Old Viet Cong escapee in Denmark passed away at 101

Long Thi Nguyen has passed away at age 101 – Photo: André Thorup

Long Thi Nguyen who escaped the Vietnamese communist two times in her lifetime has passed away at the age of 101, JydskeVestkysten writes. She died in her son, Hoan van Nguyen, and daughter-in-law, Mai Lien Thi Vu’s, home in Aabenraa Denmark. Even though she was both blind and sick at the time of her death Long wished not to be hospitalized but instead died in her home.

This decision was very respected by her daughter-in-law who had a deep love for Long.

“In our culture and our country there is an obligation to take care of your parents. Not to abandon them. There is pure love for each other,” Mai Lien Thi Vu says.

Long Thi Nguyen had to escape from the communists two times during her life in Vietnam. The first time was in 1954 when she fled Northern-Vietnam to go to the south of the country. After the conclusion of the war with the communist taking control and uniting the country. Long’s family again decided to flee from Vietnam in 1979 this time as boat refugees. However, this time the family was decimated. Long’s husband had died a couple years before likewise one of her four sons had tragically also died in the Vietnam war.

The escape from Thailand brought them to Aabenraa in Denmark. At this time Long Thi Nguyens son, Hoan van Nguyen, was 21 years old.

His future wife to be Mai Lien Thi Vu came to Denmark when she was 18. Her escape from Thailand was also very dramatic.

“My dad said that we had to choose between living or dying. If we die, we all die. If we survive, we all survive. Then we have each other and have escaped the communists. Many people drowned but we had to take that risk. My dad took that decision for us,” Mai Lien Thi Vu explains.

In Denmark Mai married Hoan and moved in with him and his family. Mai was nervous and sceptic when she had to join a new family, but she quickly learned to care for her mother-in-law very much.

“I was lucky to enter a family in which my mother-in-law was so affectionate and compassionate. She gave a kind of love not many are able to give. If we disagreed everything were forgotten five minutes after,” Mai Tells.

Mai explains that she has learned a lot from her mother-in-law and adopted her way giving out love. So, when Long told that she wanted to die at home with Mai and Hoan, Mai had no objections at all.

“She came to me and said she was moving home. She wanted to die here. I had to promise her that I would never send her away to another place. Neither for a nursing home or a hospital,” Mia says.


About Lasse Sandholdt

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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