Việt Nam tôi đâu?

Việt Khang
Lingua: Vietnamita

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(Nanci Griffith)
Like in 1968


IN MAY 2011, THREE CHINESE GUNBOATS opened fire on Vietnamese fishing vessels near the uninhabited Spratly islands in the South China Sea. This was only the last of numerous confrontations between the two countries, which both claim sovereignty over the remote, but resource-rich islands.

Foreign aggression is not something new to the Vietnamese people. After numerous and long periods of occupation through the country’s history, the fear of yet another invasion has become a national trauma. The incident at Spratly sparked off mass protests in the capital Hanoi, where people took to the streets demanding reactions against the Chinese hostility. The government however, responded by breaking up the demonstrators by force, including mass arrests and police violence against the protesters.

Viet Khang was 34 years old and living in My Tho, a small city in southern Vietnam, far away from the most serious turmoil. Through internet forums and amateur footage on Youtube, he received news about the demonstrations.

Khang reacted with anger against the violent treatment of the demonstrators. Enraged, he wrote two songs where he criticised the government, and urged the people to continue protesting, both against China’s aggression and against the lack of action from the Vietnamese leader.

Khang recorded the two songs in his home studio and uploaded them to Youtube. A few weeks after, he was arrested by the local police and and charged with “anti-state propaganda against the socialist republic of Vietnam”. The trial was short and superficial. Viet Khang was eventually sentenced to 4 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest in My Tho.

While Khang was in prison, his wife filed for divorce and left together with their 5-year-old son. When he was released, Khang had no family, no job and no home, and had to serve the period of house arrest in his mother’s place. Still, he did not regret having written the songs. “I spoke the truth. That is why the party is so afraid of me, because deep down they know that I was speaking the truth.”

The dispute over the Spratly islands is still unresolved.
Việt Nam Ơi
Thời gian quá nữa đời người
Và ta đã tỏ tường rồi
Ôi cuộc đời, ngày sau tàn lữa khói

Mẹ Việt Nam đau
Từng cơn xót dạ nhìn đời
Người lầm than đói khổ nghèo nàn
Kẻ quyền uy giàu sang dối gian

Giờ đây
Việt nam còn hay đã mất
Mà giặc Tàu, ngang tàng trên quê hương ta
Hoàng Trường Sa đã bao người dân vô tội
Chết ngậm ngùi vì tay súng giặc Tàu

Là một người con dân Việt Nam
Lòng nào làm ngơ trước ngoại xâm
Người người cùng nhau
Đứng lên đắp lời sống núi

Từng đoàn người đi, chẳng nề chi
Già trẻ gái trai, giơ cao tay
Chống quân xâm lược, chống kẻ nhu nhược
Bán nước Việt Nam.

inviata da Dq82 - 7/1/2017 - 10:44

Lingua: Inglese

Versione inglese del cantante norvegese Moddi
da Unsongs, compilation di canzoni censurate da tutto il mondo.

Written by Viet Khang.
Translation by Pål Moddi Knutsen and Maren Skolem.

My Vietnam, I have known you for so long.
Lately I’ve become aware of all your sorrow.
People are hungry and afraid, while hundred miles away,
their leaders pig on pork chops and champagne.
My Vietnam, there is rust upon your star,
and your wealth is with those who are in power.
They have betrayed your mountains and your rivers.
They have all failed you and sold your land away.

Where are you now, my Vietnam?
Where are your daughters and sons?
You must wake up and raise your voice as one.
And though we deal but little strokes, in time we will fell great oaks.
Who’s with me now? Ask “Where where is my, where’s my Vietnam?”

My Vietnam, how many young and brave
must sleep beneath the waves, must fall before the cannons?
On Paracel and Spratly’s bloody shores our name will stand or fall,
a thousand years of darkness still remain.

Our own have invited China in,
they are cowards and lackeys of Beijing.
Where are the heirs to your mountains and your rivers?
They will be here when they hear your call to arms!

So where are you now, my Vietnam?
Where are your daughters and sons?
You must wake up and raise your voice as one.
And though we deal but little strokes, in time we will fell great oaks.
Hold your fist high, together we’ll fight for a new Vietnam.

inviata da Dq82 - 7/1/2017 - 10:46

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