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Thank you for being born into this world

Thank you for being born into this world

Sunday, October 13, 2013, 12:00 GMT+7

The story of a foreigner, a Japanese girl, who pays tribute to General Giap shows the affection of the people for the great general.

A touching email was sent by Japanese Ueno Miyuki on October 11 afternoon, just one day before the memorial service and burial ceremony for late General Giap. It says: “I would like to convey condolences to you as well as the Vietnamese people over the death of General Giap. On October 4, I felt extremely sad when hearing about his death as he is a Vietnamese historical figure whom I really admire and respect. I only know about his life during the resistance war against France and the US through history textbooks and documentary films. The more I learn about him, the more I admire him!”

In Japan, not many people could share the same feeling with me over General Giap’s death. I have read an article about the great general titled “Gen. Giap and two loves of his life” which is really touching. He is not only an outstanding military genius but also a friendly and simple person. That is the reason which makes many Vietnamese generations love and admire him since the war ended. He will still live in our heart.

I have acknowledged that Vietnam has been holding a memorial service and burial ceremony for General Giap on October 12 and 13. I wish I could go there to pay tribute to him and thank him for being born into this world. But instead, I would stay home and wish him to rest in peace as I am unable to attend the tribute-paying ceremony.

Last but not least, I wish that Vietnam could become a developed country and Vietnamese people could live peacefully as General Giap hoped. My respect to General Giap is the reason why I visited Dien Bien Phu, the site of his great victory, in autumn 2009.  Ueno Miyuki”

Maybe I was a Vietnamese once

We met Miyuki in Osaka in April 2011. At that time, Japan was seriously damaged by the triple disaster including earthquake, tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis. The country’s people overcame all of the pain through their outstanding courage.

Miyuki has traveled through a lot of countries including Cuba, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Portugal, Dominica, Mexico, US, France and New Zealand. She often tells people that she is a Vietnamese.

After learning Vietnamese at Japan’s Osaka University, Miyuki spent approximately three years living in Vietnam. She used to study at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) and work at a Binh Duong-based Japanese company. Miyuki is good at speaking Vietnamese and can distinguish the difference among word nuances from various Vietnamese regions.

Miyuki lives at Osaka and opens a shop named Merci SaiGon which sells Vietnamese souvenirs. She also has a part-time job which supports Japanese children, of Vietnamese origin, at the Sonoda Kita elementary school.

Miyuki’s special point is her strong affection for Vietnam. She told me “Maybe my parents or I used to be a Vietnamese” when we were waiting for the subway. She sets her mobile phone language to Vietnamese. Her keychain has the hammer and sickle symbol. Her email address has her Vietnamese name “My Hanh”.

At Merci Saigon, we saw a small Vietnamese flag and two pictures of Uncle Ho. Miyuki told me many times that she loves Vietnam, Uncle Ho and General Giap and that she is Uncle Ho’s next generation.

Duong Thanh Truyen

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