HOF034: NGUYEN Hong Nhung

Life after the war was difficult for her family in the Mekong Delta town of Vinh Long, but for Nguyen Hong Nhung, a university student about to enter the teaching profession, performing music helped bring in some income.

Later, after Nguyen made the sea voyage on her own to a refugee camp in Indonesia, her songs and music would provide comfort and relief, both to herself and to others. She was especially moved by the songs that spoke of the love for the Vietnamese culture; these were particularly poignant to her and the other refugees, as they were now considered stateless.

When Nguyen resettled in Ottawa, music was one of the things that helped her connect with the refugee community and feel at home. Nguyen, who now works as a Vietnamese heritage language teacher with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, has performed at hundreds of social and cultural events within the Vietnamese community.