Đứa Bé (Minh Khang)

Đứa Bé (Minh Khang)

Trong đêm một bàn chân bước
Bé xíu lang thang trên đường
Ánh mắt buồn, mệt nhoài của em
Em rất buồn vì em không biết đi, đi về đâu

Cuộc sống mưu sinh chỉ làm em qua cơn đói từng ngày
Vì em không cha, vì em đã mất mẹ
Thương đau vẫn là đau thương

Em mơ một vì sao sáng
Dẫn lối em trên đường đời
Dẫu biết rằng chỉ là giấc mơ
Đã lâu rồi em đã không, không có tình thương

Nhìn thấy ai ai cũng đều vui bên mẹ cha
Giọt lệ em tuôn rơi, hòa tan với nỗi buồn
Bước đi trong chiều mưa

Hãy lau khô cuộc đời em
Bằng tình thương, lòng nhân ái của con người
Và hãy lau khô giọt nước mắt trong lòng em
Bằng tất cả trái tim con người Việt Nam

– Trần Anh Nhật

First Vietnamese-Canadian Youth-lead Protest

Before I get to talking about the protest, I’d like to mention the very successful Charity Dinner for Democracy Activists that took place on the evening of Saturday, September 17th, 2011; organized by the Uy Ban Yem Tro Phong Trao Dan Chu Quoc Noi. Many, many supporters were in attendance, including the youth of DTNPBC, who also contributed 2 performances: a small choir performance of Phai Len Tieng by composer Anh Bang, and a small band performance of Ai Tro Ve Xu Viet by composer & musician Phan Van Hung. It was a lovely evening.

In other news, I should have posted about this much sooner than now, but it’s been a busy month for us students.

Sunday, September 18th, 2011 — In front of the Chinese Consulate in Toronto, ON.

THE FIRST VIETNAMESE-CANADIAN YOUTH-LEAD PROTEST AGAINST CHINA’S VIOLATION OF VIETNAMESE SOVEREIGNTY INCLUDING THE SPRATLY AND PARACEL ISLANDS WAS HELD IN FRONT OF 240 ST GEORGE STREET, THE CHINESE CONSULATE IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO. THIS PROTEST WAS ORGANIZED BY THE VIETNAMESE YOUTH COMMUNITY FROM DOAN THANH NIEN PHAN BOI CHAU TORONTO (DTNPBC TORONTO YOUTH FOR DEMOCRACY) AND THE UNION OF VIETNAMESE STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS OF ONTARIO (UVSA ONTARIO).

This day was a landmark event for the Vietnamese-Canadian community, because up until now, our Vietnamese youth had never organized and lead their own demonstration, but only lent a helping hand to our parents’ generation when they organized these events.

The protest voiced our community’s condemnation of the Chinese communist government, which, as of late, has been stepping up their aggressions toward other countries and especially toward Vietnamese fishermen, in the South ASIAN Sea.

I say South ASIAN Sea because this is what we believe the disputed territory should be called. However, the Chinese communist government have claimed the zone for their own, and have been bullying other nation’s ships that enter the area. They have even killed innocent Vietnamese fishermen who wandered into this “Chinese territory”. They have expanded their map to engulf the lands and territorial waters of other countries, such as Vietnam and the Philippines. For months, the Vietnamese citizens in Vietnam have been taking to the streets every Sunday to demonstrate their patriotism to protect their homeland and to protest the loss of lands that have been tied to Vietnam for over a thousand years.

Our community also protested and condemned the cowardly and unjust VIETNAMESE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT. In 1958, Pham Van Dong, then-Prime Minister of communist North Vietnam, signed an agreement with communist China, handing over the disputed Spratly and Paracel Islands to China. However, THIS AGREEMENT WAS INVALID. THE ISLANDS DID NOT BELONG TO NORTH VIETNAM, BUT AT THE TIME RIGHTFULLY BELONGED TO SOUTH VIETNAM. Pham Van Dong did NOT in any way represent South Vietnam, whose PM was then Ngo Dinh Diem. Pham Van Dong therefore had ZERO legal right to comment on South Vietnamese territory, and the letter of agreement he wrote to the Chinese communist government should have ZERO legal value. Typical communists….

I also can’t stress enough this headache that some people give me. For the record, WE ARE NOT NECESSARILY PROTESTING AGAINST THE CHINESE PEOPLE. WE ARE PROTESTING THE CHINESE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT AND THEIR ACTIONS. So, my friends who happen to be Chinese, although I love you dearly, I hope you will stop making ignorant comments in my presence. We are protesting what is UNJUST. Our community and its supporters are no doubt Vietnamese and love Vietnam, yet we are at the same time against the current Vietnamese communist government, because they are also UNJUST. But that in no way means we are against the Vietnamese people. If anything, we have resolved to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters back in our homeland of Vietnam, who yearn for Freedom, Human Rights and Democracy as much as we wish to help them bring all that back to Vietnam.

