|Vietnamese-American Daniel Nguyen Hoai Tien
Since 2015, Tien has worked on development projects in the northern mountains and north central region and learned about the lives and livelihoods of ethnic people. He started his own projects with local people to preserve indigenous varieties of corn and herbs in Vietnam’s northwest region.
Tien went to every household to collect corncobs and brought them to the Plant Center of the Vietnam National University of Agriculture to cultivate and analyze their genes. Seeing that Vietnam’s mountains have many varieties of aromatic plants like cardamom and cinnamon, Tien has tried using them in western food and distilling gin and whisky. He has won several international prizes for his gin made entirely from materials grown in northern Vietnam.
Tien says his love for Vietnam motivated him to pursue his career in Vietnam and contribute to his motherland.
“When I first came to an ethnic village, I saw how beautiful rural Vietnam is. I was moved when I slept in a stilt house. I decided to create income opportunities for local people based on their advantages.” Tien said.
|Tien has been familiar with the life in Vietnam. (Photo: Daniel Nguyen Hoai Tien)
For the last 5 years, Tien has been teaching ethnic people to raise animals and grow plants that generate higher income. He has bought wholesale many kinds of farm products from the Mong, Dao, Thai, and Tay. Tien plans to establish a chain of local cooperatives to process and pack products and apply for international certification.
Nguyen Van Huy, former Director of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, who works with Tien’s projects, said: “Tien has been to many places and deeply understands what he wants. He has explored indigenous cultures. His love and compassion for ethnic people and his desire to contribute to his homeland have motivated him to work to improve ethnic people’s lives and promote Vietnamese culture to the world.”
Tien said Vietnam is an interesting country with many opportunities for anyone who wants to live and work here.