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Vietnamese student loses mother, brother just before crucial college entrance exam

Wednesday, August 08, 2018, 04:10 GMT+7
Vietnamese student loses mother, brother just before crucial college entrance exam
Huynh Thi Hong Nhung is seen at her house in Long An Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A young student from southern Vietnam lost her mother and brother merely two days before an importance college entrance examination in late June, but she was encouraged to take the test and has had an opportunity to receive higher education.

Huynh Thi Hong Nhung has been admitted to college, an achievement that followed the tragedy involving two of her family members.

On June 23, Nhung’s older brother died instantly after his motorcycle slammed into the rear of a trailer truck while her mother, who was sitting behind the brother, was in a critical condition.

Nhung, who has lived in Long An Province, could not stand on her feet hearing the sad news.

When the sibling was being prepared for burial, she was told that the mother had died.

The day the deceased woman was brought to the house coincided with a home ceremony marking the 100th day since her father’s death.

Nhung said after the father passed away, she could only stay with her mother because her brother and married eldest sister had to work in different areas far away.

“Whenever I returned home from school, I used to talk with my mom about many things. But now that’s gone,” Nhung said.

The older brother, she recalled, was always interested in her studies, covered all her tuition and gave her advice on choosing a career in the future.

“I’ve so far not accepted the reality that…,’ the student told her story with teary eyes and failed to continue with any mention of the deaths.

The incident, which preceded the national high school examination, which doubled as a college entrance test, by two days, prompted Nhung to contemplate not sitting for the test.

“In the funeral, Nhung said she wouldn’t take the exam and would apply for a job in a nearby factory so that she could offer incense sticks to our mom every day,” her eldest sister said, referring to the traditional Vietnamese practice of paying homage to the deceased with burning joss sticks.

Persuaded by teachers and friends, Nhung took the exam, the sister added.

One of the teachers willingly took Nhung between home and the examination location and provided her with meals.

Nhung said thinking of the brother’s love for her gave her the determination to complete the test.

With the total score of 18.4 out of 30, she is going to study transport economics at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Transport, like what the late brother hoped for.

Huynh Thi Hong Nhung sits at the graves of her parents and brother in a rice paddy in Long An Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Huynh Thi Hong Nhung sits at the graves of her parents and brother in a rice paddy in Long An Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“I must study well to make my brother happy,” Nhung said.

Now, Nhung is staying at home alone, for the sister lives with her husband.

The student said before she arrives in the city for education, she and her sister will leave their mother’s cows to the care of a relative and their parents’ rice field is planned to be leased out.  

The two sisters also decided to have the parents and brother worshipped in a pagoda so that joss sticks can be offered to them every day.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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