I am thrilled to announce that video footage and photos of the demonstration is now up for all to see! Please see below.

Look forward to seeing DTNPBC at the upcoming Kitchener-Waterloo OKTOBERFEST PARADE!!! WHOO!!!

Thank you to chú Minh, chú Duy & cô Hân, and my Papa for videography and photography. Thank you to all our supporters, young and old, for always being our encouragement as we carry on our people’s fight for Freedom, Democracy, Justice, and Human Rights in VIETNAM.

HS.TS.VN

Dai Hoi 6 Fundraising Dinner

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 – Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Toronto, ON.

Last weekend, the Toronto fundraising team for the 6th International Vietnamese Youth Conference in Manila (Dai Hoi 6, or DH6) held a wonderful charity dinner and concert to help sponsor the Canadian delegation’s trip to Manila, Philippines. The theme of this year’s conference is Digital Activism, and we Canadians are proud to send our delegates to the conference with high hopes that they will return with useful knowledge and new inspiration to apply and to share. Also, a huge thank you to the Sacred Heart church, our organizers, volunteers and parents who helped us pull off this successful fundraiser; it was a lot of work but totally worth it! 🙂

DAI HOI 6 FUNDRAISER: CASINO NIGHT

Casino Night Poster

The Toronto fundraising team for Dai Hoi 6 (the 6th International Vietnamese Youth Conference) has been hard at work raising money to fly to Manila, Philippines this August and represent the Vietnamese-Canadian youth community. Last Sunday they organized a fantastic casino night event. Photos from the lively evening can be viewed here.

Our future leaders are one step closer to the experience of a lifetime at DAI HOI 6!

Harvest sprites at the ginseng farm

On Saturday, June 18th, 2011, our Toronto fundraising team for Dai Hoi 6 made a trip down to Lan Anh Ginseng Farm in Waterford, Ontario to work and raise funds for our cause. This August 2011, a group of youth from Toronto will fly to Manila, Philippines to attend a Vietnamese Youth Conference known as Đại Hội Thanh Niên Sinh Viên Việt Nam Thế Giới kỳ 6 (DH6) with other Vietnamese youths from around the globe. This year’s theme is digital activism.

It was a unique and fun experience. We all had a lovely day bonding and farming and hope to do this again!

Thank you to the sweet farm owner chú Anh; as well as our supporter chú Hộ who graciously came to help us out and brought us a wonderful meal to wrap up the day. 😀

Photos courtesy of Brian Nguyen.

Charity Dinner for Japan Tsunami Victims

Saturday, April 16, 2011 – Bayview Glen Church, Woodbridge, ON.

Last weekend, Nhóm Thiện Chí Toronto, our organizing committee made up of members from many different Vietnamese community groups, held a charity dinner and concert to fundraise for the relief effort in Japan. Although our community is not particularly large, we decided to come together to support our brothers and sisters in Japan, all the victims who have been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck their country back in March. It was impossible to know of their distress and not reach out to them when doing so is completely within our abilities.

The evening was a success, and we have raised over $24,000.00 with only 2 weeks of preparation. Our Japanese-Canadian guests from the JCCC (Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre) Foundation expressed such genuine thanks that it brought tears to my eyes. They are such strong spirited and sweet individuals.

I sincerely hope Japan will recover from this disaster and that all of the victims will find peace.

Here are some photos from the evening…

Thank you to our photographer Brian Nguyen!

04-09-2010 Dem Ca Nhac ‘Tieng Hat Vi Nguoi Ngheo’

Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Toronto ON – September 04, 2010: Dem Ca Nhac Tieng Hat Vi Nguoi Ngheo

At the beginning of September, my friends and I had the honour to co-MC a special evening of faith, music, and charity. The Vietnamese Catholic community gathered during the visit of Father Nguyen Tan Sang (Cha Sang), a Vietnamese priest with a warm heart and a golden voice, who resides in Vietnam but occasionally travels to major cities during his time off to share his faith and organize charity events for the poor in Vietnam. His charity work helps orphans, the blind and sick, the elderly without caregivers, and the Vietnamese Montagnards among others, who receive little help or attention in communist countries like Vietnam. Bless his heart! 🙂

Well-known Vietnamese guest singers such as Son Ca and Giao Linh also lent their wonderful voices to the cause (though personally I prefer the local singers). A great amount was raised from the auction of two beautiful portraits alone. All in all, it was a very successful charity event thanks to the generosity of the community.

