Shelter from the Storm: Bryan Brown, Samoan Chieftains and the Little Matter of a Roof over Our Heads

By Siobhán McHugh | Go to book overview

17

Elderly Rebels

Van Lang Co-op

In Vietnam, we don't go into debt. We pay everything in cash, or gold. As we say, you be a mature person when you are capable to have a roof over your head and a tomb for when you get older, when you die: that's the two concepts of being mature ...

You have to be checked in order to afford to pay a house by cash. For example, I can't break away from my own family unless I prove that I am mature, I have enough money to live on, I can look after my children by myself. In that case, my parents would say, 'Okay, you are checked, you can move away from my home'. They support their children to establish themselves. And you would believe that if a source of income is giving you enough finance to move away, they maintain a very powerful [position]. Their children owe them a a big favour.

—Anh Tran

The family is paramount in Vietnam. It is a self-sufficient unit, a mini‐ community governed by customs and traditions as binding for most Vietnamese as the official laws observed by the broader society. Three or four generations commonly live together, mingling freely in large, open‐ plan houses very different from the standard Australian three-bedroom home, as Anh explains.

We used to sleep in one big divan, brother, sister, when they were younger than ten years old, they tend to sleep together. Once they get

-171-

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Shelter from the Storm: Bryan Brown, Samoan Chieftains and the Little Matter of a Roof over Our Heads
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Shelter from the Storm - Bryan Brown, Samoan Chieftains and the Little Matter of a Roof Over Our Heads *
  • Contents v
  • Preface vi
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Shelter from the Storm viii
  • 1 - A Samoan Symphony the People of Proctor Way, Claymore 1
  • 2 - Pretend Mum 22
  • 3 - A 'House' in Hollywood 29
  • 4 - Hate Street Cooremah Housing Company 39
  • 5 - Poor Little Princess 47
  • 6 - Artists, Ratbags and Lower Grade Yuppies 64
  • 7 - A Ghetto It Wasn't 77
  • 8 - I'D Rather Live in a Caravan 87
  • 9 - Goodbye Saddam 99
  • 10 - Daceyville Days 107
  • 11 - Sarajevo to City West 120
  • 12 - A Hard Nut to Crack 127
  • 13 - High Hopes in a High-Rise 139
  • 14 - Family Matters 146
  • 15 - Kidney and Car Wanted 153
  • 16 - How Green Was My Valley 161
  • 17 - Elderly Rebels 171
  • 18 - Rainbow's End 182
  • 19 - Running from the Rent Man 191
  • 20 - A Place to Belong 201
  • Notes 211
  • Index 212
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