Romanian writer works to bring literature of Vietnam and Romania closer

Monday, 2021-01-25 16:55:25
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Romanian writer Andrea H. Hedes
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NDO - Andrea H. Hedes is currently working as a writer, translator, owner of a publishing house in her home country, and editor-in-chief of a cultural magazine in Romania called Neuma. After her visit to Vietnam, she fell in love with the Southern Asian country and has since selected several Vietnamese poetry works for publication in the magazine.

She spoke to Thoi Nay (Present Times) Publication of Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper, sharing about her literary career, love for Vietnam, and her aspirations to connect the literature of the two countries more closely.

Question: What impressed you about Vietnam’s literature?

Writer Andrea H. Hedes: I was honoured to be invited to the Vietnam International Poetry Festival in February 2019. I had already heard about your country because Vietnam and Romania have maintained friendly cultural relations for many years, and a lot of Vietnamese students study at Romanian universities.

I was told about the courage and compassion of Vietnamese people, who always show great respect towards their fatherland, families, and traditional culture.

Exploring Vietnam’s literature through Vietnamese poets’ works published on Neuma magazine was my first step into the profound universe that is Vietnamese literature.

Can you tell us about the difficulties involved in maintaining the operation of a printed magazine, particularly Neuma magazine, in the digital era?

My grandfather was a journalist and he passed away when I was only two years old. I always kept in mind that I had the responsibility to continue his job. I established Neuma magazine in 2017 and it has since become considered a leading cultural publication in Romania.

I have always attached great importance to gathering people of different cultures together to discuss different topics such as literature, stage, arts, history, music, ethnology, and spirituality.

People all around the world, regardless of geological distance and difference, have the same happiness and sorrows. Literature, poetry and the arts can connect people together, helping them understand each other and become closer friends. It is important to stay united and open your hearts to others.

It is not easy to run a printed cultural magazine in the digital era. We have thought of utilising social networks and going online to reach readers across the globe, particularly during the pandemic.

I am proud that Neuma magazine has reached readers from across all continents.

Poems by Vietnamese poet Huu Thinh published in Neuma magazine.

Have you observed any similarities or differences in the ways of thinking of Vietnamese and Romanian writers?

I want to learn more about Vietnamese literature and have sought folk literature, legends and myths as I believe they are key to getting a deeper understanding about people.

I think that poets of both countries share a common similarity in showing love, patriotism, and sorrow in their works.

However, there are also slight differences in the way they express their feelings and thoughts. The differences make their works more interesting to readers, although they write about the same topics, such as flowers, rice fields and dense forests.

Can you tell us about your impressions of Vietnam? What brought you inspiration to write poems about Vietnam?

I was fascinated by Vietnam, the country made a deep impression on me. It is difficult to describe in words the beauty of your country, a mixture of colours, scents, sounds, landscapes, horizon, vibrations of the sea, friendly and welcoming people, and beautiful smiles. All of them can be only expressed through the language of poetry.

I am working on a poem collection about my journey to Vietnam. My colleagues encouraged me to write about my experiences in Vietnam after I told them about my stay there. Thus, I decided to write a lyrical diary, recording the strong impressions Vietnam has made on me.

Thank you so much!