03.09.2021, 15:30

Telling stories about Vietnam through millions of views

In recent years, more and more foreigners see Vietnam as their second home and show their love for the S-shaped country in many different ways.


Albanian girl Dajana Hoxhaj wearing a white ao dai and conical hat takes pictures with lotus flowers in Hanoi – Photo: NVCC

Particularly for TikTokers and YouTubers with hundreds of thousands of followers, they have “million-view” clips that bring Vietnam’s image to the world.

D ringing content, tapping, different topics, but the general provisions of the video is often expressed in a way of humor, gives the viewer the feeling of their lives in Vietnam, “must have been happy.” Tuoi Tre finds famous foreign faces online to hear them talk about an interesting Vietnam.

People say home is where my heart belongs, my heart is in Vietnam. In the future, no matter where I go, Vietnam will always be my second home

Dajana Hoxhaj

* Dajana Hoxhaj: Bringing Vietnamese ao dai on TikTok

“The thought of leaving here is heartbreaking. Was it possible that I was Vietnamese in my previous life?” – said an Albanian girl named Dajana Hoxhaj when we asked her if she planned to stay long here.

The love of Vietnam to Dajana was as unexpected as the way she informed her family that she was going to live in Vietnam. At first, Dajana only planned to stay in Vietnam for 9 months, but then it became 3 years when it was not good. Now many people say that Dajana is “more and more like a Vietnamese”.

In a video posted on her TikTok channel @ dajana_oi, which has 485,100 followers, Dajana dressed in a white dress and took a photo with a lotus flower. Being teased, “Aren’t Vietnamese people going to take pictures with lotus flowers?”, she replied in Vietnamese, “but Dajana looks like Vietnamese”.

Dajana is very fond of Ao Dai. To her, this traditional outfit makes the wearer elegant and graceful. The image of a Vietnamese girl with long hair, wearing a red ao dai, walking on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake that she accidentally met when she first arrived in Hanoi in August 2018 kept lingering in her mind.

Nine months later, Dajana was satisfied to wear the first ao dai in her life when her friend asked her to take a photo of the lotus ao dai. Dajana boasted that she had two sets of ao dai: one was sewn by her family when they invited her to their house for a wedding, the other was given to them by parents of students for the occasion of Tet.

Dajana said she always tries to dress up whenever she can – when she goes to school when she goes to a wedding when she goes to a friend’s house, she also wears ao dai. She even thought about buying a set for her mother because she would surely love it.

Dajana often shares stories about her daily life on TikTok, where the majority of the audience is Vietnamese who love foreign girls who have feelings for Vietnam.

“I want people to know how my life in Vietnam is, how I experience the traditional culture here. You often thank me for loving Vietnam, but no, it is I who should thank because I am loved here,” said Dajana.

In contrast, Facebook and Instagram are places where she shows her friends back home how happy she is. She said that 80% of her friends in Albania want to come to Vietnam to play, some of them even want to work. And they come for real.

Just 3-4 months after Dajana moved to Vietnam, two of her college friends followed after asking her about life here.

Dajana is a kindergarten teacher and has more than 1 year left in her contract. She couldn’t say for sure how long she would stay in Vietnam for fear of “telling the way to go”, but Dajana said, “I have no intention of leaving this place”.

UK Brandon Hurley , Americans, “fame” with pictures of dressed chicken pet hug the street name Dat Baby

A community working together to achieve a common goal. A country where there is strong social cohesion that other countries in the world should follow

Brandon Hurley

* Brandon Hurley: “Guys, here’s the fat Phuc!”

“Fat” Phuc is 33 years old this year, bold, white skin, “shaggy” mustache. Phuc is an English teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, occasionally MCs, appears on television and also makes videos on YouTube and TikTok.

In early June this year, Phuc posted a YouTube video talking about the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam as well as the efforts of the government and people to keep everyone safe.

“I would like to send a big thank you to Vietnam, to the Vietnamese people for allowing me and other foreigners to be here during this difficult time,” Phuc said in the video.

Phuc is an American, real name Brandon Hurley, who has lived and worked in Vietnam for more than 6 years. Currently, he owns 416,000 subscribers on YouTube Phuc Map vlog and 448,200 followers on TikTok @phucmapvlog.

As the name suggests, the content of Phuc’s videos are usually vlogs of everyday life. Sometimes people see Phuc and his foreign friends going to try the dishes of three regions to find “Which region has the best food in Vietnam?”, at other times, they see him introducing “Top 5 best banh mi in Saigon” One day, cycling around asking Saigon people “Which district is the most beautiful in this city?”.

The special thing is that he often speaks Vietnamese in his videos, often opening with the sentence “Guys, Phuc is fat!” and every YouTube video has English – Vietnamese bilingual subtitles.

In a video shot before Ho Chi Minh City implemented social distancing to prevent the epidemic in early June, “fat” Phuc led the audience to explore the area where he lived in Tan Binh. With a cap on his head, sunglasses on his eyes, a mask that is somewhat small compared to his “massive” beard, this Tay man walks while smoking smoothies, freely stopping here and there to say hello.

“Phuc can stop anywhere, start a conversation with people, 99% of the people here are very hospitable. When I start a conversation, they talk to me again,” Phuc said while walking into the camera. Thanks to the friendliness of the locals and his fluent Vietnamese, Phuc has almost no problems communicating.

For Phuc, Vietnam is his second home, where he has a job, a Vietnamese wife, a pet dog and is known by many people. Phuc became “famous” around the beginning of 2019, thanks to a video of him wearing a suit and hugging a pet chicken named Be Dat on the street.

