Summary of the story
Authored by Diana Kidd, Onion of Tears is a captivating must-read chef-d’oeuvre presenting the story of Nam Huong, a young Vietnamese girl. The girl, a refugee in Australia found herself in the place because of a war in her home country, which saw her parents succumb to death.
On her journey to Australia, the agony of Huong intensifies when her grandparent dies on the ship on their journey to Australia. The situation leaves her alone and therefore taken care of her aunty (foster mother) and Chu Minh. She seeks and gets employment in Mr. and Mrs. Noc restaurant.
The girl receives some discrimination at school from her classmate based on her unstable situation as opposed to that of the other students who seem well up. The girl therefore has the quest of finding the rest of her family members, a feeling that she expresses through crying and writing letters to birds. Hence, the book illustrates the difficulties that come from living in a society with different cultures.
A letter to Diana Kidd
To Diana Kidd
Based on the realism and relevance of your masterwork, I humbly utilize this opportunity to put forth my gratitude for this kind of work. In its simplest sense, Onion of Tears reflects upon the situation experienced by those going through hardships in life, a case that seems rampant in the contemporary world. I found the narrative interesting and talking about the reality that the refugees go through.
I do concur with the way you have developed the plot of the narrative as it illustrates or shows clearly how those people who do not relate to the mainstream society are discriminated and viewed negative by the society. It holds true that these scenario of discrimination may go on for a while but as time goes by, the society can change their already formed perceptions and accommodate refugees as one of them as seem in the narrative.
On relevance, I agree that the narrative is relevant to the current times. Our society has turned out as unstable and hostile. Political wars and fights are rampant which leaves many people as refugees as they fly out of their home countries to areas of stability. Therefore, on its relevant, the narrative actually represents the reality that the society goes through.
Experience of refugees
From my experience resulting from watching television and listening to radio, the issue of refugees stands out as a very painful experience. The situation results from different reasons ranging from civil wars, political instability, crises, and hunger amongst other reasons.
Refugees therefore seek cover and protection in a neighboring country. Refugees undergo hardships especially when they seek refuge in countries that have no good relationships with their home country. Refugees who gain acceptance in foreign countries face harsh living condition as they live in poor conditions, their shelter are tents, face health problems, and even lack of clothing and food. There is no doubt that refugee’s face very hard life trying to survive away from their countries.
Some of the refugees are taken care by humanitarian groups and Nongovernmental organization that provide them with medical care, food and clothing. Refuges has no time limit as most of them may stay in a foreign country for a long time depending on the status of their home country and the decision of the foreign country to transport them back to their homeland.
My knowledge about refugees seems similar to that of Nam Huong that refugees face seclusion and discrimination most of the time from the mainstream society because of their miserable way of life and belief of being outcasts (Teresa 21).
Huong, a working illustration suffered discrimination by his classmate while at the school, as they did not want to associate with her. Another similarity about the narrative and my knowledge about refugees come in the causes of the refugee situation.
In the story, Huong becomes a refuge because of war in Vietnam (Kidd 54) and therefore finds herself in Australia as her second home. Likewise, to my knowledge, most of refugees in many parts of the world result from such problems like wars, hunger and political instability amongst others.
Kidd, Diana. Onion of Tears. Australia: Harper Collins Publishers, 1990.
Teresa, Bernice. Immigration & Acceptance of Cultural Differences Literature Based Lesson-Onion Tears by Diana Kidd. Australia: Tree Books, 1989.