Young generations of OVs face towards fatherland

Thursday, 2019-01-31 17:14:58
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Children are learning Vietnamese with teacher Lien Huong.
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NDO – The Europe – Vietnam Association was launched to the public in May 2016 in Paris, France, aiming for younger generations of Overseas Vietnamese (OVs) in the host country to learn Vietnamese and study traditional national culture, songs and musical instruments.

According to Nguyen Song Huong, the Association’s Vice President in charge of external affairs, there are now two Vietnamese language classes, including one for children at the ages of 10-15 and one for 5-9 year-old students. The collective classes are for national martial arts, singing, dance, T’rung xylophone and percussion, with individual courses training in dan tranh (16-chord zither), dan bau (monochord) and dan nguyet (two-chord guitar). The Europe – Vietnam Association has always received support from the Vietnamese Embassy and Vietnamese Cultural Centre in France.

The teachers and curators are experienced and loved by the children, such as Henri Cuve, Michel Introvigne, Le Kim Chi, Nguyen Song Huong, Jacqueline Florentin, Roger Apharel, Helene Nguyen, Jacqueline Sandra, Daniel Nguyen, Dieu Thuy Introvigne and Rosalie Nguyen.

Daniel Nguyen, in charge of teaching national instruments, was born into a family with traditional fondness for national instruments. He proficiently plays many kinds of instruments such as the monochord, 16-chord zither, T’rung xylophone, two-chord guitar and percussion. Jacqueline Florentin, who works as a lecturer for a music academy in the suburbs of Paris, is teaching 16-chord zither and in charge of organising arts programmes of the Europe-Vietnam Association.

Both Daniel and Jacqueline have wholeheartedly conveyed their knowledge of national Vietnamese musical instruments to younger generations of OVs in France. They hope that music would help children to gain a deeper understanding of their fatherland’s history, culture and ethical values. Daniel Nguyen said: “Teaching music is a way to transmit the essence of national music to children. Each melody contains a part of history, morality, and affection, so we have to explain how to make them understand”.

The Vietnamese language teacher Vu Mai Anh was an elementary teacher at an international school before she went to France. For her, teaching Vietnamese at the Association is her passion because she can spread patriotism and Vietnamese cultural values to children. She said that her students are very happy whenever they go to the class.

Rosalie Nguyen is a doctor and also a teacher of singing and dancing at the Europe – Vietnam Association. Despite being busy with work and far from her house, she has tried to teach children every weekend. Rosalie Nguyen confided: “I am a Vietnamese person but grew up in France. My parents taught me to read and write Vietnamese. My mother always sang Vietnamese songs that I liked very much, but I was not fortunate to join a cultural organisation like the Europe – Vietnam Association which my children are taking part in”.

Duong Quynh Hoa, whose husband is French, shared that they have always encouraged their children to learn Vietnamese and practice monochord at the Association. Vietnamese language is the key to pave the way for the children to significantly contribute to the motherland’s development in the future.

Perhaps the most diligent person in the Europe – Vietnam Association was the 15-year-old boy Valentin Gofinet. Despite severe weather conditions and the far distance from his home, he has never been absent from classes. He studied T’rung xylophone, drum, singing and national martial arts.

The two sisters Elise Pandolfi (13 years old) and Oriane Pandolfi (12 years old) have experienced interesting vacations in Vietnam with their grandparents. Every two years, Oriane and Elise have returned to Vietnam, visiting many destinations and have enjoyed various delicious specialties. They have brought accessories, national instruments and Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional long dress) for their friends in the Association for the performances during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Jacqueline is teaching the way to playing the16-chord zither.

DINH TUAN/Translated by NDO