Dau Cham Hoi (The Question Mark)

Father, who are you? Mother, who are you? Why brought me into this world but don’t give me your love? Why am I on my own? I did not do anything wrong. As a child, I have no home. As a child, I can’t go to school. As a child, I am alone on the street begging for each and every left over piece of rice. Father, where are you? Mother, where are you?

The lyric above is a portion that is loosely translated from “Dau Cham Hoi” (The Question Mark) written by The Hien. As I was watching My Tam performed this song, I was deeply affected. It took me back to my trip in Viet Nam where I had witnessed the poverty the author described in this song. It’s simply heart wrecking. I could remember the exact scene that day, as I was finishing up my bowl of “hu tieu” noodle soup. Once I put the bowl down, three kids were fighting for the left over. I couldn’t believe what I just saw. I had no idea they were waiting for me to finish. I stopped them and treated each one of them. They thanked me repeatedly and offered to shine my sandal. Yeah! Like I really need my sandal to be shine. See, these kids would work but they had no opportunity. It’s such a shame. They made me realize how fortunate I am and how much shit I take for granted. Donny, stop bitching about your life and be happy with what you have. Stop being greedy and give to the needy.