Once again, I leave you with some photos of the event. Photographer: Papa!

Enjoy!

18-09-2010 Fundraising for Democracy Activists in Vietnam

September 18, 2010: Fundraising for Democracy Activists in Vietnam – Tiệc Gây Qũy Yểm Trợ Phong Trào Dân Chủ Cho Việt Nam

Last Saturday evening at the Royal Dragon Restaurant in Mississauga, our Vietnamese-Canadian community came together to organize and support a charity dinner in order to raise funds for democracy activists in Vietnam. These righteous, brave, and outspoken activists have been and continue to play a crucial part in supporting the movement for freedom, democracy, and human rights in Vietnam, all of which are virtually non-existent and ever overshadowed by the corrupt communist government and their unjust ideals. From where we are, in any way possible, we must give them our full support!

We also had honoured guests who made the trip from the United States to contribute their support. Mr. Đỗ Thành Công, a former political prisoner and democracy activist who was unjustly imprisoned by the Vietnamese communist government, was one such guest in attendance at the charity. He gave a rousing powerpoint presentation detailing his knowledge of critical issues that Vietnam is and will soon be facing due to the incompetence and corruption in the country and especially within the governing party. Mr. Đỗ Thành Công and three of his party members were arrested in August of 2006. He himself was arrested and subsequently deported. Lê Nguyên Sang, a member of the People’s Democratic Party of Vietnam (Đảng Dân Chủ Nhân Dân) served 4 years in prison for violating article 88 of the criminal code, which forbids “conducting propaganda against the state.” They were released recently in 2009 and 2010. However, the irony is that these prisoners have never actually posed a direct threat; they simply spoke aloud their mind, and their words did not agree with the government–hence they were imprisoned without just reason or cause.

Concern is ever growing. The amount of jail sentences for political prisoners in Vietnam totals to about 187 years, and that is only from what we do know at this point. Dozens of independent bloggers and democracy activists like Ms. Phạm Thanh Nghiên, Ms. Trần Khải Thanh Thủy, and Ms. Lê Thị Công Nhân, just to name a few well-known activists, have been arrested (in some cases also beaten) in Vietnam and no doubt we will see more of such injustice to come if we sit idly and do nothing to stop it.

Furthermore, the Vietnamese government has been relying on communist China for “protection,” yielding its lands to the threatening and rising superpower to the North–lands such as Hòang Sa and Trường Sa, Vietnam’s Paracel and Spratly Islands, an act that has caused an uproar from Vietnamese around the globe and even within the usually suppressed country. The Vietnam-China border continues to move, wherein China expands their territory while Vietnam is losing more land. By buying the “protection” of a similarly communistic country, the Vietnamese communist party ensures that they will remain in absolute power. Vietnam has proudly upheld its own for thousands of years, and to let this happen is not only an outrage, but I feel like it is a tragedy, as well.

I managed to learn a lot on Saturday between the stress of performing and the awesome fun we had dancing. I couldn’t catch all of Mr. Đỗ Thành Công’s presentation, though he covered a lot of very serious and note-worthy aspects and what I do remember I have already written about here. I am so glad to have the opportunity to not only attend but also be of help to the organizers. After every successful event, I get that awesome feeling of gratefulness that I am able to be a part of an amazing community and know the most inspiring people whom I love enough to call family. 😀

P.S. Check out the links I’ve put up on the left of my page, too. I just added the link to “VietAm Review.” The blog is in English and contains some very interesting politically-charged articles. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Memorial to Victims of Totalitarian Communism

I tend to update late. I’ve been busy studying for a calculus test all week!

Saturday, May 29, 2010 – Downtown Toronto:

The Vietnamese community held a fundraising dinner on the evening of May 29th to help contribute to the building of the Memorial to Victims of Totalitarian Communism, a monument which will be built in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, in the coming years. This project is the goal a Canadian organization called Tribute to Liberty (TTL).

As I have class in 1 hour (sighs), I will have to make this quick. This is a very important and meaningful project to millions of people across the globe, and not just to countless victims of communism. If you would like to learn more about this project and TTL, the truth and atrocities behind communism, or how you can contribute to building the memorial by donating, please visit this website:

http://www.tributetoliberty.ca/

Buy a brick! Please help us remember the past and work hard towards a free and peaceful future in our homeland. 🙂

I had the privilege to help MC and sing at the fundraising dinner. It was a successful event many thanks to the Ban Tổ Chức (̣organizers), DTNPBC, all the honourable guests, and of course everyone who came out to support the cause. I leave you with some photos from that evening… 😀