Editor's note:Ray Kuschert is an Australian who has been living in Ho Chi Minh City for the past ten years. He has contributed to Tuoi Tre with his pieces focusing on the experiences shared from the perspective of a foreigner living in Vietnam.
In this writing to Tuoi Tre on the occasion that the newspaper is celebrating its online Vietnamese publication's 20th anniversary, Ray Kuschert expressed his thoughts over the years writing for the paper and having his works published both in English and Vietnamese.
For the past 20 years, together with other publications of Tuoi Tre Newspaper, Tuoi Tre Online has delivered trust to the reading public. Now the modern world has a different view of news but Tuoi Tre remains an icon of trust in the Ho Chi Minh City community.
I have been so fortunate to have had a chance meeting that led me to being part of Tuoi Tre. Around eight years ago I was fortunate to meet a highly skilled journalist at the newspaper and I was asked to write a comment from a foreigner’s perspective that would be read by many Vietnamese across the country and the world. This started a pathway that became a life-defining event for me.
But before my participation, Tuoi Tre was a familiar sight on street corners and at newsstands with the familiar heading seen all over the city every morning on the way to work. They have become trustworthy and a voice of the people in Vietnam.
My admiration for and congratulations to all at Tuoi Tre, on the occasion of Tuoi Tre Online's 20th anniversary.
Now, with the Internet on every phone, the modern version is just as popular online as it is in print copies sold on the street. Vietnamese people all over take in the latest and most reliable news via their online portal tuoitre.vn and you can still see the familiar logo of the newspaper being sold on street corners.
'A dream come true'
When I was asked to write the said commentary piece to support a story some eight years ago, I never knew that it would have such a massive impact on my life. Having my thoughts shared with the Vietnamese community was a dream come true.
Through the support of the staff at Tuoi Tre, I was able to write my thoughts and answers in English and have the support team accurately convey my words after translating them into Vietnamese. It was amazing and I felt so proud to be part of this community in this way.
Over the years, my involvement with Tuoi Tre has grown and I now have the occasional opportunity to recount a story of my experiences in Vietnam with the Vietnamese community. Some of my experiences have been recorded in English and translated by Tuoi Tre and published in Vietnamese. This has been life-definining for me.
Back home in Australia, my stories have been read widely among my Vietnamese friends, and my family have had the opportunity to share in the connection that has developed because of the support of the newspaper. It has encouraged many of my family members to visit Ho Chi Minh City over the years and I am so proud to introduce my new home, and so much more, through my involvement with Tuoi Tre.
|Ray Kuschert (left) and his son Matthew Kuschert pose in this supplied photo after they finished a run in Vinh City, Nghe An Province, Vietnam.
Even here in Vietnam, having the experience of narrating my stories to my Vietnamese family and friends has been inspirational. From my mother-in-law telling the story to everyone in her factory in Binh Duong Province to students in my English class clapping their hands in joy at seeing their teacher in the newspaper, being part of this great news medium has brought delights to people all over the world.
|In this supplied photo, Ray Kuschert and his wife are shown taking the couple's pet dog to a resort in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.
I recall with a smile some five years ago. I walked into a photocopy shop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City and was waiting to get some worksheets copied for my class. A beautiful middle-aged woman, wearing a colorful 'ao dai,' was standing near me also awaiting copies. I heard a voice say in English, “Are you the man who wrote the story in Tuoi Tre?” I turned to see her lovely smile and her happiness that she was able to talk to me and she knew something about me. We had a short chat and it was as enjoyable for me to bring happiness as it was for her to speak English to a foreigner.
For once in my life, I am lacking in words to express my gratitude to Tuoi Tre. The staff have given me more opportunity than I thought was possible.
They have given the readers years of honest and trustworthy news and entertainment. But most of all, they have given us all a friend, a friend that we can rely on and a friend that is always there keeping us informed of all that is happening in our community.
I know as technology grows and changes, Tuoi Tre will continue to evolve and grow with the single focus of delivering reliable news and information to the community, and I am honored to share the experience and have the opportunity to connect with many Vietnamese readers as a foreigner living in Ho Chi Minh City.
Thank you, Tuoi Tre!A thank you to all the staff and a very happy 20th anniversary to Tuoi Tre Online.