The stable ending point of nation
Ca Mau’s people feet contain the desire of Vietnamese, heading the ocean. For the future, Ca Mau keeps such the steadiness and manfulness. It is the mission of a “fence” area located in the point-end land in the South.
“Big toes are not dry mud of miles” is the rhetoric of Nguyen Tuan about the ending point of the South – Ca Mau.
How can they be “dry” when the all sides of Ca Mau are surrounded by sea waves, when the Cape every year reaches to the South more hundred meters? When the cluster of Hon Khoai Island (including Hon Khoai, Hon Sao, Hon Doi Moi, Hon Da Le and Hon Tuong) collecting all the sediment of the South – North ocean current to the Cape? Only in the Cape, they can spread legs to touch the East and the West Sea at the same time!
Ca Mau, where is a convergence of rivers. “The deep and interesting impression for the faraway traveler to Ca Mau is the morning in Vien An to see the sun rising from the ocean; at the sunset, to watch the red sun slowly diving down the vast blue water. The elder loves Ca Mau by many river names as Song Doc, Bo De, Cua Lon, Tam Giang, Cai Tau, Song Trem, Dam Cung, Bay Hap, Ganh Hao, Cai Doi, etc. and many canals as Rach Cui, Rach Rang, Rach Gieng, Nong Ke, Rach Gia Tu, Rach Tham Troi, etc.” Writer Mai Van Tao wrote.
The miracle land of Ca Mau is popular by many characteristics for a long time. In the mini-edition book of the geography of the South of Vietnam (1875), Scientist Truong Vinh Ky profuse in his compliments that Hon Khoai (Pulo Obi – Dao Vu island) where was approximately tens of miles, with hanging stream, fresh water, dryless in four seasons. Song Doc seaport has been still considered as one of the most prosperous areas in Hau Giang. Foreign fishing boats often come to Tan Ba Gia (Singapore) to buy fish. There are important gates such as Bo De, Tam Giang, Hiep Pho (commonly known as Phu Cap – or Bay Hap), Hoang Giang (former name as Doc Huynh – Vam Ong Doc), etc. U Minh forest is rugged with mangrove, Aegiceras corniculatum that resulted in a business of wild bee honey hunting, “hoang lap”.
Sacred Dat Mui (The sacred cape)
Ca Mau’s cultural ambient is a harmony of the Land – Water – Human here and also a position of the ocean-oriented life of the predecessor. Ca Mau’s people must be so solid, brave and courageous that they conquer the toughness of nature and control and fight against brutal and injustice enemy. Ca Mau people do not avoid, always know how to face the fluctuations in time, harsh natural disaster, how to adapt, overcome adversity deftly.Ca Mau is the second largest country, approximately 80,000 km2 with over 5,000 means of fishing. Ca Mau “is the sweetness of the Song Hau River to carry in sunny months, the fertilizing layer of U Minh Forest is two or three meters thick, the dry season often burns dry and empty beneath”. Also, Author Anh Duc asserted, “Ca Mau Cape today as a forceful feet approaches the ocean to keep the S-shaped land of our country of Vietnam.”It is estimated that Ca Mau catches 1,500 tons of marine fish every year at that time, with 3,000 bottom otter trawls of freshwater prawn in the river, which will supply about 2,000 tons of dried shrimp. Paddy-field fish will be harvested the best, up to 10 thousand tons and 8 thousand tons of other paletuvier fish. “Coal in Nam Can/Mat in Tan Duyet/ Honey in U Minh, sweet potato in Tra Ban/ wild bird in U Minh Ha/ Flounder in the brown river of Cai Rang/Where located the cape of mangrove, anil, crab, turtle, monkey, etc.” which impressed deeply in our memories.
“If the mangrove in Nam Can was run out of/ fish in Ong Trang had been gone/ forest in Khai Long hadn’t had “ca duong” fishbone, I would have given up and let you have Ca Mau“. That was the spirit of a teacher, a revolutionary journalist and author, Phan Ngoc Hien. He was killed by fusillade by the French colonialists at the age of 31 and had been gone with “10 soldiers of Hon Khoai” (12-7-1941).
Ca Mau’s people had “Forest Village”, U Minh base, etc, which became legends. Also, they are known as U Minh Battalion, Cai Nuoc Female Artillery, Lam Thanh Mau, Pham Hong Tham, Tran Van Thoi, Bong Van Dai, Pham Thi Bay, Ho Thi Ky, Ly Van Lam and so on.
This land had 1,463 Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, 59 Heroic Collectives, 70 Heroes of the People’s Armed Forces, 17,395 Martyrs and 16,408 wounded soldiers, etc. There were family, the lineage donated dozens of people for the Independence Day. No one is forgotten. Such the bravery, the proud underground flows have never broken ever.
It’s touched by a message from a mother in Nam Can, “I want to send a mangrove tree to plant in that lake (Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi). Such act is for showing the heart of Ca Mau’s people who always thinking of the heart of our country, close to Uncle Ho”. The “Widow Village” (Khanh Hoi Commune – U Minh), the most severe damage in the storm Linda (November 1997) was revived thanks to the sharing of the whole community. the Festival of “Duong” Fish, Festival of Ba Khia in the Cape; Festival of Nghinh Ong in Song Doc; Festival of Thien Hau goddess (Ca Mau City), etc. are the beauty of origin, from generation to generation.
Ca Mau’s people are always proud, grateful and tolerant; It contains many fates of Red River, Duong River, Han River and Huong River. They relied on the flows of Cua Lon, Song Doc, Song Trem, Bay Hap and relied on each other, sharing together to live. The predecessor sent their lesson to the successor the simple and sincere ways of life as “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, “the good leaves protect the worn-out leaves”, “within the four seas all men are brothers” and so on.
The birds are flying in the sky of U Minh, Dam Doi and in the center of the city. The stories of the South told by Uncle Ba Phi are hilarious and mordacious, smooth and sharp, which hide the bravery, optimism, nature and human love and speak meaningful things.
Attractive Ca Mau
The nearer the mangrove reaches the water front, the tighter its roots went to the soil, and the larger its canopy spreads. The secondary roots (“chang duoc”) are huge, grown surrounding the main root, then bloom broader and grown as a tree. The first year, it is only 40-50 cm high; however its roots develop fast and tremendously.More than 40 years since the liberation of the South, now I came to the Cape, the southernmost “bare soil” thanks to the completion of Nam Can Bridge, the asphalt road was straight. However, to feel all the excitement of floating on the river, “Father goes fishing, mother goes netting/ Son-in-law goes trawling, daughter-in-law goes dredging” and the solid men clambering on the range of piles among the sea, in the middle of struggling ocean, etc. “The gift of sea” is still for persistent people with the ocean.
The elders told that the mangroves had never been isolated or ripped from the seashore. So does the human, “mangrove trees are grown together, adjacent to create their straight and strong trunks”. Now wonder, Professor Huynh Cong Tin affirmed that “three figures” (paletuvier, mangrove and melaleuca) were worshiped by the people of this land as three “three gods”, 3 gods of “happiness, fortune and longevity” owned to the creation of land open, creating an interestingly typical land of Ca Mau.
“Paletuvier goes first, mangrove goes second and the third is melaleuca/ Behind the mangrove palm of some one’s house”. People learned by heart this sentence indicated the order of land open in the area. Next, there goes the salinity, brackishness, freshness; the porosity, softness and purity of soil. The place where is planted Melaleuca is pure soil, people can come to live, then the order of mangrove palm, mango, jackfruit, plum, etc.
The deserted age of “in the smoke of immense / There is an unknown shadow …” (Author Son Nam) is over. