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    Oct 12, 2018

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A special man whom I just visited few days ago is a flower farmer, and a flower artist – the media usually call him “The Wizard of Sa Dec Flower Town” because of his discoveries and his hybridization of different unique, unusual and rare kinds of flowers. He’s especially keen on the purple ones; but it’s not just “liking”, the colour seems to be a part of his life blood.

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Sa Dec flower village - Credit to: Khoa Nguyen

His house was painted purple, the T-shirt he wore was purple, so was his phone case; and even when I looked down his feet, unsurprisingly, his flipflops were also purple. I wondered whether he is obsessed with the pot of purple Downy rose-myrtle pat the porch? He enthusiastically shared his idea about starting a club which would be named in as strange a way and unique like the way he is – “The purple lover club”, and about the flower-related service. His idea is to give the tourists who travel to Sa Dec a chance to fill their eyes with rare kinds of flowers as well as experiencing the process of planting and tending them. He broadened his initial idea by thinking of building some living accommodation within the garden, which would give visitors greater enjoyment of such a romantic and gorgeous scene filled with many flowers. He commented: “I have ideas, but I don’t have enough knowledge to make them work on my own, so I really need a lot of support from others to make my dream come true”. Of course, an idea usually comes from one person alone, but to make it complete and real, it must need helps from many people. That was the reason why our ancestors usually taught us “Only together can we change the world”

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Purple flowers - Credit to Long Phi

He expects that the flower farmers can replace a part of planting area with [some decorated corners] and provide services of flowers which can generate more income. A brilliant initiative! In developing the Project , our “Flower Town” focuses on the change from mass production of flowers and flowers pots for Tet holidays to services related to flowers and technology to diversify flowers into different products which are more profitable. In other words, it is a mind change from “agricultural production” to “agricultural business”

A further thought about the future: in our Flower Town, there will be not only purple houses, but also yellow, pink, orange, red, blue and green ones. Each house presents a different display style of flowers, following a different theme. Our people have usually had a habit of following what others do; but we should try to create our own styles instead of copying others’ work; so, our town can be filled with various colors and flowers. As a result, tourists from different parts of the world will come to the Flower Town not only to admire gorgeous colourful flowers but also to find out an intangible culture with the artists whose souls are dedicated to flowers.

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A farmer is working in his flower garden - Credit to Khoa Nguyen

“Different trees have different flowers; different families are different pictures”. The local people will continue to grow the flower industry as their main source of income. Some might change to service jobs, some might both produce flowers and provide floral services. Our people are on the way to changing their mindsets; the local authorities will use their expertise to help the people with each step change. Developing “local resources combined with technology power” is the way forward for the people which will allow them to maximize their earning potential. And remember, don’t just teach our people to play a “lottery”, be dedicated, get to know them and how their minds work. That’s our role. From the idea of an “I love purple” club, I’m not only feeling the love, the excitement, but also thinking of my responsibility for the future of this region and its inhabitants.

Xích Lô

Author: Le Minh Hoan - Provincial Party Committee Secretary of Dong Thap Province

Translator: English Classroom: House of Clash and Mei

Proofreader: Mr. Alex Curtis, Civil Servant UK

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