Learning to speak “Uncle Ho” first
When Uncle Ho did revolutionary activities in Thailand during 1928 and 1929, Dang Van Dung had not yet been born. But when he was very small, he often listened to touching stories about the beloved leader of the Vietnamese revolution. These included the stories about the life and revolutionary activities of Uncle Ho.
In 1928, Uncle Ho operated in May hamlet in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. The hamlet was home to generations of Vietnamese nationals and therefore, Vietnamese people there still preserved the Vietnamese traditions. Before leaving the hamlet, Uncle Ho planted a coonut tree and a thistle. The thistle is now a meeting place for Vietnamese nationals there. Vietnamese nationals gather in under its shade on national anniversaries, such as Uncle Ho’s birthday (May 19th), National Independence Day (September 2nd) and Lunar New Year, recalling memories about the country and Uncle Ho. Elderly people in the hamlet told that when living in the hamlet, Uncle Ho worked together with local farmers, tried to learn Thai and taught Vietnamese to local children.
The stories about the national great leader “brought up” Mr. Dung and peers in Thailand. “When I was 2 years old and learn to speak, the first words I babbled were ‘Mom’, ‘Dad’ and ‘Uncle Ho’,” he said.
Last month, Mr. Dung had great honour when he was a member of the delegation of overseas Vietnamese participating in the 2013 Hung Kings Death Anniversary Programme held by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese under the Vietnam Foreign Affair Ministry. During the programme, the delegation visited the Pac Po Relic Site in Truong Ha commune, Ha Quang district, Cao Bang province. Entering Coc Bo cave, where Uncle Ho lived, worked and directed the Vietnamese revolutionary movements during the resistance war against French colonists, Mr. Dung and other delegates felt very touched. Mr. Dung was touching on the simple wooden bed, where Uncle Ho slept, and burst to cry. He whispered to Uncle Ho that he would be a son of the Fatherland forever and try his best to deserve the Uncle Ho’s trust and love for overseas Vietnamese.
Learning Vietnamese to visit home country
Although born and growing up in Thailand, Dang Van Dung had spent much time to learn Vietnamese and tried to compose poems in Vietnamese. He also learnt by heart many Vietnamese poems, especially poetic pieces by late poet To Huu.
He said that during the national war against American invaders, relations between Vietnam and Thailand were not good and therefore, it was difficult for Vietnamese nationals in Thailand to learn Vietnamese. But my grantparents and parents asked all members of our great family to speak Vietnamese at home. Additionally, he bought Vietnamese books and newspapers to learn Vietnamese with a hope that one day he could visit his homeland.
In 2000, he was very happy when he was granted Vietnamese citizenship. Since then, he often visits the Fatherland and sought opportunities to contribute to the Fatherland. As the director of a construction company in Thailand, he led a number of Thai companies to Vietnam to seek business opportunities in the country. During the visit to Cao Bang, he had an idea to propose his Thai friends specializing in agriculture to plant Thai mango in the Vietnamese northern province.
“I always want to contribute to building our homeland to be rich and beautiful as Uncle Ho wished. I hope that more than 4 million Vietnamese nationals living in foreign countries across the world will try their best to contribute more to the Fatherland,” the Vietnamese national in Thailand said.
Translated by Hoang Quan