Ambassador of Romania to Vietnam Valeriu Arteni: Returning to Vietnam is like going back home!

Monday - 05/11/2018 01:19
Recently, to prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Vietnamese studies and language, we were honored to have a talk with Ambassador of Romania to Vietnam Valeriu Arteni, one of the individuals that had been close to Vietnam for over 40 years.

Ambassador Valeriu Arteni shared: "I was greatly fortunate to work as a diplomatic representative to Vietnam because I had loved Vietnam with all my heart". From 1971-1976, he was a student majoring Vietnamese language at Faculty of Vietnamese language and Faculty of Linguistics and Literature (Hanoi General University). He recalled learning a standard, perfect and beautiful Vietnamese language taught by the best teachers. The Vietnamese language in his eyes is a miraculous language; its intonations and rhymes create a rare melody and inspiration. Therefore, "to think that learning Vietnamese is difficult and uninteresting to foreigners is a too hasty conclusion", said he.   

 Ambassador Rumani Valeriu Arteni - alunmus of Faculty of Vietnamese language and studies during 1971-1976

The Ambassador learned Vietnamese during the wartime in Vietnam. He and the students of Hanoi General University had to migrated to the rural areas around Hanoi. Other foreigners might have felt afraid of the bombs and bullets and run back to their countries during that extremely arduous time, but he was willing to stay and endured all the hardship with his Vietnamese teachers and friends. Mr. Valeriu always recounts those memories with pride and call them "valuable" experiences in his life. For to him, the Vietnamese language can only be understood profoundly and "existentially" when it is put in real life and blended with other cultural values and characteristics in the most emotional moments. Mr. Valeriu came back to that country when he became the Ambassador of Romania to Vietnam and felt tremendously happy when greeted, remembered, loved and welcomed by still hundreds of citizens there.

The Ambassador not only speaks Vietnamese very fluently but also treats his guests hospitably according to the customs of a true Vietnamese: "Vietnam is my second home and each time I pack my luggage to come there, I feel like coming home".

Just ask him a question about Vietnamese, and he will spend a whole evening talking about how beautiful, different and profound it is. He secretly climbed up alone to the fourth floor of B7bis Block at Bach Khoa (Faculty of Vietnamese studies and language) to practice Vietnamese everyday so he could master it and touch the Vietnamese's hearts. "An ambassador has to learn many things and do so very hard" - he said. He listened, read and spoke Vietnamese frequently and long enough to see the changes and development of this language while Internet was entering Vietnam, the media and social networks was erupting, and international integration was becoming increasingly apparent - interesting and natural changes that life brought to him and should not be ignored by the linguists.

Ambassador Rumani Valeriu Arteni and Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Thien Nam (Dean of Faculty of Vietnamese studies and language) at a meeting to prepare for a Ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Faculty on November 16th

The Vietnamese driver that has been close to him for decades was tasked with bringing his guests to his home. He humorously remarked: "This is your most important task for today". As for us, his guests, we were moved and told ourselves: "What a friendly, lovely ambassador! Let's take a photo with him so we can tell others we have met an Ambassador that understands and loves Vietnam most thoroughly!" 

Author: Thanh Ha

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