Love of the Sea and Islands Shown in Vietnamese Language Classes
Flying back to the home country, crossing thousands of nautical miles to Truong Sa and DK1 platform, many overseas Vietnamese (OV) collect “precious documents” including hundreds of photos and videos. These documents will be shared with the next generations, who are born and raised in a foreign country, to see and experience a more vivid and lively Truong Sa (Spratly).
Meanwhile, many OV communities shared plans to spread information about Vietnam's seas and islands in order to arouse and educate patriotism and national pride, thereby enhancing responsibility for protecting the country's sacred sea and island sovereignty.
|Explaining Vietnam's sovereignty over sea and islands in Vietnamese classes in the Czech Republic. (Photo: Hong Ky/Vietnam+)|
The Vietnamese language is a cultural fulcrum
The task of preserving and promoting the national cultural identity of the OV community has always been paid great attention by the Party and State. Vietnamese teaching for OVs is identified as a key component.
Along with improving the quality of teaching and learning Vietnamese, OV communities also focus on educating and promoting the nation’s patriotic tradition, especially towards the sovereignty over the sea and island.
Le Xuan Lam, a Vietnamese living in Poland, Editor-in-Chief of Que Viet Newspaper, and Chairman of the Council of Lac Long Quan Vietnamese Language School, shared that the movement of Vietnamese children learning Vietnamese in Poland is relatively developed. One example to mention is the Lac Long Quan School of Vietnamese language in Warsaw, which was established in 1999. The launching of this school stemmed from the wish that children born and raised in Poland can learn Vietnamese, understand their mother tongue and preserve the Vietnamese culture.
In the beginning, the school only had about 30 students enrolled. Up to now, each year, there are around 150-180 students aged 6-14 participating in Vietnamese learning classes on Saturday afternoons.
Students are divided into two blocks: Block I includes first-year and second-year classes with programs A and B; Block II includes third, fourth and fifth year classes with programs C, D and E.
Since 2018, the school has compiled a separate set of textbooks named “I learn Vietnamese”, consisting of 14 books in programs A, B, C, D and E to ensure that they are suitable for Vietnamese children in Poland. Particularly, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the school has actively switched to online teaching and learning methods.
Being one of the oldest expatriates on this trip to Truong Sa and DK1 platform, Le Xuan Lam said that as soon as he received the announcement from the Vietnamese Embassy in Poland, he decided to register very quickly because he has been waiting for this trip for a long time.
“Having witnessed, seen, heard, and touched the sacred islands of the country, I have special affection and respect for naval soldiers. They are very young, but they give me the impression of a resilient Uncle Ho’s soldiers, who endured difficulties and hardships. Some even sacrificed for protecting the sovereignty of sea and island of the Fatherland”, Lam said.
Lam also shared many plans to strengthen the love for the motherland, the sea and the islands amongst students studying at the school when he returns from the trip to Truong Sa and DK1 platform.
“We not only teach simple listening-speaking-reading-writing skills but also integrate our students into the beauties of Vietnamese culture, the nation's traditional, important events of the country, especially the love for the homeland and pride in the sovereignty of the sea and islands so that students can understand the origin and the fatherland of Vietnam”, Lam said.
In particular, in extracurricular programs that the school hosts such as the Summer Camp with the Vietnamese Language (held from 2012 to present), more activities will be organized to share about the development of the country, Truong Sa and DK1 platform; thereby improving the understanding and affection for the homeland and country.
Tran Thi Bach Lan, Vice President of the Vietnamese Association of Savannakhet Province, Laos, shared that the Association is the big house for the whole community, taking care of all members with social activities in accordance with the orientation of the Party and State of Vietnam and Laos.
In particular, the Association helps the community realize each member's important tasks in promoting solidarity, preserving and promoting the cultural identity and tradition of the heroic Vietnamese nation, upholding the spirit of patriotism, and constantly looking toward the homeland. Preserving the national cultural identity and traditions is an urgent task, in which strengthening the Vietnamese language and love for the homeland is the glue that binds the community to the homeland and the country. With the support of the governments of Laos and Vietnam, the Vietnamese Association in Laos has built up a spacious and modern Lao-Vietnamese Bilingual School.
During this trip, Lan hopes to collect many interesting photos, videos and articles about the real-life in Truong Sa and DK1 platform for students of Lao-Vietnamese Bilingual School and other schools that teach Vietnamese to understand that Truong Sa is changing for the better day by day, soldiers and people living on the island are brave, resilient and steadfast.
Not everyone has the lucky opportunity to visit Truong Sa and DK1 platform, but Lan shares that people always unanimously believe in the leadership of the Party and State, and respect the sacrifice of cadres and soldiers on duty day and night to protect the homeland's sea and islands.
“Many OVs in Laos wish to plant a sea poison tree at school as a souvenir from Truong Sa. Every time the flag salute ceremony is held, the young generations born and raised in Laos always remember the brave image of officers and soldiers in Truong Sa. We always want to pass on to the next generations about the solidarity of our nation, the pride of being a Vietnamese, and being the descendants of our beloved Uncle Ho”, Lan confided.
|Launching ceremony of the Paracel-Spratly Club in the Czech Republic. (Photo: Hong Ky/Vietnam+)|
Absolute belief in the policy of great unity
Sharing the same passion for spreading the love of the sea and islands to younger generations, Trinh Cong Tan, Vice President of the Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic and Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Ostrava, said that with the support of the Vietnamese Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, since 2002, the Association of Vietnamese in the Czech Republic has taught Vietnamese for the second and third generations born here.
The teaching and learning Vietnamese model in the Czech Republic has been promoting practical effectiveness in improving communication skills in daily life, enhancing understanding of the language, and teaching children more about the history, tradition and national cultural identity of Vietnam. Even in the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning classes are still operated, and contests during the Lunar New Year, online painting contests about the Fatherland, etc. are organized.
Tan shared the memorable time when the provinces and cities of the host country invited students to perform national culture on the Polish ethnic minorities Day.
“The children performed with conical hats, handheld fans, sang and danced Vietnamese songs. I feel very touched partly because I miss my hometown, partly because I am happy that our next generation can understand our mother tongue. At the end of one special performance, the children formed a lovely S shape with our indispensable sea and islands. I believe that they knew about their country and Vietnam's sovereignty over the sea and islands. The applause from audiences makes the children and us extremely proud”, said Tan.
In this regard, President of the Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic Nguyen Duy Nhien said that the Association devotes a lot of effort and wishes through Vietnamese language classes to generations born and raised outside Vietnam.
“To preserve our mother tongue, the cultural and spiritual roots of Vietnam, the movement of Vietnamese language teaching and learning is highly appreciated in the community. Public opinion also recognizes and local government supports this movement. This is a reward for those who have been and are in the process of preserving their mother tongue in Czech land”.
After this trip to Truong Sa and DK1 platform, Nhien said that the pride in the sovereignty of the sea and islands among overseas Vietnamese has grown every moment. He emphasized that Vietnam's diplomacy is very skillful but also resolute so that we can keep the peace in accordance with international law.
To spread the information to the OV community in the Czech Republic, especially the younger generations, after each trip, the Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic will continue to educate with a variety of activities about love towards our sea and islands to more than 90,000 people living in Czech in particular, spreading to millions of Vietnamese living far from the home country in general.
“Resolution 36-NQ/TW, Directive 45-CT/TW and most recently Conclusion 12-KL/TW of the Politburo on the affairs of overseas Vietnamese in the new context have created absolute belief for expatriates like us in the policy of great national unity, once again affirming that the overseas Vietnamese community is an integral part of our beloved Vietnam”, Nhien emphasized.
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