Cuc Lam’s Suitcase

Cuc Lam’s Suitcase is an episode of the series National Treasures produced in 2004.

Cuc Lam’s Suitcase
Vietnamese refugee Cuc Lam took family photos and jewellery but sacrificed one precious possession to buy a suitcase, now in Melbourne’s Immigration Museum. Cuc Lam talks to Warren Brown about her journey to Australia and how this small red vinyl bag was a symbol of a new beginning in a new country.

After watching the video ‘Cuc Lam’s Suitcase‘ answer the following questions either in your homework book or as a comment on the blog.

UNDERSTANDING THE VIDEO:

  1. Why is it assumed that family photo albums and precious jewellery would be the items that viewers would save if they had to flee their homes?
  2. Who was Cuc Lam?
  3. Why was she a refugee?
  4. Where did she go to after fleeing Vietnam?
  5. Why did she end up in Australia?
  6. When did she arrive here?
  7. Why did Cuc Lam purchase the suitcase?
  8. Where is Cuc Lam’s suitcase now located and why is it a national treasure?
  9. What has happened to her in Australia?
  10. If you were forced to leave your home forever, what would you take with you?

6 Comments on Cuc Lam’s Suitcase

  1. Christian
    May 2, 2016 at 6:35 pm (11 months ago)

    Question #1 Why is it assumed that family photo albums and precious jewellery would be the items that viewers would save if they had to flee their homes?

    Most people think about their family so they want to take something with them that helps them to remember. They take jewellery because it’s expensive and you don’t want to waste the money and it is also very pretty to wear.

    Question #2 Who is Cuc Lam?

    Cuc Lam is a Vietnamese refugee, who was forced to leave her home. She fled from the Vietnam War and pretended she was a fisherman. She was then rescued by the Navy and was put in a Malaysian refugee camp.

    Question #3 Why was she a refugee?

    She is a refugee because she was forced to move out of her house and take a ship so that she could escape the Vietnam War. She also had to stay in a refugee camp for a while as well.

    Question #4 Where did she go after fleeing Vietnam?

    She was rescued and sent to a Malaysian Refugee camp.

    Question #5 Why did she end up in Australia?

    She was accepted into Australia by the government. Cuc Lam sold her wedding ring so that she could buy a suitcase to take to Australia with her.

    Question #6 When did she arrive here?

    Cuc Lam arrived in Australian in 16/7/78 as said on her suitcase.

    Question #7 Why did Cuc Lam purchase the suitcase?

    Cuc Lam purchased a suitcase so that she could hold her and her husband’s belongings and to be a reminder of the event and to have something with her.

    Question #8 Where is Cuc lam’s suitcase now located and why is it a national treasure?

    Cuc Lam’s suitcase is located in the Immigration Museum in Melbourne.
    The suitcase is a National treasure because it was something that Cuc Lam kept and has lots of history because of all the writing on the case and all the tags.

    Question #9 What has happened to her in Australia?

    She was a local counselor and is now a Multi-Cultural Services Officer with centrelink.

    Question #10 If you were forced to leave your home forever, what would you take with you?

    If I was forced to leave my home the top 5 things ( Not Ordered ) I would bring are.

    1.My A Series Of Unfortunate Events Books
    2.My Laptop (Macbook Air)
    3.Water
    4.Blankets
    5.Clothes

    Reply
  2. amelie
    May 3, 2016 at 6:55 pm (11 months ago)

    Why is it assumed that family photo albums and precious jewellery would be the items that viewers would save if they had to flee their homes?
    Because they want something to remember about their home, their family and their friends. They want to remember the life they had before, even if they are starting a new one.
    Who was Cuc Lam?
    Cuc Lam left her family behind when she fled from Vietnam in 1978. She escaped in a boat down the river, disguised as a fisherman. A watch from her sister, her wedding ring and her mother’s earrings were the only things she brought. She sold her wedding ring to buy a red suitcase, so that she would not arrive in Australia empty handed.
    Why was she a refugee?
    She was a refugee when she decided to escape to a better country, hoping for a life away from the Vietnam War, which her family was living through. She sought refuge in another country when Vietnam became no longer safe for citizens.
    Where did she go to after fleeing Vietnam?
    After 8 days at sea, they were picked up by a Malaysian ship. It was in a Malaysian refugee camp that she heard she had been accepted into Australia.
    Why did she end up in Australia?
    The Malaysian camp organised it with the Government to send over the refugees from the camp.
    When did she arrive here?
    She arrived in Australia in 1978
    Why did Cuc Lam purchase the suitcase?
    So that she would not be alone in the new country, so that she had something to carry, something just for her.
    Where is Cuc Lam’s suitcase now located and why is it a national treasure?
    The small red vinyl bag was a symbol of a new beginning in a new country for her and how all refugees have some type of hope and different things that give them hope. It is located in the Museum of Immigration.
    What has happened to her in Australia?
    Cuc works at Centrelink and continues supporting her family in Vietnam. In 2007 Cuc Lam was awarded a Refugee Recognition Award from the Victorian Multicultural Commission for her work with the Immigration Museum.
    If you were forced to leave your home forever, what would you take with you?
    Money, water and food if possible, photo, valuables-like a gold ring, a backpack, phone and a pen in case google translate isn’t working!