“Toi muốn kể chuyen về mot người nưoc ngoai muốn mặc trang phục truyền thống của Viet Nam nhưng lại vo tình mua phải bo đồ ngủ của phụ nữ. Người nưoc ngoai nay nghe nói rằng chó thường bị bắt trom ở Viet Nam, vì vậy anh ta nghĩ rằng mình nen nuoi mot con ga”, Phuc kể.

The desire to bring laughter to everyone is the biggest inspiration for Phuc’s videos. “I don’t call myself a comedian, but I think I have the ability to bring smiles to others.”

It seems that Phuc’s sense of humor is also loved by many people. “My most popular video on TikTok has 8 million views, and my most viewed video on YouTube is 3.7 million views,” he boasted.

Telling stories about Vietnam through millions of views

Mr. Will Courageux was born in Paris and is a “hard fan” of Vietnamese bread

* Will Courageux: “Eat all of Vietnam”

What if you are a person who loves to eat and you are surrounded by people all day telling you to eat? Then you will have a TikTok channel full of food like that of a French guy named Will who lives in Hanoi.

On the TikTok channel @willinvietnam with more than 921,900 followers of Will, it is not difficult to see the times when he eats and drinks according to the “instigated” fans’ words. He eats from dried beef with lemon juice to ice cream sandwiches, bread dipped in milk, Sting mixed with Ong Tho milk, rice with sugar, shrimp noodles mixed with rice, shredded raw shrimp noodles, Hao Hao salted fruit… Every dish sees the guy “beating the cup” delicious.

On the channel’s self-introduction, Will wrote “experience all dishes in Vietnam”. Indeed, dozens of videos of the guy are a “bewitching battle” of Vietnamese food, with many videos reaching over a million views all related to dishes, from melons, duck vermicelli to fried spring rolls, fish noodles. , snail noodle…

The video content is nothing fancy, the filming is simple, but the French guy’s happy face when enjoying Vietnamese delicacies is probably what attracts the audience. Determined to achieve the goal of “eating all of Vietnam”, Will is not afraid to try dishes that are “difficult” with foreigners such as spring rolls, heart, chicken millet, roasted birds, scrambled eggs, blood soup…

“The first Vietnamese dish I ate was shrimp paste, very smelly. At that time, I thought that if Vietnamese food was the same, I would give up. Up to now, I have eaten shrimp paste but honestly, I am not very fond of it. There’s also one dish that I haven’t tried yet, and I don’t know if I can eat it or not, is nam pa,” said Will with a smile.

This Paris-born guy says he’s a “crazy fan” of Vietnamese bread, he can eat this dish all year round and all month long. “In France, we eat baguettes with cheese, while Vietnamese sandwiches have a lot of vegetables, add eggs, and feel very fresh.”

“I want people to know that Vietnam is a great place to live and even if someone just comes here to visit, the country has a lot to offer. Vietnam is a very rich country in terms of culture and diversity. There are mountains, there are seas, there are developed cities, and there are places with bold traditional values. The standard of living is comfortable but the quality of life is good,” said Will.

He hopes his Vietnamese can be better to communicate with people so that he can talk to the kids in the neighborhood every time he sees him pointing “hey the West guy on TikTok”.

The usual image on Ashley Griffith’s TikTok @ashlongvn channel is the guy who spends his days wandering around the shop discovering this and that.

A nation of kindness, love and strength. A country that is trying to erase the difficulties of yesterday and today for a better tomorrow, paving the way to new successes for the children of this generation and the generations to come.

Ashley Griffith

* Ashley Griffith: Spreading the passion of Vietnam to everyone

Also with an endless love for Vietnamese food like Will is British guy Ashley Griffith. It is not clear whether Ashley is the emotional type or not, but eating a bowl of crab cake soup, drinking a glass of sugarcane juice on the roadside also makes him … “want to die” because it is so delicious. “Vietnamese sugarcane juice is so delicious I want to die,” Ashley wrote in Vietnamese on the TikTok @ashlongvn channel, which has more than 215,500 followers.

Ashley loves Vietnam so much, you can see the excitement as a child when we ask him about life here. “I have always looked forward to the opportunity to talk about why I have chosen Vietnam as my home,” Ashley responded to our invitation to chat.

It all started around the end of 2017, when Ashley Griffith was invited by a friend to Vietnam to see “the beautiful scenery and the kindness of the people of this country”. The 24-year-old Ashley at that time did not know much about Vietnam but also flew over in a nervous mood. “But from the moment the plane landed, I immediately felt a connection to this country,” he said.

“At that time, I was walking down the stairs, without even touching Vietnamese soil, an old woman suddenly grabbed my hand and kept holding my balance to go all the way down the stairs. Then she held on until I helped her get on the bus to the station.

Although I am a stranger, a foreigner, the old woman trusted me with her safety. That was the moment I knew that Vietnam was going to be a country I never wanted to leave,” Ashley recalls emotionally.

Ashley is an English teacher, used to teach in Nam Dinh, and is now in Ho Chi Minh City. He became a TikToker after a young student said: “Teacher Ashley, I want to move to England because everything is better there. People say Vietnam is not a good country.”

“When I heard those innocent words, I was deeply saddened because I am British and I love Vietnam with all my heart. So I decided to use TikTok to showcase all the things I love about Vietnam: the food, the scenery, the people, the fashion, too many things. Now I hope that students can see how beautiful Vietnam is and where there are so many opportunities,” explained Ashley.

Ashley guesses her audience is Vietnamese and about 3% of them are overseas Vietnamese. Once a Vietnamese girl living in the US followed the TikTok channel @ashlongvn and texted:

“It’s great that you’re so passionate about my culture. I’ve never been to Vietnam before, but I want to visit again.” She used the word “my culture”, showing how much she appreciates her Vietnamese roots, Ashley said. Follow Tuoi Tre

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