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17/12/2021 - 07:02

Students won a prize in a French writing contest

Winning prizes in the “Francophone reporter” contest held by Le Courier du Vietnam of Vietnam News Agency, the two students expect that it was a chance for them to promote people and culture of Hue to people in the world in general, and in Francophone community in particular.

The work Un regard sur la dernière Công-Tôn-Nu (‘A perspective of the last Cong-Ton-Nu’) by Minh Hoang and Thuy Trang was awarded the second prize in the writing contest “Young Francophone Reporters”

Nguyen Duc Minh Hoang and Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang (students from the University of Foreign Languages, Hue University) were awarded the second prize for their work Un regard sur la dernière Công-Tôn-Nu by the organizing committee.

Narrating the maker of armrest pillow-blocks

“It was a big surprise to us. It was not only our honor, but also the happiness for teachers, families and friends, who always supported us during the contest. We were contented with the result because it helped to get our story across,” said the two students on the news of the prize-winning.

Minh Hoang said he happened to hear about the contest from teachers in his Department of French and Russian. Without hesitation, he and his friend, Thuy Trang, decided to choose appropriate topic to participate in the contest with confidence in their specialization about Tourism and passion in Hue culture.

After careful considerations, they decided to write about Lady Cong-Ton-Nu Tri Hue. Although she is almost 100 years old, she is still smart and talented at stitching every needlepoint to make armrest pillows embroidered with dragons and phoenixes. While working on their report, the two students had to overcome several obstacles brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The most difficult of all is probably the writing in French in a manner that ensures coherence, cohesion, accuracy and expressiveness.

Hoang said: “The topic was related to the royalty, in particular, the armrest pillow-block used under the Nguyen Dynasty. Therefore, the documents in Vietnamese must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure the quality of accuracy and naturalness of the meaning in the French expression.”

Hoang took the example of referring to the armrest pillow-block in French as an obstacle in finding a French equivalent to a culture-specific term. They had to explore the use of the pillow-block to describe it accurately, hence the term “le coussin d’accoudoir” (a pillow to rest the arm). In addition, the re-use of pictures under the kind permission of the authors made the writing more vivid and interesting.

Telling stories about Hue to stimulate curiosity

The two students said their motivation came from their specializing studies in Tourism and their passion of exploring Hue culture and national ancient values. Hue from their view is quiet and graceful, but Hue creates a feeling of intimacy and mystery of an ancient capital in the era of Vietnam feudalism.

Apart from their interests in the life of Lady Tri Hue, Minh Hoang and Thuy Trang said that they have been into Vietnamese culinary culture.

According to Thuy Trang, Hue food is well-known not only for its tastes but also for its delicacy in colors and aroma. Hue food is the harmony between the royal dishes and the ordinary-life dishes.

Through stories of Hue, the two students wanted to spread the positivity of the ordinary life. They also hoped to inspire international visitors and stimulate them to explore the beauty of Hue culture.

The “Young Francophone Reporters” is annual contest held by Le Courrier du Vietnam and co-sponsored by the Francophone International Organization (La Francophonie) and Vietnam News Agency, with the assistance of the Francophone University Agency, Embassies, Universities and other partners.

On the theme of “Francophone Women – Resilient Women”, the contest encouraged the youth to discuss the role of women and the gender equality in Vietnam and in the world. The contest attracted 135 entries by 122 authors and author teams nationwide.

Story and photo: NHAT MINH