Bonjour Vietnam – Pham Quynh Anh

Bonjour Vietnam – Pham Quynh Anh

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One of the songs that played this past weekend in Atlanta at the UNAVSA conference is an old favorite, reminding me why Vietnam is one of my favorite places on Earth:


Tell me about this name so strange and difficult to pronounce
That I carry since I was born.
Tell me about the ancient empire and the feature of my “attached eyes”
Which say better than me what you don’t dare saying.
Of you I only know images of the war, a film of Coppola, [and] helicopters in anger…

One day, I will go there to say hello to your soul.
One day, I will go there to say hello to you, Vietnam.

Tell me about the color of my skin, my hair and my small feet,
Which carry me since I was born.

Tell me about your house, your street, tell me about this unknown,
The floating markets and the wood sampans.
Of you I only know images of the war, a film of Coppola, [and] helicopters in anger…

One day, I will go there, to say hello to my soul.
One day, I will go there, to say hello to you, Vietnam.

Temples and stone Buddhas for my fathers
Curved women in the rice plantations for my mothers
In the prayer, in the light, retrieve my brothers,
Touch my heart, my roots, my land…

One day, I will go there to say hello to my soul.
One day, I will go there to say hello to you, Vietnam

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