The Unpaid Ambassador on national sovereignty over sea and islands

Officers and soldiers perform the flag-raising ceremony on Truong Sa island (Photo: VNA)

Visiting Truong Sa in May, each overseas Vietnamese brings his/her own luggage of perspectives, points of view and feelings. But after each trip, all have the same “denominator” of national pride. Flowers, grains of sand, coral reefs in the sacred islands, each of them has become a “marker” of Truong Sa sovereignty.

For journalist and painter Etcetera Nguyen, who has visited Truong Sa and DK1 platform five times, each trip brings new emotions, and a new faith that inspires him to volunteer as an “unpaid ambassador”. He is a bridge connecting the OV community around the world and the homeland.

Etcetera Nguyen, or Nguyen Quang Truong, moved to the US in 1991. Working as a journalist, he has returned to Vietnam many times over the years.

Etcetera Nguyen, or Nguyen Quang Truong, sketches an island he visits (Photo: VNA)

In 2012, he had chance to attend a cultural event on Vietnamese language, during which he stressed the great attention paid by the OV community at that time to the sovereignty-related issue.

Recalling the first trip of overseas Vietnamese to Truong Sa exactly 10 years ago, Etcereta said before his trip, he had a little doubt or hesitation in taking part. In his mind, Truong Sa was a remote, desolate and deserted place. However, when he arrived there, he was surprised to see pagodas, churches, schools, playing yards and lighthouses.

On islands, he sketched portraits of local people and soldiers with the desire to bring a little joy to those he met. Through the drawing, he had opportunities to talk and listen to the very daily stories of soldiers, feel the enthusiastic spirit of the young ones who shouted their oath to defend the Fatherland and keep the island sacreds, and got ready to sacrifice to protect the territory and territorial waters.

After that first trip to visit Truong Sa, the perception of him and many other overseas Vietnamese “standing on the other side of the front line” has completely changed”, Etcereta Nguyen stated.

Returning to the US after his trip in 2012, Etcetera organised a small exhibition at his editorial office with 200 select pictures. He brought together overseas Vietnamese to visit and exchange views on related issues.

Nguyen Quang Truong (Etcetera Nguyen) sketches Truong Sa soldiers (Photo: VNA)

As a journalist, Etcetera Nguyen said that in the past times, the Party and State has paid much attention to the OV community. Resolution 36-NQ/TW, Decree 45/CT-TW, and most recently Conclusion 12-KL/TW on overseas Vietnamese affairs are the “open doors” for Vietnamese expatriates around the world.

Currently, there are many overseas Vietnamese who wish to return to Vietnam to live, because the country has a better international position. The guidelines and policies of the Party and State are on the right track, he added./.

Story 4: Spreading the love for the homeland, the sea and the islands through Vietnamese language classes