Today: 23/11/2019 03:18:06 (GMT+7)

Returning after 28 years of drifting

(BGO) – Dozens of years looking forward to hearing about the daughter Nguyen Thi Bien (born in 1968) with no information, Nguyen Van Nhom (82 years old) in Hung Dao village, Dong Lo commune (Hiep Hoa district, Bac Giang province) thought that he would never meet her again. Yet, in early August this year, the joy of reunification came to his family.

28 years of organizing death anniversary ceremonies

Nhom's house has been frequently visited by people over the past few days when his daughter suddenly returned to her family after nearly 28 years of disappearance. Bien only studied until Grade 4 and is the 3rd child in the family with six children.

Bac Giang province, Nguyen Thi Bien,  reunification, death anniversary ceremonies, Vietnamese woman, Reunion in tears

Representatives of the Hiep Hoa district Women's Union visit and present gifts to Bien.

On October 2, 1991, the village girl Nguyen Thi Bien gullibly followed a young man named Quang to Lang Son to find a new job with the promise of a leisurely, high-income job. 

She was tricked into selling to the other side of the border. For many months, her brothers and sisters in turn came to the border gates in Lang Son and Cao Bang, and asked their acquaintances who do business in China to seek her, but no one knew anything about her.

Arriving in China, Bien was taken to a poor farmer family with many children in a mountainous region. Every day they fed her with corn porridge and then took her to the field to grow corn and potatoes for the owner. 

In the evening, she could not take a break because she had to do housework and was tortured. Many times she became exhausted and believed that there would be never a day for her to return home.

For several decades, the Vietnamese woman lived miserably as a maid in that family and was excommunicated with the neighbors. So when many people asked about the living place, this woman shook her head and said she did not know where she was living in China.

Being lost in the strange land, not knowing the language, and being closely controlled by the owner, Bien did not dare to run away. According to her relatives, Bien was sent back to Vietnam when the competent Chinese forces inspected and realized that she was a Vietnamese so they arrested her for not having any identification paper.

After 2 months in detention, she was released together with some other Vietnamese women. The over 10-km journey through the thorny forest to find the home country made her hungry and exhausted, and she did not know when she set foot on the Lang Son border.

Reunion in tears

In late July, Nhom's family received news that someone from Hiep Hoa district doing business in Lang Son met a woman wandering at the Huu Nghi border gate who looked like Bien. 

Bac Giang province, Nguyen Thi Bien,  reunification, death anniversary ceremonies, Vietnamese woman, Reunion in tears

Lines of Vietnamese words, although misspelled, help Bien find her relatives after 28 years of drifting.

Although this woman did not speak Vietnamese fluently, but through her misspelled handwriting, the young man who contacted her quickly guessed that she had come from the same hometown in Hiep Hoa and been sold to China for many years so she forgot her mother tongue. Immediately, he posted on his Facebook to ask the online community to find her relatives.

Just seeing Bien, the whole family of Nhom hugged each other and cried. Preventing tears from flowing, they hurriedly connected with the benefactor. Not letting the family wait too long, on the morning of August 2, at the headquarters of the Dong Lo communal People's Committee, in the witness of local authorities, communal Police and people of Hung Dao village, the reunion full of tears of Nhom’s family took place after 28 years of waiting.

Nguyen Van Mui, Bien's younger brother, said: “In the past, Bien was pretty, quick and resourceful, but now she is dull, eats and speaks slowly, and does not know what to do. She is naive like a child, making us very painful”.

Hearing the news that Bien returned, representatives of the authorities, women's unions at all levels, relatives and neighours visited to encourage her. Ngo Thi Hong Uyen, Chairwoman of the Hiep Hoa district Women's Union, said about 40 women in the district suspected of being sold to China have not returned home yet. Over the past time, the women's unions at all levels have always taken care of, encouraged and helped those returning to reintegrate through counseling, job introduction and livelihood support activities...

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Mai Toan

Bac Giang province, Nguyen Thi Bien, reunification, death anniversary ceremonies, Vietnamese woman, Reunion in tears
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