Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart is a story about a family in crisis. It focuses on the conflict between two young Vietnamese Australians and their parents. As their children turn eagerly towards all that a new culture has to offer them, their parents retreat back towards the values that have always supported them in the past. Thuy, has left the family home after an argument. He has left school and has been living where he can, on the streets or with friends. During this time he has been using drugs and is now desperate and wants to return home. To do this he must reach some sort of understanding with his parents. In Vietnam the father is the undisputed patriarch who holds the rights to enforce discipline in any way he sees fit. Three generations of the family live together in an inner urban high rise flat. Minh (the father) and Thuy (the mother), are both working long hours and have little time to spend with their family. It is they who bear most of the responsibility for the family and who in a sense have sacrificed the most by coming to Australia. They are both working jobs well below the qualifications they held in Vietnam. They have very high expectations of their children and push them to achieve high status in their new country. At the same time they cling to their past cultural values and expect their children to do the same. This clash of cultures within the same family provides the undercurrent to Worlds Apart, and is essentially the major problem confronting Vietnamese families today.