Monk Hiếu Liên, her spiritual name, is a buddhist monk at the Tinh Xa Ngoc Chau. She was born in Saigon in 1965 and moved to America in 1992. Her father was a major in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, so leaving the country during the regime change was paramount. Hiếu Liên was a monk before moving to America at the age of 28. When she arrived in Portland in 2002, where there are very few buddhist temples, she established Tinh Xa Ngoc Chau.

In this interview Hiếu Liên describes the process of moving from Vietnam to America through the Humanitarian Operation and how it was difficult to manage with her vegetarianism and religious practices. She mentions the cultural issues that are present within the Vietnamese community such as a disconnect between parents and children which is a large part of Hiếu Liên’s buddhist practice: filial piety. Next, she shares the story of how she became a monk and how important her father was in making that decision. Towards the end of her interview Hiếu Liên shares her hopes for the Vietnamese community in America and shares advice for the younger generation to study and love their parents.