Hung Cam Th ai Thai discusses how his interest in researching transnational marriage and migration was ignited during a return to Vietnam after many years. He describes how his multiple identities as a refugee, an immigrant, and a transmigrant offer a unique advantage in making connections between macro processes and individual relationships. His discussion of his present research on Viet Kieu—those Vietnamese workers who have returned to Vietnam—exempliﬁ es these connections
In the book, I focused on a transnational marriage market that emerged in the mid-1990s linking women in Vietnam and overseas immigrant men living and working in the Vietnamese Diaspora. Th e project started in Vietnam because I was initially motivated to spend time with my mother, with whom I was united in my early 20s, aft er having lost touch since leaving the country as a child. I had been interested in immigration, but not necessarily marriage migration until I met a group of young local men who thought I was there to search for a wife. Th e encounter was an unpleasant one, but it led me to
pursue the topic. My personal motivation was very important for the success of the project: I was compelled to spend as much time in Vietnam as possible to be with my mother. I was able to immerse myself immediately into Vietnamese culture, despite not having been back for over 15 years since I left the country as a child. Th at made the project go very smoothly since I designed the project in a way that I got to talk to the women in Vietnam (prior to their migration) as well as the men they married, who were living in the United States at the time.