8-year-old Hanoian wins first prize at national folk tales competition

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Nguyễn Thanh Ngân, 8, on stage with her prize for her story of Đoàn tàu Gió (The Wind Ship). Photo dantri.com.vn

HÀ NỘI — Eight year old Nguyễn Thanh Ngân from Hà Nội has won the national “Đóa hoa đồng thoại” (Folk tales flower) competition, beating 2,914 other submissions.

The tale, “Đoàn tàu Gió” (The Wind Ship)”, tells the story of “Wind” – a boatman who brings fresh air to everyone daily, helping kites and birds fly high and pollinating flowers, was chosen from three first-prize winning stories from three categories to be awarded the first prize of the competition.

Ngân is the winner of the primary school category, while Đặng Phương Lan (13) from Nam Định Province took the secondary school category with the story “Mở cửa” (Opening the Door) and Nguyễn Thị Oanh, 48 from Đồng Nai, won the independent contestant’s category with “Những chú mèo ngủ quên trong ổ trứng” (Overslept Cats in Nest).

For Ngân, it all started with a copy of the previous entries to the competition that her mother bought her. The book proved to be all the inspiration she needed to win the competition, and a trip to Japan, herself.

“One time I was playing in the garden when I looked at the trees. The wind suddenly blew, bringing thoughts and ideas for my story,” Ngân said.

“Through my imagination, everything in the book is very magical, a smile can also be sad and a leaf can turn into a dreamy butterfly.

“In my story, the wind is a dedicated boatman who works hard to deliver joy and life everywhere he goes.”

Writer Lê Phương Liên, head of the jury, said: “Ngân’s imagination makes everything come to life. When reading the story, a strong and kind Uncle Wind comes to my mind. The sensitivity of the eight-year-old author makes “The Wind Ship” real and also very magical.”

For author Hideko Nagano, a member of the jury, this year’s entries have been of better quality than previous years, especially the contestants in the primary school category. She was impressed by their ability to observe, perceive and create an interesting way of conveying their ideas.

“Children always surprise us with their expressions and new ways of observing things, which is contrary to conventional thinking. Children’s works are not inferior to adults. That’s something even I myself have to learn a lot,” Hideko said.

Besides the special and first prizes, the organisers also awarded six-second prizes, nine third prizes and many consolations and collective prizes to schools with a large number of participants.

The competition was first organised in Việt Nam in 2018 by ENEOS Việt Nam and More Production Việt Nam, sponsored by the Embassy of Japan in Việt Nam. This year’s “Folk tales flower” competition has welcomed 2,336 contestants and 2,915 works, nearly doubled the previous competition. VNS

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