Voices of Saigon- What is your biggest dream?

We have reached out to local Saigonistas to start a series called ‘Voices of Saigon’ where we ask locals what it is like to be Vietnamese and to be living in this exotic country. Our hope is to connect you with a different culture and explore how other people live.

In this round of ‘Voices of Saigon’ we ask “what is your biggest dream?”. These 3 ladies share their biggest dreams for the future, and reveal reasons behind their aspirations which are affected by the way they were brought up and their local culture.

A couple of things you will notice about a good portion of Vietnamese people is that they are really entrepreneurial and family-oriented.

Huynh Thien Y

27 years old, Accountant

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My name is Y. My biggest dream is to open a small Vietnamese restaurant, which will serve some great Northern-style cuisine, and our special family heirloom dishes. In my family, my mother, my sister and my husband are talented cooks, they make delicious food that cannot be found anywhere else. So the restaurant will be a family-owned business. It doesn’t have to be very large, but the food and the ingredients we would use would have to be of a very high quality. I will decorate it with traditional Vietnamese pottery and porcelain, produced in the craft village in Binh Duong province. My uncle is an artist, and my brother’s job is making pottery, so I believe the restaurant will have the most beautifully artistic decoration. As for me, I’ll do what I do best, accounting and money management!

I really love this idea. I think of it night and day. As a family-oriented person, I love being surrounded by my family members. This business will give me an ideal place to work and at the same time, I will feel safe, working alongside my beloved family members. There are many wonderful Vietnamese dishes that foreign tourists, or even local people, would never come across, because they are traditionally created by one of the family members, and served only among the family. That’s why I want to have a place where I can share our awesome heirloom-recipe dishes with many other people. Besides, I’m pregnant and I’m going to have a little boy very soon, and the restaurant’s income could be a great financial support for me, so that I can take better care of him.

Phuong Lee

32 years old, Event Planner

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My name is Phuong. My biggest and only dream at this moment is seeing my child grow up well, not only physically but also emotionally. For me, teaching children is very important, and I am sure that I’m very responsible for doing this. As a mother, I always want to give my son all the best things I can, but most importantly, I want him to grow into a fine and independent man that knows exactly what he needs, who he wants to be and where he wants to go.

I’m working as a freelancer, so my time is quite flexible, which is a great thing since it allows me to be closer to my son. I know I need to set a good example for him, so in the near future, I’ll read, learn, travel and enjoy life more, to gain more experiences and guide him on his next steps.

Ly Bao Khuyen

23 years old, Tour Guide

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My name is Khuyen. My biggest dream is for my mom and dad to remain healthy, and continue to live happily while running their small house business, where they will be able to work together. It will be a tailor and florist shop in one place. In front of a small house is a small yard where my dad takes care of his plants and sells them. There will be a lot of tropical flowers, as well as temperate climate flowers, too. A wooden table in the sunniest area of the yard will be reserved for the most beautifully decorated cactus pots. Inside of the house, my mother and I will make and sell women’s clothes. This business is meaningful to me, as it will not only support my parents a lot in their old age, but it will also allow them to work and live together, which is my greatest wish. My parents don’t get along very well, so I hope this will bring them together.

If you are a local Saigonista and would like to share your story in our next issue, contact us!

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