City dwellers in various career fields, from a middle-school student to a famous film director, describe their recent successes in work and life as well as their hopes and plans for the coming year. An Vu reports.
Truong Thi Ngan Ha, born 2002, student at Nguyen Sieu Secondary School, one of the excellent faces of the capital last year:
I've never thought of myself as special, but last year I was named one of the prominent faces of Ha Noi by the city's youth union. It really made me proud and at the same time a bit nervous. I felt I had to try harder to be worthy of this title.
When I was in first grade, my mom told me that if I tried a bit each day, I would end up with a big achievement. If you allow yourself to be lazy just one day, time will fly quickly and you get nothing, she said. Therefore, I tried to spend a bit of time learning English and practising the piano after finishing my homework every day. Since then, those two things became my subjects of interest. Making friends with those who share my interests is also a motivation for me to exchange knowledge and get involved in extra-curricular activities.
Every day I practice on the piano for one or two hours. Homework is getting more difficult day by day so I try not to waste any time to finish it completely. As a sixth grader, I have tons of things to remember and many new subjects. I try to focus on what the teacher says and sketch a map of ideas in my mind.
I love many subjects besides English and piano, like fine arts, but there are only 24 hours in a day, so I must focus on my main subjects at school, as well as my studies at the Viet Nam National Academy of Music.
I think there is no universal formula for success. There is a saying: "No pain, no gain". The awards I've achieved are only proof that my initial efforts were successful. Although they are not big, they motivate me to move on, as I have a long way to go.
I study under People's Artist Tran Thu Ha and was recognised as one of the best students of the Academy during my first year studying here. This year, I'm nurturing a plan of attending international piano contests to exchange experiences with foreign friends.
As Tet draws near, people are perhaps busy with their own plans, but I hope they will set aside time for music, especially classical piano. They will surely get more energy and continue to work better.
Bui Lan Huong, born in 1990, of Public Relations and Content Licensing Department, Ha Noi Television:
At present, I work for the Public Relations and Content Licensing Department of Ha Noi Television. I'm also a collaborator on Hoa Hoc Tro (Pupil's Flower) Magazine, in which I write several weekly columns.
I'm not a journalism graduate, but have been writing since a very early age. Perhaps that will be the path I choose to pursue in the near future.
It's hard to say whether I'm satisfied with what I've done over the past year. Yet 2013 marked the moment I finished my children's comic book for Thien Than Nho (Little Angels) magazine. It's what I've loved for a long time, but until now, I've not had the chance to give it a shot. The rest of 2013 was perfect timing for me to experience working in communications.
My job helps me to exchange information. However, I was born in the Year of the Horse, so I don't want to stick to administrative office work. As an editor, I can manage my time to finish my work and pursue personal hobbies.
In the upcoming lunar year, I hope that good luck will come to everyone. It's said that people should avoid bad luck in their climacteric year, but that's just a joke. What I really wish in this year, the Year of the Horse is to run at full gallop like a horse, completing all my plans.
Nguyen Quang Dung, born 1978, movie director:
Frankly, I have no idea why I decided to enter the entertainment world. Until now, I still don't think of myself as a showbiz person. For me, being a director is just like any other job. It involves both joy and pressure.
I've long been known as the "crazy director" of Viet Nam. Honestly, each person has a standard for craziness. I do what I love and make sure that it will not cause harm to anyone. Some people will see that as crazy, while others won't.
As one of the judges of this year's Viet Nam Idol singing contest, I think the quality of contestants is equal, but those who sing with true feeling and instinct will be the most successful.
My favourite movie is Nu Hon Than Chet (Kiss of Death) as it is one of the few romantic movies in Viet Nam. It brings up my favourite scenario, where hope and love triumph over death. In real life, things like that never happen. I also hope the Vietnamese movie industry will have more best-seller genres, not just comedies. But this completely depends on actors' ability and viewers' demand.
Twelve years ago, in my climacteric year, I made my first film, Con Ga Trong (the Rookie). It was my lucky year as well. Many years have passed, and I'm not really obsessed with karma, as I think 90 per cent of my life was decided by myself. When bad things come, I just realise bad results were born from bad preparation.
In the Year of the Horse, I wish to find a good rider so that I can become a battle horse. I also wish a happy and healthy year to all of the audience.
Vu Quang Vinh, born 1954, editor-in-chief of Thieu Nien Tien Phong (Young Pioneers) newspaper:
My most memorable moment of 2013 is when I visited Truong Sa (Spratly) Island to inaugurate the Truong Sa Elementary School, co-built by the Vu A Dinh scholarship foundation and HCM City Laws newspaper. With the sponsorship of the foundation, students will get annual scholarships. We were all moved by the adoration that children living on the island expressed for us.
Before being appointed editor-in-chief of the magazine, I experienced many other positions in different fields like arts, fashion and sports. Every position left an unforgettable impression. But eighteen years as deputy editor-in-chief of Nhi Dong (Children) newspaper and vice chairman of Viet Nam Football Federation were the times that I treasured most. I created lots of printed matter and organised the national teenage football league successfully, as well as providing professional players for football teams and clubs.
In recent years, the education and training sector has received concern from the Government and people. However, the education programme needs to be simplified. If we can reduce things that are unnecessary, it will help students and teachers.
In the Year of the Horse, I will continue to improve the quality of the newspaper and join the groundbreaking ceremony of the second Truong Sa school on April 30. I hope our country will develop faster and stronger and overcome all difficulties it faces in the future. — VNS