|Village chief Briu Po plays the flute. (Photo: Ngoc Anh)
Briu Po was born in 1949 and has been a Party member for 37 years. In 1977, after graduating from Thai Nguyen University of Education, he became the first Co Tu ethnic person with a university degree.
“When I was young, I studied at the Central Ethnic Minority School in Hanoi and was sent to study in Guilin city, China. After graduating from Thai Nguyen University of Education, I returned to my village and became the head of a local complementary education school and was selected to be the Secretary of Lang commune’s Party Committee, and the Chairman of Lang commune from 1989 to 2005,” Briu Po said.
While he was Chairman of Lang commune, Briu Po started a business to escape poverty. After much research, he decided to grow Morinda officinalis trees.
“I started growing Morinda officinalis trees in 2007. I was the first person working to preserve the indigenous variety. Now I have 1.3 hectares of Morinda officinalis, which earns about 4,000 USD per year. I also raise fish and earn another 8,000 USD per year. I’m teaching other local people how to grow Morinda officinalis trees and raise fish,” said Po.
Many local people have followed Briu Po’s model. Morinda officinalis trees are now grown on a large scale in Lang commune, Tay Giang district, with support from local authorities in acquiring seedlings, learning cultivation techniques, and finding buyers.
“Briu Po’s family has contributed considerably to the revolution. He is a prestigious person and a role model for local people,” said Bling Mien, Chairman of Lang commune’s People’s Committee.
|Lieutenant Colonel Ating Chon, head of Lang commune’s public security force, visits village chief Briu Po. (Photo: Ngoc Anh)
Briu Po is active in maintaining social order in his locality. Major Ngo Van Thin, deputy head of Tay Giang district’s Public Security force, said, “Village chief Briu Po has helped to persuade local people to follow Party policies and guidelines and State laws.”
Briu Po is considered knowledgeable and talented. He can write stories and poems, play the flute, and make sculptures. In 2019 Briu Po was conferred the Emeritus Artist title for his contribution to preserving the culture of the Co Tu ethnic group.
In 2000 Briu Po started compiling a record of the history, language, traditions, customs, and architecture of the Co Tu ethnic minority. Po says he hopes his book will help younger generations understand their culture and traditions.
Briu Po was one of three outstanding figures profiled in a piece of reporting on party building which won a prize at the National Press Awards and the Bua Liem Vang (Golden Hammer and Sickle) Awards in 2020.