25 years ago
Aug. 9,Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color 1988
Nine people from foreign lands who live in Otsego County were finally able to call it home after they became citizens of the United States Thursday in a ceremony at the Chenango County Courthouse in Norwich.
They were part of a 19-person group made up of people from Chenango, Delaware, Madison and Oneida counties.
Danny Hoang, 29, was one of those who became naturalized Thursday. He is from northern Vietnam and came to the U.S. eight years ago as a political refugee.
“I want to come here because America is freedom, and I want to be free,” he said.
Cyndy Dang, Hoang’s wife, also became a citizen at the ceremony. Both came from Hai Phong and now cook Chinese food at Little Panda, a restaurant located on Oneonta’s Main Street.
“I miss Vietnam a little bit,” Hoang said. “I miss the neighborhood, the people, but I don’t miss the government.”
Annette Mohr, from the Netherlands, who also was naturalized Thursday, said she was not as moved at the ceremony as the others because she did not immigrate to the U.S. due to political problems.
Instead Mohr moved from The Hague, they capital of the Netherlands, 14 years ago because of her husband’s job. He used to work in international banking, but now works for the United Nations Children’s Fund, she said.
She said she was impressed with the wide open spaces of the U.S.
“I’m hooked on Otego,” Mohr said.
Other new U.S. citizens and their original nations: Ed Aly Akil of Oneonta, originally from Syria; Almaz Tsehaye and Michael Tewolde of Oneonta, from Ethiopia; Hung Duy Pham of Oneonta, from Vietname; Ziyad Mansur of Oneonta, from Lebanon; and Madhu Kumari Singh of Oneonta, originally from India.