HÀ NỘI — Turkish artist Erdem Aslan has been living in Việt Nam for nine years and it has become like his home, a special place to him that he is proud to be a small part of.
Working in Việt Nam as a singer and actor, he is known as Aslan Đức. He picked up at a Vietnamese language class when some of his classmates asked the meaning of his forename in Turkish, which he explained is 'virtue'. The Vietnamese for virtue is đạo đức, hence Aslan Đức.
Aslan was born in 1987 in Turkey and worked as a comedian until a serious accident stopped him from performing. After a long time living in depression, his friend, a businessman in Việt Nam, asked if he wanted to go to Việt Nam and work as an interpreter. Aslan agreed to start a new life in 2011 and began learning Vietnamese and discovering the new land.
“Fantastically, I felt better, the life, weather, food, people, everything here helped me get well,” he said.
Aslan worked as an assistant teacher at an international school where many students said he had a good voice and spoke Vietnamese well. They encouraged him to sing Vietnamese songs and by chance, Aslan met famous singer Khánh Phương, who supported Aslan and featured him in some songs.
Aslan Đức has a passion for singing especially Vietnamese songs. Photos courtesy of the singer
His debut album was released in 2013. Aslan’s Story comprises Vietnamese pop and folk songs performed by Aslan.
Building a cultural bridge
Early this year, Aslan released a new music video entitled Thế Giới Tuyệt Vời (Wonderful World), featuring a Turkish folk song with Vietnamese lyrics by famous composer Nguyễn Văn Chung.
Aslan performed the song to send a message of peace, love and friendship to the Vietnamese people and enhance understanding between Việt Nam and Turkey.
“When I say that I am very happy that I came to Việt Nam, I really mean it,” he said.
“During the time in Việt Nam, I have been treated really well. I made great friendships with many people from different communities like education, art and sports.”
“All people have made positive impression on me,” he said.
Apart from acting and singing, Aslan also founded an international import export company.
“The passion for art and music is always inside me. I intend to sing some Turkish songs that I love with Vietnamese musical instruments.”
“I volunteer to be a bridge between Turkish and Vietnamese cultures.”
Aslan Đức and his wife are seen at the album launch.
Aslan often talks to his friends about his love and gratitude for Việt Nam.
“Vietnamese people shared with me their country, their culture, their food and happiness,” he said.
“I have lots of friends who always listen to me and support me in any kind of hardships and now most importantly I am married to a Vietnamese woman,” said Aslan.
“Only this single reason is enough to make Việt Nam my favourite and beloved country.”
Aslan Đức and her teacher, Meritorious Artist Nguyễn Hồng Liên, are seen at the album launch early this year.
Meritorious Artist Nguyễn Hồng Liên has taught Aslan to sing Vietnamese folk songs and partnered with him in 'Bringing Music to the Hospital', a charitable programme.
"Aslan is passionate for singing. I really like his voice. He sings Vietnamese folk songs very well and emotionally.”
“I think singing folk songs is his strong point, if he practises well, he will be more successful,” said Liên.
“It’s good to see a foreigner singing in Vietnamese, but it’s more fantastic to see him sing folk songs.” VNS