In Vietnam, international remittances from the diaspora are a significant input into the national economy. Yet beyond capital transfer, remittance economies are also key social nodes offering insight into the extension of imaginations, expectations, and desires that accompany them. This article examines the role of gifting remittances in reestablishing, maintaining, and straining kinship networks disrupted by refugee exile, and catalyzing shifting aspirations and mobile horizons. Drawing on fieldwork from Vietnam's southern and central coast regions, this essay interrogates the anthropological question of the mediatory role of gifts in social exchange relations. It argues that the long-distance nature of remittance exchanges in the contemporary global political economy juxtaposes the mobility and exchangeable value of money and its senders against the experiences of local bodies confined within the nation state. This contradiction reveals a liminal space for emergent social imaginaries in which the characteristics of the gifting medium itself come to partially affect and embody the relationships between and identities among givers and receivers. Such imaginaries draw awareness to spatial and ontological margins, borders, and horizons associated with migratory and financial flows and opportunities and are displaced into diverse sociocultural forms reflecting phenomenological degrees of aspiration, realization, and frustration.
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