    Reply
  3. Caleb
    May 4, 2016 at 7:11 pm (11 months ago)

    1. Because the photo album reminds them of family and the precious jewellery to remind them about special moments in their lives.

    2. Cuc Lam was a person that lived in Vietnam and had to flee because of the war. She pretended to be a fisherman so she could escape. Later the Navy found her and brought her to the Malaysian refugee camp.

    3. She is a refugee because she lived in Vietnam and then came to Australia with an application and the government said alright and now she lives here.

    4. She went to a Malaysian refugee camp and then Australia.

    5. She fled her country because of the war.

    6. She arrived here on the 16/7/1978.

    7. She just wanted something that made them look like they had something. Even though they actually had nothing to put in it.

    8. In the Immigration museum. It symbolises the end of one life and a beginning of another.

    9. Cuc became a local councilor and a multi cultural services officer with Center-link.

    10. Food, water, family photos, clothes and money.

    Reply
  4. Hugo
    May 5, 2016 at 4:35 pm (11 months ago)

    1.Because they’re sentimental and you want to remember your family
    2.An immigrant from Vietnam
    3.Yes
    4.Because that’s where the flights were going to
    5.Malaysia
    6.16/7/78
    7.She wanted something from home
    8.Melbourne Immigration Museum
    9.She helped the government with getting a job
    10.Three jam packed suitcases full of sentimental stuff

    Reply
  5. Mia
    May 5, 2016 at 5:20 pm (11 months ago)

    They would chose them because it reminds them of family and the jewellery maybe because it is very expensive or given to them by a special person.
    Cuc Lam was a refugee from Vietnam and she fled with her husband.
    She is a refugee because she left Vietnam because of War and fled by boat to Malaysia.
    Cuc Lam went to Malaysia, fleeing Vietnam.
    They got flown by the Australian government.
    Around 1979
    Cuc Lam purchased it because they decided to sell their wedding rings to buy the suitcase to bring something with them or at least look like they bought something with them.
    Cuc Lam’s suitcase is now located in the Melbourne Immigration Museum.
    Cuc now works at Centrelink and continues supporting her family in Vietnam and is living a happy life.
    If I was forced to leave Australia I would bring a communicating device so I could still talk to my family and photos of my family so I can remember what they look like and how much they love me.

    Reply
  6. Xavier
    May 5, 2016 at 8:17 pm (11 months ago)

    1. Why is it assumed that family photo albums and precious jewellery would be the items that viewers would save if they had to flee their homes?
    Photo albums and precious jewellery are more precious than other stuff because photo albums and jewellery can’t be replaced and they hold memories that can’t be replaced.
    2. Who was Cuc Lam?
    Cuc Lam is a person that was from Vietnam and came to Australia because of the Vietnam war.
    3. Why was she a refugee?
    Cuc Lam was a refugee from Vietnam that came to Australia.
    4. Where did she go to after fleeing Vietnam?
    After Cuc Lam left Vietnam because of the war they went to Malaysia where there was a refugee camp.
    5. Why did she end up in Australia?
    Cuc Lam arrived in Australia because the Australian government said she could live in Sydney and she wasn’t the only one that came to Australia from Vietnam.
    6. When did she arrive here?
    Cuc Lam arrived in Sydney on the 16th on July 1978 with her suitcase that she brought from selling her wedding ring.
    7. Why did Cuc Lam purchase the suitcase?
    Cuc Lam brought the red small suitcase so that she could but her belongings.
    8. Where is Cuc Lam’s suitcase now located and why is it a national treasure?
    Cuc Lam’s suitcase was such a big thing because it has a story that you can’t put a price tag on.
    9. What has happened to her in Australia?
    Cuc started working firstly as a counsellor and then became a multi-cultural services office with Centalink.
    10. If you were forced to leave your home forever, what would you take with you?
    If I was forced to live I would take photos of my family.

    Reply

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