Explore the Diaspora: How a Moldovan set foot and prospers on Vietnamese soil (photos/video)

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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Marcus Aurelius

Jean Guzun, a Moldovan who started his career as a financial analyst in the City of London, decided to taste by himself the allure of Asia. At the age of 30, Jean eventually got out of his comfort zone and made the big step.

Wise decision and commitments to motherland

After a time of reflection, Jean decided to branch out on his own instead of continually working for big companies. That year was 2005. Asia at that time was an important driving force in the global economy, featuring four of the world’s largest economies - Japan, China, India, and Korea. Jean turned his mind to Asia, realizing the continent’s leading role in the future. Where I should head for, Jean wondered.

He set off a trip in Asia. When he reached Nha Trang city after seeing other major Vietnamese places, Jean was impressed with its natural splendor: a seaside town “ringed by a necklace of hills, with a turquoise bay dotted with tropical islands”. It took him three days to decide on staying there. 

Given that it was fairly easy to obtain a license to import wine, he immediately set up his own business in alcoholic beverage industry, just six weeks after his first step on the Vietnamese land.

“It was one of the wisest decisions I had ever made in my life”, said the Moldovan businessman.

Asked if he had encountered any problems whilst living and trading in Vietnam, he smiled and shook his head. “We have everything under control. Nothing is problematic”, replied Jean. He said “we” because he’s not been against the world alone but with his wife, Trang and their exuberant five-year-old daughter, Sofia Guzun  or her Vietnamese name, An.

Wedding of Jean and Trang 

Their love story began when Trang became Jean’s Vietnamese tutor. Fourteen years later, they are still in Nha Trang and the business is steadily growing.

Moldovan guests were at the wedding. 
 
Their daughter, Sofia 

Jean, however, still concerns himself about how to promote Moldovan products. He gave it a try from the very beginning. Unfortunately, there were many obstacles that made this difficult (very expensive and unreliable shipping; unfavorable terms comparing to producers from other countries etc.). Obviously, his efforts were out of tune with the economic competition. As a businessman, he had to leave aside his commitments to the motherland.

It’s the people that make Moldova special

“I’ve been in Moldova four times. My first impression was that Moldovan people were greatly humble and genuine. People say once formed, first impression can hard to change. I partly agree. Because that impression was unchanged but heightened in the next visits of mine”, and Trang said she meant “humble and genuine” in the true sense of the word.

Although her husband’s family is living in Chisinau capital, she finds their neighbors aren’t stand-offish. On the contrary, they have a wonderful and harmonious relationship with their neighbors. Everyone works together to keep an eye on the kids and keep the neighborhood safe.

Family of Jean 

Moldova is tranquil, green and picturesque while its national cuisine heartens Trang with its honesty, simplicity and richness. She likes Mămăliga, a cornmeal porridge easily found in every house with its own recipes. Or a bowl of Zeamă, the soup cooked with homemade noodles, reminds her of Vietnam’s Pho and treats her like a home returner.

Moldova also shares the same tradition with its neighboring countries. People in Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania indispensably know Plăcintă, a traditional small round or square-shaped pastry filled with cabbage, cottage cheese, apple, pumpkin or cherry.

Trang’s daughter, Sofia, is also excited to visit Moldova and her paternal grandparents. The girl likes picking up raspberries, cherries, and table grapes on the family farm. The five-year-old even managed to learn and speak Romanian quite fluently during the summer vacation in Chisinau.

The girl likes picking up raspberries, cherries, and table grapes on the family farm

She speaks Romanian with her father, Vietnamese with her mother and English while they are together. In Nha Trang city, Sofia studies at an international school and spends the weekends with her maternal grandparents. Her mother as an English language professor at Nha Trang University usually takes her on the field trips.

Sofia was taken on field trip 

In order to expose Sofia to various cultures, Jean and Trang are moving to let her visit this Eastern European country every year. This summer, they all plan to visit Moldova, and this time, with Trang’s parents.

 “Such a laudable tourism reform was carried through by the Chisinau administration”, Trang highly praised the Moldova e-Visa system with reduced fee compared to other countries. Accordingly, her parents successfully obtained the short-term visas in two days without any great effort.

The Vietnamese mother also shared her valuable experience of living in harmony with different cultures. At Jean’s insistence, she let their child eat independently following daily food groups. While staying with Jean’s parents-in-law, she let Sofia be “over-pampered” with disciplining.

THU HA 

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