Ray Kuschert, a citizen of Australia, has been residing in Ho Chi Minh City for the last decade. He has contributed to Tuoi Tre with his articles focusing on the experiences of a foreigner living in Vietnam.

In this piece for Tuoi Tre on the occasion of the newspaper’s online Vietnamese publication’s 20th anniversary, Ray Kuschert shares his thoughts on his years of writing for the paper and having his works published in both English and Vietnamese.

For the past 20 years, alongside other publications of Tuoi Tre Newspaper, Tuoi Tre Online has provided trust to the reading public. Although the modern world has a different perspective on news, Tuoi Tre remains an emblem of trust in the Ho Chi Minh City community.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had an unexpected encounter that led me to become part of Tuoi Tre. Around eight years ago, I had the opportunity to meet a highly skilled journalist from the newspaper, who asked me to write a commentary piece from a foreigner’s perspective that would be read by many Vietnamese individuals across the country and the world. This marked the beginning of a life-defining journey for me.

Even before my involvement, Tuoi Tre had already become a familiar sight on street corners and newsstands with its recognized heading seen throughout the city every morning on the way to work. It has earned trust and become a voice of the people in Vietnam.

I extend my admiration and congratulations to everyone at Tuoi Tre on the occasion of Tuoi Tre Online‘s 20th anniversary.

Nowadays, with the Internet accessible on every phone, the modern version of Tuoi Tre attains the same popularity online as it does in print copies sold on the streets. Vietnamese citizens everywhere rely on the online portal tuoitre.vn to access the latest and most reliable news. Additionally, the familiar logo of the newspaper can still be found at street corners.

‘A dream come true’

When I was approached to author the aforementioned commentary piece to support a story around eight years ago, I never anticipated the tremendous impact it would have on my life. It was a dream come true to have my thoughts shared with the Vietnamese community.

With the support of Tuoi Tre‘s staff, I was able to express my thoughts and responses in English, which were then accurately translated into Vietnamese by the support team. It was an amazing experience, and I felt immense pride in being part of this community in such a way.

Over the years, my involvement with Tuoi Tre has grown, and I now occasionally have the opportunity to recount my experiences in Vietnam with the Vietnamese community. Some of my stories have been recorded in English, translated by Tuoi Tre, and published in Vietnamese. This has significantly shaped my life.

Back in Australia, my stories have been widely read among my Vietnamese friends. Thanks to the support of the newspaper, my family has also had the opportunity to share in the connection that has developed. Over the years, many of my family members have been encouraged to visit Ho Chi Minh City, and I take great pride in introducing them to my new home, amongst other things, through my involvement with Tuoi Tre.

Ray Kuschert (left) and his son Matthew Kuschert pose in this supplied photo after they finished a run in Vinh City, Nghe An Province, Vietnam.

Even here in Vietnam, sharing my stories with my Vietnamese family and friends has been inspirational. From my mother-in-law recounting the stories to everyone in her factory in Binh Duong Province to my English students clapping their hands in joy upon seeing their teacher in the newspaper, being a part of this esteemed news medium has brought happiness to people worldwide.

In this supplied photo, Ray Kuschert and his wife are shown taking the couple’s pet dog to a resort in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.

I fondly recall an incident five years ago. I walked into a photocopy shop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City, waiting to get some worksheets copied for my class. Standing nearby was a beautiful middle-aged woman wearing a colorful ‘ao dai,’ also waiting for her copies. I heard a voice in English saying, “Are you the man who wrote the story in Tuoi Tre?” I turned to see her lovely smile and delight in being able to talk to me and knowing about my work. We had a brief conversation, and it was equally enjoyable for me to bring happiness as it was for her to converse with a foreigner in English.

For once in my life, I struggle to find adequate words to express my gratitude to Tuoi Tre. The staff have given me more opportunities than I could have ever imagined. They have delivered honest and trustworthy news and entertainment to their readers throughout the years. Above all, they have provided us with friendship – a reliable and ever-present friend who keeps us informed about the happenings in our community.

I am certain that as technology advances and changes, Tuoi Tre will continue to evolve and expand its focus on delivering reliable news and information to the community. I am honored to share my experiences and connect with numerous Vietnamese readers as a foreigner living in Ho Chi Minh City.

Thank you, Tuoi Tre! A heartfelt thank you to the entire staff, and a very joyful 20th anniversary to Tuoi Tre Online.