With red flags and loud revolutionary music, the gathering inside the massive National Conference Hall in Hanoi's outskirts resembles a regular meeting of Vietnamese political cadres, only with better-cut suits and more fluent English.The term "diaspora" implies "Once a Vietnamese (or whatever), always a Vietnamese (or whatever)."
This is the first meeting of Vietnam's diaspora to be held inside the country, attracting nearly 1,000 Vietnamese living overseas for a three-day conference. [Vietnam's diaspora urged to return home , November 27, 2009 ]
Another delegate, Nguyen Ngoc My, is equally excited about the changes in Vietnam.Certainly some diasporans genuinely believe that a less repressive regime is in the offing. However, the experience of Red China shows that the tyrannical state structure remains in place. Anyway, it's all about the money.
"I used to take part in anti-Hanoi protests whenever Vietnamese government officials visited Australia, up until 1986-1987, when Vietnam began the reform process."
In 1992, Mr My started making made regular visits back and since 2000 he has spent most of his time in Vietnam pursuing a number of investment projects. He eventually become chairman of the Overseas Vietnamese (or Viet kieu) Business Club in Ho Chi Minh City.
But he admits that there are still parts of the Vietnamese diaspora who remain suspicious of the country's Communist rulers.
There are nearly four million Vietnamese living overseas, mostly in the United States.For the Chinese version of tribe ??ber alles see Temps Decamp to Glorious PRC Homeland.
Each year, they send relatives back home up to $10bn, a major source of hard currency in the communist country.
But knowledge and expertise, not money, are what the government expects most from the Viet kieu.