Nga’s Letter – Growing Up Along the Red River

Posted on June 8th, by Marie Louden-Hanes in Asia's Eastern Edge: A Photo Journal of Vietnam. 2 comments


RedRiver Today

Ha Nội: The Red River


Alongside the Red River

On Jun 3, 2015, at 22:38, Thanh Nga Hoang wrote:

Good Morning Marie!

I’ve just read your blog about your amazing experience in Vietnam!

Maybe you don’t know this but my hometown is alongside The Red River. I love that place but I am scared of the river’s strength.

I remember when the water became high, the narrow village road was slippery. My mother and I each tried to press our ten toes on the ground as if we were lizards on the wall.

My favorite childhood memories are of riding on the back of my mother’s  bicycle and going with her on the village road to visit our relatives.

The Red River Delta  is fertile with wide fields on either side in the country where  farmers spend long days without a break from their labor or relief from the heat. I remember as a child when we heard that the floods were coming, the farmers and all the local people tried to fight against nature.

But some lost their houses and some lost family members and friends.  Food was scarce. It was a sad time. But out of the sadness and despair, relationships with others were closer than before the floods. Everyone seemed to take care of each other more carefully. And life was revived as if the revival of trees in the spring.

The circle of life from generation to generation continues to fill the children’s  memories and nourishes their souls so that they can overcome difficulties in life.


Me Linh, Ha Nội I – Photograph by Hoang Thanh Nga


Me Linh, Ha Nội II – Photograph by Hoang Thanh Nga

Talking about and thinking about my hometown and the Red River reminded me of a poem from the collection of  poetry by Đỗ Trung Quân.

It is a much longer poem, but the part I remember goes like this:

“Mom, what is the hometown,

That the teacher teaches me that I must love?

Mom, what is the hometown,

That everyone who left there missed a lot?”

See you!

Hoang Thanh Nga

University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

HCM City National University

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 9.24.12 AM

Hoang Thanh Nga


2 thoughts on “Nga’s Letter – Growing Up Along the Red River

  1. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment
    (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and
    say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still
    new to the whole thing. Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog
    writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

From the Blog

Wondering what it's really like to be at The University of Findlay? Follow our bloggers and read—and sometimes listen and watch—their experiences. Real Oilers. Real stories. Real life.

UF International Night 2019

At the end of March, campus celebrated 50 years of a Findlay tradition — International night!

This was my second year of...

For The Kids!

FTK is a popular slogan you may hear around UF’s campus, but what does it mean? FTK is a saying that...

Work Hard, Play Hard

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here! It feels amazing to be back and I am extremely grateful for...

At Home in #OilerNation

Take a look at what it’s like to live in #OilerNation, as Meredith gives us a tour of her room and...

Meet Meredith!

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, I came all the way to the University of Findlay for the incredible animal...

Year #3, Here I Come!

Somehow, time has flown by and this year I started my third year here at the University of Findlay! For a pre-physical therapy...

Homestays and new experiences

So far on our journey, we have encountered so many kind people and even made some great new friends. The professors...

Why Fukui?

You may find yourself wondering why we traveled to Japan. To put it simply, Kat and I wholeheartedly believe traveling and...

Seeing the Sights and Settling In

The first three days of our trip were spent traveling Osaka, a great place for sightseeing here in Japan. We were...

Sleepless in Osaka

A few days ago, we were scheduled to leave for Japan with Dr. Alison Baer and her husband Paul.  If you...

Ready to Go!

Kat Slate and Julia Smith

Hello, Kat Slate and Julia Smith here! We are education majors setting out to teach...

Dear Findlay: A Letter to Everyone I’ve Known the Past 4 Years

Dear Findlay (and everyone affiliated),

Graduation Day with Dr. Scott Grant, one of my best college mentors and a major...

Use Your Words

For my last blog post of the academic year (I’ll be back this fall), I thought I’d provide some educational value...

The Senioritis Struggle (or lack thereof): Part 2

Senioritis: sen·ior·i·tis: noun humorous: A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a...

Freshman Year Lessons: An End of the Year Reflection

Looking back on my freshman year at Findlay, I have learned so much. It would be almost impossible to write about...