Overseas Vietnamese seeks to keep sense of sovereignty, patriotism alive in language classes

June 08, 2022 - 10:04
A trip to Trường Sa ( Spratly) Islands inspired Lê Xuân Lâm, an overseas Vietnamese citizen living in Poland, to educate young people not only about the Vietnamese language but also in patriotism and national sovereignty.


Children learn about Việt Nam's sea and islands in a Vietnamese language class in the Czech Republic. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Kì

HÀ NỘI — A trip to Trường Sa ( Spratly) Islands inspired Lê Xuân Lâm, an overseas Vietnamese citizen living in Poland, to educate young people not only about the Vietnamese language but also in patriotism and national sovereignty.

Lâm, who is also editor-in-chief of the Quê Việt (Việt Homeland) newspaper and chairman of Lạc Long Quân Vietnamese teaching school named after the mythical first king of Việt Nam, said that in Poland, the teaching and learning of Vietnamese had been developing well. 

The Vietnamese language school Lạc Long Quân in Warsaw, Poland, was established in 1999 by overseas Vietnamese citizens so their children were born and raised in Poland could learn Vietnamese, understand their mother tongue and preserve the Vietnamese culture.

In the beginning, the school only had about 30 students but now has 150-180 students aged from six to 14 attending Vietnamese classes on Saturday afternoons.

In 2018, the school compiled a separate set of textbooks called "I'm learning Vietnamese," consisting of 14 books with programs A, B, C, D and E, to provide suitable learning programmes for children of the Vietnamese community in Poland. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the school switched to online teaching and learning methods, Lâm said.

Lâm said that as soon as he received the registration notice from the Vietnamese Embassy in Poland about the Trường Sa Islands tour, he decided to register at once as he has been looking forward to seeing them for a long time.

“Having been able to visit the islands in person, to see, hear and touch the sacred islands of my country, I have special affection and respect for naval soldiers. I meet young soldiers who impressed me a lot as they have overcome difficulties and hardships, and even made sacrifices in the cause of protecting maritime sovereignty and the islands of Việt Nam," Lâm said.

After a recent visit to Trường Sa Islands and DK1 rig house, Lâm said the trip strengthened his love of his country, the sea and the islands.

"For children learning Vietnamese, we not only teach skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, but also make sure they are engaged in activities that show the beauties of Vietnamese culture, the nation's traditional holidays and the great events of the country like Tết, the lunar new year, as well as the love of the homeland and pride in the sovereignty of the sea and islands so that children can understand the fatherland of Việt Nam," said Lâm.

He said that since 2012, his school organised summer camps with activities about Việt Nam's development, telling students about Trường Sa Island District and the DK1 rig house.

Trần Thị Bạch Lan, vice president of the Vietnamese Association of Savannakhet Province, Laos, said that thanks to the care of the governments of Laos and Việt Nam, the association completed and put into use a spacious and modern Lao-Vietnamese Bilingual School.

During the trip to Trường Sa Islands, Lan took a lot of photos and videos, and collected articles about real life on the island district and DK1 Rig House for students in Lao to learn more about Việt Nam's sea, islands, cadres, soldiers and people living on the island.

"They are brave and resilient to cope with difficulties," she said.

She said that overseas Vietnamese, particularly those in Laos, always trusted the leadership of the Party and State, and admired soldiers who protect the sea and islands all the time.

“Many expatriates in Laos wish to have a chance to plant a bàng vuông tree(barringtonia asiatica) at school to remind them of Trường Sa Island. In the flag saluting ceremony, the younger generations born and raised in Laos think of the brave image of Trường Sa officers and soldiers. We always want to pass on to the next generation the solidarity of our nation, the pride of being Vietnamese and being a descendant of our beloved Uncle Hồ,” she said.

Trịnh Công Tân, vice chairman of the Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic and chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Ostrava, said that Vietnamese language classes were first opened 20 years ago for the second and third generations born there.

The model of teaching and learning Vietnamese in the Czech Republic generated positive results in improving communication skills in daily life, enhancing language knowledge and helping children understand more about the history, tradition and national cultural identity of Việt Nam.

Tân said that the most memorable experience of his Vietnamese language classes was when Vietnamese students were invited for national cultural performance on the Communal Day of Polish ethnic minorities.

“Seeing children dancing and singing in Vietnamese, I feel very moved partly because I miss my hometown and partly because I am happy they can understand their national language. At the end of each dance, the children formed an 'S' shape and some points representing the country's sea and islands. Seeing such a performance, people knew more about Việt Nam's sovereignty over the sea and islands. The applause made the children and us extremely proud," said Tân.

Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic Nguyễn Duy Nhiên said that after the visit to Trường Sa and the DK1 rig house,  many overseas Vietnamese were proud of the sovereignty of the sea and islands.

He emphasised that Việt Nam's diplomacy was very skilful, flexible but also resolute, so that we could maintain peace for the country's sea and islands in line with international law.

After each trip to Việt Nam, the Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic had been continuing to strengthen information and education with a variety of activities for more than 90,000 people living in Poland, spreading connections to millions of Vietnamese far from the country, Nhiên said, adding that the recent Politburo's resolution on the overseas Vietnamese affairs in the new context stressed once again that these communities are an integral, undetachable part of the whole of Việt Nam. — VNS