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Old Vietnamese circus performer has 300 adoptees

Monday, January 04, 2016, 09:08 GMT+7

A 68-year-old Vietnamese man has spent 50 years on the circus stage but still feels a strong passion for his career.

In addition, Nguyen Van Duc, the said man, has adopted more than 300 children so far.

This great man, who comes from the southern province of Dong Nai, some 30km from Ho Chi Minh City, established Ngoc Vien Circus Troupe years ago.

At first, most of the performers were Duc’s young relatives, including his nephews.

Later, he welcomed more members.

They were underprivileged children living in the remote areas where Ngoc Vien had staged performances.

In 1998, the revered performer and his wife raised 11 children, six of whom were adoptees.

Rumor even had it back then that Duc took advantage of the kids to earn money.

Tran Thanh Xuan, one of Duc’s adoptees, said she met him during her family’s hardest time. Duc adopted Xuan and taught her circus skills.

“I’m always grateful for all he did for me although I don’t follow his career path,” the teacher at Pham Huu Lau Middle School in District 7 said.

Nine years ago, Duc suffered a severe illness which destroyed his health.

Now, the man rarely performs on the stage but focuses on teaching his students.

“He inspired us and taught us how to love people. To us, he is not only a father but also a venerable teacher,” Nguyen Ngoc Minh Quang, Duc’s youngest son, said.

Hai cha con ông Đức phục vụ miễn phí các học sinh Trường tiểu học Chu Văn An (Q.Bình Thạnh)

Duc and his son give a performance at Chu Van An Elementary School in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Trong quá trình tập luyện thì nghệ sĩ Ngọc Viên cực kỳ nghiêm khắc, nhưng đời thường lại rất nhẹ nhàng với con cháu

The old man is a strict teacher but a gentle father. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Màn biểu diễn phi dao làm nên tên tuổi một thời của nghệ sĩ Ngọc Viên đang truyền lại cho thế hệ kế tiếp

Duc shows his student how to throw knives. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Nghệ sĩ hề Minh Tâm (con trai nghệ sĩ Ngọc Viên) tình nguyện biểu diễn miễn phí cho các em nhỏ ở khu dân cư Q.7, TP.HCM nhân dịp Giáng sinh

Minh Tam, Duc’s son, gives a voluntary performance in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City around Christmas. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Các thế hệ con cháu, học trò đang được nghệ sĩ Ngọc Viên chỉ bảo tại nhà

Duc’s students are seen learning circus skills at his home. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Nghệ sĩ chuẩn bị kỹ càng các dụng cụ để phục vụ buổi biểu diễn

Duc carefully prepares for a circus show. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Các học trò của ông Đức trong một buổi biểu diễn tại Trường tiểu học Chu Văn An, trong đó có một người con nuôi là Phan Thanh Hoàng (bìa phải)

Students of Nguyen Van Duc perform during a show at Chu Van An Elementary School in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Phút thảnh thơi hiếm có của nghệ sĩ Ngọc Viên

A rare relaxing moment of performer Ngoc Vien. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Chị Trần Thanh Xuân - giáo viên Trường THCS Phạm Hữu Lầu (Q.7), một trong những người con nuôi của nghệ sĩ - về thăm ông nhân dịp đầu năm mới 2016

Tran Thanh Xuan, one of Duc’s adoptees, visits him in early 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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