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, 38 (2), 308-30

"Freedom. Money. Fun. Love.": The Warlore of Vietnamese Bargirls

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"Freedom. Money. Fun. Love.": The Warlore of Vietnamese Bargirls

Mai Lan Gustafsson. Oral Hist Rev.

Abstract

Memories of the Vietnam War abound in the minds of those who survived it, be they veterans or civilians, Vietnamese or American. Vietnamese refugees, forced to flee their homeland after the war ended in 1975, tell particularly poignant stories of loss -- of country, of family, of tradition, and of identity. Not so the women featured in this article. During the war, they served as bargirls in Saigon, entertaining American soldiers. The stories they tell of the war paint an entirely different picture: one of good times, and camaraderie, and the exhilaration of being young and free in the city. They were able to break free from tradition and the expectations imposed on their gender because of the war, and because of that, remember the war as the best time of their lives.

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