This is not going to be a lengthy session in which I will write a full biography of my family members. I just want to take this little space to introduce the people who have great impact on me and/or with whom I have been interacted the most. Additionally, it would be great if you happen to know any of them so that once again, we can prove that this world is so small, though it might take next to forever to explore each and every corner of it!
The most important person in my life, who has the most influence on me is definitely my Mother. My Mother was born the youngest of four siblings. Her Dad was from Lai Châu province in the North West of Vietnam while her Mom was orginally from Yunnan, China. They moved to the South and finally settled down in Lâm Đồng province, where we are living now.
Given the name Cảnh Xuân (The Spring Scenery), my Mother is warm and gentle; and according to many people I know, she is an adorable person. She can sing quite well and used to be quite active in the town’s musical performances.
She was the first person to teach me music theory and from there I picked it up and took it to the next level.
My Mother is the most important person I would ever have in my life; and she is the one who provides me a solid direction to walk. Therefore, I would always do my best to be a good citizen of the society so that my Mom can be happy with every thing I achieve and every decision I make.
My Father is also the youngest in a family of five. His Parents migrated to Vietnam from Guangzhou, China in 1949. The family used to live in Vĩnh Long province in the Mekong River Delta and eventually settled down in Lâm Đồng province.
My Father, known as Kiến Huê (健华), used to be a bassist of the town’s band. They were fans of the Classic Rock and Rock ‘n Roll movements of the previous century. (Thanks to the year 2000 we are people of the two centuries, hahaha).
When I was a little kid, my Father worked in Sài Gòn and he always bought me many many books. My reading hobby started since then.
Later on when he found out that I was deeply into music, he provided me some guidance on musical styles.
In the later years, he became more indulged in alcohol. I was not talking to him much lately even though I wish I would. In fact, I only hope he knows that the love of a son to a Dad is always greater than words can describe.
My Academic Uncle
My Mother’s eldest brother Đèo Văn Tùng was the first person to guide me to study English. He was trained as a teacher but ended up doing something else. He enjoys reading and doing research on various topics, especially our family’s genealogy and history, about which I can sit down and discuss with him for hours and hours.
My Artist Uncles
My Father has four elder brothers, two of whom are musicians.
My Eldest Uncle, Hải Huê (海华), is a songwriter known as Cốc Phong. He and his family is living in Sóc Trăng province. My first impression of him as a songwriter was that when he started to sing his songs with the guitar, people enjoyed it and asked for more. I was too young to be able to appreciate the music back then. Several years ago I requested him to pass on to me his music works so that I can keep them as in the Family Intellectual Collection.
Uncle Cốc Phong wrote a lot of songs for his wife and fellows. Many of his songs were written and given on the spot and he did not even keep the original copies of those songs. I heard that some of his songs were featured on Cần Thơ TV channel.
My Fourth Uncle Vũ Huê (宇华), also known as Kiều Huê, was the lead guitarist in the same band with my Father. He spent most of his later years out of Vietnam, initially in Hong Kong and later on, the US, where he passed away in 2004. My Dad said Uncle Kiều Huê did write a couple of songs himself but I haven’t been able to collect them from his wife yet. Besides, Uncle Kiều Huê also created water and oil paintings during his free time, some of which we are still keeping now.
My Paternal Grandfather
My Grandfather Đặng Triều Hán (邓朝汉) was a Cantonese scholar and teacher who was fluent in Mandarin and adept at calligraphy. He was a gentle person and he loved me so much when he was alive. He was also a Chinese painter whose works used to be displayed in various art exhibitions in Sài Gòn back in the 60-70s of the previous century.
My Maternal Grandmother
My Grandmother Lý Minh Tiên (李明仙) was a businesswoman when she was young. She used to travel across the country and could speak Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and Tai (an ethnic group of North West Vietnam). She was a successful businesswoman back then. After the war, time changed and she lived peacefully in a little house near the Đa Nhim river of Liên Nghĩa town.
My Grandmother gave me a lot of teachings when she was alive. She taught me how to behave, how to cope with different situations in life and strive hard for a bright future.
She departed us in 2008.