To bring in the lunar new year, Culture Trip talked to five people from Hue, Vietnam, to discuss their resolutions for 2018 (the year of the dog), each providing a different perspective on what this significant time means to them.
Hương Lan, 35, storyteller
When looking back at 2017, Lan was surprised to realise how brave she was to confidently come out of her comfort zone. She resigned from her 10-year career in public relations to follow her dream and passion, as she had always wanted to become a storyteller and her greatest desire was to be able to talk about her city for a living. She finally managed it, and is now working as a freelance tour guide in Hue, the former capital of Vietnam.
Collecting stories is her priority for 2018. To be a good storyteller, she acknowledges she needs to read more books and learn to listen to others better, asking questions and encouraging people to open up and tell her their own anecdotes.
Although her job allows her to meet new people from around the world, each with their own story to tell, she plans to start collecting memories closer to home. “I am now working on this, starting with my mother, who has a lot to tell me about her eventful youth,” she explains. You can follow Lan’s adventures on her blog and Instagram.
Chí Nguyện, 38, football coach
Chí Nguyện was born in Hanoi and grew up playing football, becoming part of a well-known team in the city before moving to Hue with his wife. For him, the most meaningful moment of the year of the rooster was when he revisited his hometown with his wife and son for a week, and being given the opportunity to lead training classes for young football players in Hue.
He welcomed 2018 with a new mission as head football coach for Under 13 players in the city. His aims are to teach his young students more techniques, helping them become stronger and better players who will succeed on the pitch over the coming year.
“Together with my assistant coaches, I hope to recruit more young qualified football players and participate in the football leagues nationwide,” he stated. He also wants to spend quality time with his family. “I also want my son to become a great football player.”
Anh Mi, 45, artist and drawing teacher
As the mom of an 18-year-old daughter and an art teacher to many enthusiastic students, Anh always has the energy to develop creative ideas. In 2017, she ran two summer drawing classes for young learners at a skill training programme for kids in Hue city, successfully guiding her students to create a beautiful mid-autumn festival installation artwork in the city center. The year of the rooster allowed her to use her passion for drawing to inspire others.
“I’m planning to re-design to the traditional Vietnamese dress (ao dai) by putting my drawing artworks on the flaps [of the dress]” she revealed.
She has high expectations for the new year, and hopes she can continue to inspire her students with her extensive knowledge of the art world.
Although she lost her father in 2017, she’s happy in the knowledge that her husband and daughter are always by her side to supporting her in her creative career.
Thuỵ Vy, 33, Social worker
Born and raised in Saigon, Vy moved to Hue city to work for a camphill community two years ago. She leads an enriching life and enjoys helping adults and children with mental health problems or developmental disabilities.
The year of the rooster passed quickly for her, and she lived many unforgettable moments in her personal and professional life, allowing her to truly gain an insight into what it means to be happy, and how to achieve happiness through living a simple life.
She hopes to invest more time partaking in mindfulness meditation this year in order to gain more self-awareness, but also to spread unconditional compassion and kindness. Her hope is that by connecting with others who share the same mindset as her, she’ll be able to develop a sustainable community for people with disabilities.
Phi Hoàng, 23, Sociology student
A fourth-year student at Hue College of Sciences, Hoàng has been living far away from his hometown (Le Thuy district, Quang Binh province) for years. He now works as a communications assistant in order to cover as many of his expenses as he can by himself.
Over the last couple of years, Hoàng has dealt with significant life changes, such as learning to live more independently, dealing with heartbreak and figuring out which direction he wants to take his career in. Thanks to his parents and friends, he overcame many hurdles and learned how to achieve success.
This year, Hoàng will take part in many community development projects in the city to put in practice what he’s been learning. Professional and personal development is what he’s striving for in 2018.
Hoàng also loves travel and photography. He plans to develop a special photo album for his family this lunar new year and to discover many cities in Vietnam next summer.