremont, CA (Bilingual)
  • Tran, Truong
    Going Home, Coming Home, a book about Vietnamese Americans visiting Viet Nam. 2003, Children’s Book Press, San Francisco, CA (Bilingual)
  • Vuong, Lynette Dyer
    The Golden Carp and Other Tales From Vietnam, 1993, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, New York, NY
  • Willis, Terri
    Vietnam, (Enchantment of the World, Second Series), 2002, Children’s Press, New York, NY