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Singer-songwriter Lê Cát Trọng Lý finishes north-south tour

Update: April, 27/2016 - 09:00
Lê Cát Trọng Lý
Viet Nam News

Culture vulture

Singer-songwriter Lê Cát Trọng Lý has finished 33-day tour from the north to the south of Việt Nam. The tour staged non-profit performances, provided health care services and encouraged people in the remote and mountainous areas to study.

Lý spoke about the tour, which was held across 17 provinces and cities.

You toured the remote and mountainous areas of Việt Nam and sung for the poor. Did you enjoy the tour ?

There are many funny memories that make me laugh. In particular, I remember Quản Bạ District in the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang. A little girl followed me everywhere, even though I was a complete stranger. She hugged me and held my hand as if she knew me well. When I sat, she kept staring at me. When I sang, she sang, and when I danced, she also danced.

I wrote a song on the spot and taught the children there to sing it. It felt nice, but sometimes it was a bit inconvenient because she followed me all day.

I also suffered from an allergy and had a fever. I had to postpone my performance in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum. We were atop a mountain and had to go down to get a doctor.

I got a lot of joy, happiness and had some good experiences as well. I am interested in working for the community. It is my aim in life. It sounds like a theory, but I am trying to make it a reality. Each person has his/her own dream. My dream is to gain more knowledge and to look for others who have a similar purpose of living, which is to work for the community. It will enrich my soul and result in more meaningful experiences.

Could you reveal why you named the tour -- Khù Khờ (Artless) Tour?

I like intelligent people who show sincerity because they are without deception. I think wise people are sometimes not clever.

I see wise people being favoured in society, which I think is unfair fair to honest and upright individuals, who are not appreciated as much. To me, honest people are those don’t make use of their knowledge for their own personal gain; instead they work to improve the situations of others.

For the Khù Khờ Tour, I got friends who did not know each other. We divided ourselves into four teams – the music team, the study encouragement team, the health care team, and the communication team.

We spent four months setting up a plan and two months discussing its implementation. We contacted local authorities one month before the tour began.

Where did you get financial help from for the tour?

I had to ask for help. I posted information on our tour on Facebook and sought help for accommodation. I bought food with the money I received from my album’s sales. I also bought plane tickets for my friends.

What difficulties did you face during the tour?

The main difficulty was the travelling. We had to travel more than 5,000km in 30 days, which meant some 200km a day. It was very hard going up the mountain. It felt like our backs were breaking because we were travelling by bus all the time. Sometimes, we had to eat dry provisions and sleep on the bus. The conditions were miserable, but we were happy.

Did the tour change you?

Yes, I have changed. I know how to differentiate between people. We have the same purpose and can work together, but our characters are different. I think we are forced to accept our distinct characters to work better.

It is not right to think the poor people always need what we give them. We are not donors, we are sharers. We come to meet people, and they make us joyous. It is not we who make them joyous.

I regret my bad behavior during some instances. If I had another chance, I would have stayed calm while solving issues.

Sometimes, I assume, in my pride, that I have a better life than others or that I’m stronger than they are, which is wrong of me. My wisdom is unlikely to be more profound than that of underprivileged people. -- VNS


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