Neighborhood love

My husband loves gardening. Having a new house in Tho Ha ancient village, he spends a small plot of land about 20 square meters to grow vegetables. The capital is cool, the vegetables he grows are fresh and delicious. During the harvest season, I did not sell it, but sent my child to bring it to this house tomorrow, to bring it to another house tomorrow, considering it as a “homegrown” gift. Husband slyly laughed: neighborly affection is to bond, care, and share with each other like that to be happy, isn’t it?

The bond between us and our neighbors begins with greetings and stories of everyday life in Tho Ha ancient village. Sincerity in every word; gentleness, fun when conversing; sometimes just a smile instead of a greeting; cup of tea, cup of wine at the beginning of the story, gradually we have more kind neighbors.

The other day, when I came home from teaching, I heard my husband boast: “Our neighborhood is united, very affectionate, dear. This morning, Uncle Nam in the neighborhood rebuilt the house, but the whole neighborhood, everyone rolled up their hands to help. Seeing that, he also ran to work. Everyone is doing their own thing, happily talking and laughing, no one is calculating.” Listening to my husband speak, I suddenly remembered the day when the house was built, Mr. Muoi next door had fished a wire and pulled it from his house to temporarily light my house. My wife and I appreciate and thank him very much.

Village love means that when there is conflict, discord, friction or misunderstanding, people easily forgive each other. Yesterday, Tu’s family had an anniversary, the whole neighborhood was invited to eat. During the party, just because he had too much to drink, Mr. Thien and Mr. Tuan spoke harshly to each other, causing a huge argument. Everyone intervened. The insiders sat down to clear the misunderstanding. Then the neighborhood atmosphere was peaceful in Tho Ha ancient village. I think, when all the animosity is cleared up, the neighborly friendship can be firmly connected. I am glad that.

On idle days, sometimes, the whole neighborhood gathers to cook and eat. Everyone in the neighborhood said: If my wife and I join, we have to be customary. My neighborhood is very good. Whether the family has conditions or not, everyone participates. The women will take care of the kitchen with cakes, dishes that children and husbands like. Everyone works together, eats together, chats together. That affection has linked the whole neighborhood so that every time “lights out and lights out”, they are all in love with each other.

One thing that surprised me was that the hamlet even set up a “neighborhood fund”. Each month, each family will contribute a certain amount as approved. The money will be used to support families in need in the neighborhood. For example, Uncle Ba and his wife, who are over 60, live alone and earn a living by selling lottery tickets every day. It’s so hard, but still only enough to eat two meals a day. Not to mention when you are sick, you don’t have money for medicine. Then Uncle Chin’s two brothers, both sick, were abandoned by their children. In the neighborhood, people take turns to help.

Ms. Hai Diep is proud: her neighbor is affectionate, so for many years she has been honored to receive a certificate of merit as a cultural village. In the past, our grandparents said, “Gourd, love and squash together…”, then “A horse hurts and the whole ship leaves the grass…”, “Good leaves cover torn leaves”, that’s how they are neighbors. People living together need to have such love to be precious.

While crouching in the kitchen, the boy from Mr. Lang’s family next door ran over, grinning for a basket of avocados he had just picked from the garden. After a while, Miss Tu brought a new candy box and lit incense, telling the children a little fortune. Then in the afternoon, Mrs. Muoi went to the market, called my two children out, gave them two huge corns… Those are all gifts that anyone can buy, but it’s precious because it’s still a gift. Heartfelt affection, sharing sweets together.

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