I was born in the year of the Rabbit, which is the Cat in my country’s Horoscope system. My hometown – Liên Nghĩa – is a lovely little town in the Central Highland of Vietnam, 30 kilometers to the south of the romantic Đà Lạt city. This is the place where I spent most of my childhood, with unforgettable memories that will follow me to each and every corner of my life, wherever it might be. I grew up on this peaceful land, by the side of the gentle Đa Nhim river that has been painting the looming mountains, the hilly roads and the immense fields on its fascinating surface for as long as time can remember.
Due to the reshaping of the worldwide political landscape during the 50s of the previous century, my grandparents migrated from Guangzhou to Vietnam, giving me the most blessing chance I ever have to be a Vietnamese citizen, to live and fall in love with this wonderful country, language, culture and people. Our original family name is 邓, or “Đặng” in Vietnamese. But initial language barriers have made it become “Tăng”, which is the Cantonese pronunciation of 邓.
My name Dật Hanh (逸亨), given by my grandfather, carries the meaning of prosperity without being snowed under work – the state of life that I have yet to be able to attain.
I had a chance to commence my education in one of the finest schools in town: Kim Đồng primary school. I was not an excellent student back then and my study results usually stopped at fair level. The only thing I discovered during this period of time is that I can sing and people said that I sing well.
My academic result started picking up during my fifth grade, and it built up during the time I was in Trần Phú secondary school. I was good at math and bad at English at that time. But I eventually picked up English as a specialized subject in school and won several prizes in academic competitions in the province.
At the end of the ninth grade, my school selected me for a scholarship to Singapore. Unfortunately, we missed the application deadline and I continued my schooling in Vietnam. I was so sad when the opportunity passed by and I was unable to catch it.
In 2002, I was accepted to Thăng Long gifted high school in Đà Lạt city. The subsequent 3 years was spent there in the romantic highland city, where I discovered something really interesting about myself.
It is my lifetime passion – music – that was unleashed during this period!! And nowhere is more perfect than this romantic city for me to nurture this burning passion. To me and to everybody around me, it was just a dream and I was just daydreaming! I looked so much like a bookworm rather than an artist. I played no musical instruments and knew nothing about music theory. I just picked them up much later, perhaps when I was 17. My priority was still in academic pursuit.
I was doing well in school and continued to participate in some academic competitions. I had a good time with my folks and started to pursue the music passion and wrote the very first songs of my own. And after finishing high school, I was accepted to Foreign Trade University (FTU) in Hồ Chí Minh city (HCMC).
I moved to HCMC (or Sài Gòn) in 2005 and stayed there for two years. During these years I spent most of my time for music rather than academic. I was fully converted into a Buddhist and started to read and practice the Buddha’s teachings, which has enhanced my mind and vision for life to a great extent.
I found schooling a bit relaxing at FTU and I only spared minimum effort just to do fine. But when my friends left me one by one in pursuit of their education overseas, I started to thirst for a strong bachelor degree from a reputable institute. Finally, I made my decision and applied for the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2007. My application was successful.
The subsequent four years were a long and fulfilling journey, in which I found the meaning in each and every thing I did. I spent the first two years studying Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. I moved on to NUS Business School to fulfill my Business Administration course during the last two years, which has further furnished my knowledge and mindset.
I also participated in a number of extra-curricular activities to enrich my skills. I met and interacted with many great people from whom I learnt great stuffs. I read brilliant books and get enlightened. I worked much harder in NUS compared to when I was in FTU.
And now, after getting my BBA, I entered into the corporate life as an initial trainings for life skills. It’s the beginning of another journey!