The Lau Family
The Lau family
arrived in the United States early September 2001. They are from
Vietnam. Although the war in Vietnam ended more than 25 years ago,
this family suffered persecution for at least two reasons: first,
Mr. Lau fought on the side of American forces in the late sixties;
and second, this family is Montagnard (pronounced mon-tan-yard.)
The Montagnard are an ethnic minority in Vietnam. The name, Montagnard,
is a French word that means mountaineer. The Montagnards are a people,
living in the mountainous regions of Vietnam. They migrated from
China hundreds of years ago. For a long time they lived in isolation
from the Vietnamese. During the Vietnam war, the Montagnards fought
along side the American forces.
The Lau family
arrived in the U.S. knowing no English. They speak Cantonese Chinese
and not Vietnamese, which has made it difficult for them to assimilate
in Kansas City's Vietnamese community.
They all live
in a house in Kansas City, Kansas. Seven of the children are enrolled
in Kansas schools, and they are quickly learning more and more English.
The Laus do have one son who was left in Vietnam because he was
already married and living away from their home. This is a source
of sadness for them all. They hope someday to bring their eldest
son and his family over to the U.S. so they may be re-united again.
Sang A. and
Bau A. Lau work at the Kansas City Steak Company, while Mui Nih
Ly stays at home with the other seven children. They are married,
however, the mother does not take the husband's last name. A source
of pride for them, their youngest son, Andy Lau, was born July 4,
2002. They can already tell that he is very intelligent and will
do well in America.
provided by Steve Weitkamp - Catholic Charities