Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 6:25 pm
If you've had a manicure in California, odds are the person at the other end of the emery board was of Vietnamese heritage.
Vietnamese immigrants now dominate California's nail-care industry — and make up a significant percentage of all manicurists nationwide.
The story began with a hurried immigration after the fall of Saigon almost four decades ago.
Sparked by the interest of a group of refugees and the help of a Hollywood star, the demand for affordable manicures quickly became the foundation of the American dream for many Vietnamese newcomers.
(NPR's Larry Abramson is among the correspondents traveling with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Asia this week. Monday, he told us about a poignant exchange of artifacts. Today, he gives us a glimpse of what it's like to be in the secretary's motorcade.)
(NPR's Larry Abramson is among the correspondents traveling with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Asia this week. In Vietnam earlier today, the government there told Panetta it will open three new sites for excavation — in the hope of finding U.S. troops' remains.