She was born in the Czech Republic and she speaks the native language perfectly. But thanks to her Vietnamese heritage, Marianna (24) encountered prejudices during the height of popularity of the “Bobika” TV ad when people were discussing whether Asian people eat dogs. Marianna has one as a pet, so she won’t be eating any soon.
Do you feel there is prejudice that people from Vietnam eat dogs?
People used to make fun of me when there was a TV ad for “Bobika” by centrum.cz. In the ad, a lady came to a restaurant with a dog. She asked the waitress if they could take care of the dog. Next shot shows the cook, bringing it out on a plate. Back then, a lot of people were talking whether Asians eat cats and dogs so people used to make fun of me. Some were having so much of it, it was uncomfortable. I have never eaten a dog before. The only thing I tried, that people find weird, was a duck egg with a duck in it. I wouldn’t be able to eat it today, back then I didn’t mind. But today, I don’t feel any prejudice towards me from others.
Not even when looking for a job?
It’s true that due to my heritage, it may be harder to get a job. But it used to be much worse. Today’s society is more multicultural. I wasn’t able to get a job anywhere, except for Starbucks. Employers claimed that me being Vietnamese could cause problems in the environment.
But you were already born in Czech. Do you consider yourself Czech or Vietnamese?
That’s very hard to say. I tell everyone I’m Vietnamese who was born here. I belong in he Vietnamese community but I wouldn’t be able to live in Vietnam. It is completely different there. I’m more accustomed to the European culture.
What should people, who do hold prejudices, realize?
They should definitely try to put themselves into other’s shoes. If they were in Asia and people would be laughing at them, how would they feel? They should first think deeply about themselves before judging others. And since everyone is different, don’t judge anyone based on how they look, but who they are.
Do you think there may be some truth to any prejudices against the Vietnamese community?
I think there are some people who eat dogs. I believe so. It has always been and always will be like that. It just wasn’t as widely known. I think Asians can globally easily enter different communities, where they live and try to adapt. But the food that you eat, you get used go it. It’s hard to let that go. On the other hand, if Europeans came to Asia, we won’t stop them from eating pasta, even though that’s not what we eat here, we eat rice.