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Founder's Most Personal Story 'About Tea as a Catalyst for Social Change'

July 14, 2021

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Tea has been a personal passion of my sub-conscience since my maternal grandmother taught me how to brew Japanese green tea

No platform has come close to being able to articulate and express why I've chosen 'tea as a catalyst for social change' than this award-winning podcast Vietnamese Boat People. It is the power of oral story-telling and pursuit of the compassionate team of volunteers who pour their heart and soul into preserving and carrying forward a positive message of hope and resilience that comes out of a violent and controversial history like the Vietnam War.
"The Vietnamese Boat People podcast is stories of hope, survival and resilience. Between 1975 to 1992, almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Escaping by boat, many found freedom in foreign land, many were captured and brutally punished, and many did not survive the journey. This population of people are known as the ‘Vietnamese Boat People' and these are their stories."

Honored to share my story, Episode #30 Mỹ Thị Bùi, link here: https://www.vietnameseboatpeop...|6/29/2021

Naoko Tsunoda was born in Los Angeles in 1976 and adopted by Japanese expats the following year. Despite knowing she was adopted, it was not until she turned 18 that Naoko’s parents revealed that she is ethnically Vietnamese. Thus began a decades-long search for the missing pieces of her history, culminating in the discovery of her birth name: Mỹ Thị Bùi. Now in her forties, Naoko is learning to embrace her dual identities via her love of tea. The events of 2020 propelled her to start her own online tea boutique, Key To Teas, where she offers tea sourced directly from Japan and Vietnam. 2020 also sparked a search for her birth mother and an older half-sister. She hopes that by sharing her story, this serves as a beacon to help reunite them.

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