Introduction to the Patagonia article titled “Don’t Forget Your Roots”:

With their neatly bobbed, dark hair hidden under a bucket cap, Mai Nguyen watches their daughter swing giddily back and forth on the park’s spring horse—both of their smiles barely contained underneath our time’s ever-present face masks. Watching Mai play with their young daughter on a sunny, warm day in San Diego’s Trolley Barn Park, it quickly becomes apparent why their family and heritage lay at the heart of everything they do.

“We had deep roots in Vietnam—as far back we can remember in our family record we were only living in Vietnam,” says Mai, before explaining that their family immigrated to the United States around the time of the Vietnam War.

“But when you uproot a tree, it’s traumatic and most likely the tree is not going to make it. The best bet is you can save some limbs and try to get them to root,” they add. “That’s me. I’m one of those branches … and so is my daughter.”

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Don’t Forget Your Roots

Photo Credit: Sashwa Burrous