The U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, in partnership with the Center for Disability and Development, organized an event that aimed to channel positive energy from Ha’s story to those in need.
Born to Vietnamese parents in California in 1979, Ha was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2004, which gradually caused her vision loss.
Despite her visual impairment, Ha became the first blind contestant on the American competitive cooking reality TV show MasterChef and won its third season in 2012.
She later published a cookbook called Recipes from My Home Kitchen, featuring Vietnamese food recipes.
Currently, Ha owns and operates three restaurants in the United States.
During the event at the American Center under the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha not only delivered inspiring messages about life but also touched the hearts of the audience with her self-love and acceptance of difficult circumstances, turning them into motivation.
|Christine Ha is seen at an event at the American Center under the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City in District 1 on September 25, 2023. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News
When asked about the feeling of self-victimization among people with disabilities, Ha shared her personal experiences and emphasized the importance of not playing the victim. She chose to view her vision loss as a circumstance and decided to make her life purposeful despite it.
Ha encouraged the audience to recognize and appreciate their small achievements, as they lead to bigger things and more self-confidence. She also highlighted the significance of taking risks in life, as they often yield the biggest rewards.
|Christine Ha poses for a photo with her audience at an event at the American Center under the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City in District 1 on September 25, 2023. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News
Addressing the concept of self-limiting beliefs, Ha stated that limitations are not always negative. She emphasized the importance of recognizing limitations as signals from the world, guiding individuals to the right path. Ha also emphasized the need to preserve mental and emotional health by knowing when to say no and set boundaries.
Ha shared one of her core life values, which is continually striving to become better each day. This value reflects her experience as a contestant on MasterChef, where she competed against herself rather than others, aiming to surpass her previous achievements.
|An audience member uses sign language to ask Christine Ha via a translator in the Q&A session of an event at the American Center under the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City in District 1 on September 25, 2023. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News
Ha emphasized the importance of finding balance and trusting intuition to make decisions about personal readiness and desires. She concluded by encouraging the audience to believe that becoming better each day is possible.