Love for wives, love for Vietnam

One day I read on Facebook a status of Pham Mai, sharing, “At the farewell meal, he said to my parents: ‘Thank you for letting me be part of the family. I would take good care of Mai when we are alive and even when we’ve come to meet our Maker…”

Antonio Ardizzoni admitted that he came to love Vietnam after falling in love with Mai, a little Vietnamese girl, who is now his wife. He said, “Vietnam has a lot of cultural features in common with Chile, my homeland. Both cultures highlight the significance of family happiness as it is the foundation for the development of the society.”

Joining efforts in building the country

As usual, a person when getting married to a foreigner in the latter’s country often suggests his/her spouse to visit his/her homeland first. However, it is the other way around for the couple of Nguyen Trong Cu and Anke Friedel. Anke Friedel is the one to pose the suggestion.

Nguyen Trong Cu (C) and his wife Anke Friedel (first left) and their family members in a group photo

Anke Friedel majored in Vietnamese-studies. Unlike other Westerners, Anke Friedel likes a family with many children. A friend of Nguyen Trong Cu once talked about his wife like that, “She is a German, but she is more of an ‘Oriental’ person. She is gentle, lovely and speaks Vietnam fluently.”

It is her wish for her children to have better understanding of the Vietnamese culture and be able to use Vietnamese more frequently that made Anke Friedel to decide to move her family to Vietnam to live and work. She shared, “My husband’s homeland in Duc Tho (Ha Tinh) is still poor. For long he has wanted to make contribution to this land with his practical deeds, so if my family comes to live and work in Vietnam, he can make his wish come true. Methinks letting my children live in Vietnam means they will have their childhood imbued with memories of their father’s homeland and better understand the Vietnamese culture and the roots of their family.”

Nguyen Trong Cu then quitted his job at an agency of the German Government to return to Vietnam. After some time, he found that raising cold-water fish was good as he could use the knowledge and young fish from Germany. After 10 years, his family is now running five cold-water fish farms in Sa Pa, Tam Dao, Da Lat, Thanh Hoa and Hoa Binh as well as a system of Thac Bac restaurants in Sa Pa, Hoa Binh and Hanoi. He has formed a model of safe fish from A to Z (from raising to catering) and is now a top expert in cold-water fish in Vietnam, supplying young fish and fish feed for other farms.

Nguyen Trong Cu and his wife, Anke Friedel, play in important role in the connection between the two countries due to their work and also due to the fact that the two countries are their homelands. They are just one couple among others like them who have make great contributions to Vietnam in various areas, such as the couples of Palestine Ambassador to Vietnam Saadi Salama and his wife Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh; Doctor of Philosophy Vladimir Kolotov of Ho Chi Minh Institute under Saint Petersburg National University and his wife Nguyen Thi Minh Hanh; Korean opera artist Park Sung Min and his wife, piano artist Trang Trinh, etc. The sons and daughters in law of Vietnam share one thing in common: Their love for their partners and for the tradition and culture of Vietnam.

Translated by Huu Duong