Message f-rom Hoi An: "We are always beside you"
“Always beside you!”, “Be brave! Try your best! We are always beside you,our Japanese friends!”, “ Believe in overcoming, future is always bright” were written messages on 3 big pieces of cloth of 2m length and 1.5m width. On March 18, 2011, the campaign for sending messages, encouraging Japanese people enduring consequences of earthquake and tsunami was drawed hundreds of people presenting at Japanese Brigde area (Hoi An, Quang Nam).
Fukuhara Asako, group leader of the campaign said that: “Idea for this campaign is formed quickly, just only one day before Hoi An Legendary night”. In Hoi An, 7 Japanese volunteers f-rom JICA volunteer organization are working for Hoi An Resource and Environment Department. In spite of coming f-rom cities not much damaged by the disaster, their worry about homeland made them to do something.
Asako with his friends thought about calling messages f-rom Viet Nam on Legendary Night (the 14th of lunar month), the most crowded night with a lot of activities, at Japanese Brigde area – centre of Hoi An ancient town (Quang Nam).
Asako brought 3 big pieces of cloth and suggested people there writing messages, wishes for victims of earthquake in Japan. This idea was supported almost absolutely. Hoi An centre for Culture and Sports lended them Art Performance House at 56 Tran Phu street, right to Japanese Brigde, as a site for this campaign.
Learning folksong class every night is cancel, but no one cared. Vietnamese colleagues worked together with Asako’s group at Hoi An Resource and Environment Department also supported them in printing flags of 2 nations and Hoi An logo on pieces of cloth, in interpreting and mobilizing people to Japanese Brigde to sign and send messages.
A person working at Japanese restaurant nearby promised to bring these pieces of cloth to people of Fukushima city whe-re is sustaining serious damages f-rom the earthquake. “ Been in Hoi An for 02 years, but this is the 1st time I feel so touchedly. Thanks you so much!”, Asako said. The Legendary night was more excited than usual with a lot of art programmes. The stop at 56 Tran Phu street was crowded. People were patient and careful in writing wishes, messages to encourage unacquainted friends in a distant country.
Captain Trần Văn Phương, who was working near the area, also signed his name. He wrote shortly, not too flowerily, “Share with Japanese friends”. A boy called Linh also tried to sign his name. He was here for the folksong class every night, and tonight the class was off for this activity. He looked seriously in writing word by word: “I wish Japan overcome the disaster quickly”.Even European tourists were also absorbed by this event and participated in writing their messages on the pieces of cloth. The prepared pens werenot enough. The programme was planned to end at 9pm, but at 8pm, 3 pieces of cloth were full of words. Machiko, a tourist f-rom Kobe, Japan was astonished when she saw those pieces of cloth. “ I have just arrived to Hoi An for 30 minutes, and I cannot say anything to show our profound gratitude. We also met a serious earthquake right in my home town-Kobe 15 years ago. And I thoroughly understood losses, scare when we were in the situation. These messages will encourage us in our life very much.”
The pieces of cloth with hundreds of messages collected f-rom Viet Nam will be sent to Japan in the end of March. “ There are some Vietnamese messages, Japanese maynot understand. But it is not important. I think people will experience love and sharing contained in these words”, Asako said.
Translated by Thanh Nga TTVH-TT