The Hanoitimes - A music video featuring breathtaking views of Vietnam and sweet violin melodies is the result of Republic of Korean musician Ko Jmi’s seven years living in Vietnam, particularly her two years’ experience travelling throughout the country.
“The idea of a music video featuring Vietnam took shape from my love for the country and my experience living here. I would like to express my love for Vietnam as well as introduce its stunning destinations through this music video,” said Ko.
The video highlighting the artist playing Xin Chao Viet Nam (Hello Vietnam), dressed in a traditional ao dai, takes viewers from the north’s grand mountain ranges to the crystal blue beaches and the Mekong River in the south, seen from an aerial view. The ancient coastal trading town of Hoi An also appears as a lively backdrop Ko’s violin playing.
During seven years as a professional violinist, Ko played hundreds of performances in the Republic of Korea and abroad.
Violinist Ko Jmi.
The 36-year-old artist lived and studied in the Philippines. She moved to Vietnam when her husband was sent to work in HCM City in 2010. Things were not easy at first.
“Due to the language barrier, I had to rely on others and found it hard to adapt to the living environment here,” said Ko. “Initially, I was unfamiliar with the working environment. It seemed much more flexible than in Korea, and punctuality was lax sometimes."
Though living here with her family, she still felt lonely.
“There were times that I wanted to give up and return to Korea,” said Ko.
“And then I decided to take a diving lesson although I am scared of water. I just wanted to overcome my weakness and fear,” she said. “Eventually I could dive from 60 metres and that changed my perspective on things and life.”
“I have learned a lot from that experience and have become more open. The longer I lived here, the more friends I had. I had a chance to befriend many Vietnamese artists, who later gave me kind support and encouragement,” she said.
“What I love the most about people here is that they may look distant at first, yet once I know them, they turn out to be genuinely friendly and very supportive."
Ko travelled more and gradually discovered more similarities between the two countries.
“I love the tropical climate and beautiful beaches here. Vung Tau, Phan Thiet are among my favourite destinations, and diving is one of my favourite activities to refresh myself.
“When travelling and shooting in Da Nang, I had a chance to meet and talk with locals. I was so impressed by people here, who wake up early in the morning and are very hard-working. The women here, like in my home country, have a slim and fragile appearance but are actually the strong ones, who can take care of the whole family,” said Ko.
After celebrating the Lunar New Year in Vietnam for several years, she also found that the two countries “shared many New Year customs. In the RoK, on the first day of the year, family members sit together, cook tok-guk and play traditional games. Women wear hanbok and cook."
As in Vietnam, the first day of the New Year is an occasion for family reunion, she said. This year, she celebrated the Lunar New Year.
“It was such a good time as my family was all here and I have many Vietnamese colleagues and friends who came around.”
“At this point, my only difficulty living in Vietnam is my limited Vietnamese comprehension. I am currently spending two hours each day to learn the language,” she said.
"That the music video is warmly welcomed by the Vietnamese music lovers is greatly meaningful to me because this special video expresses my love for Vietnam. One of my dreams is to travel across the world playing for those who suffer neglect and despair."