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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 293

“Stealing Buddha’s Dinner” is a story by Bich Minh Nguyen. The story gives an account of the author’s history as a young refugee from Vietnam growing up in Michigan. There are various characters, in the story including Bich’s immediate family and her friends. The discussion below illustrates the various characters, their relationship with Bich, and how some of them influenced her life.

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Bich is the main character in the story. She gives an account of her life as a young refugee from Vietnam growing up in Michigan. She paints a picture of herself as a small girl who puts on glasses. She is much more of an introvert and does not blend in with her classmates. She often gets into fights with other students over issues related to religion and race. As a result, she finds comfort in books and her performance in school is good. After arriving in the United States, Bich’s father gets married to a woman by the name Rosa. She is of the Mexican-American origin, and she has a daughter by the name Chrissy, who eventually becomes part of the family. Later, Rosa gives birth to a boy by the name Vinh, who automatically becomes Bich’s brother. Bich befriends her neighbor by the name Jennifer Vander Wal and two other girls from her school, Loan and Holly Jansen. Bich’s grandmother, Noi, had formed a habit of placing fruits in front of the Buddha’s statue that was at their home. On her part, Bich did not spare the fruits as she would steal them, hence the title of the story. Other characters in the story include Anh, Bich’s sister, as well as her three uncles Chu Dai, Chu Anh, and Chu Cuong.

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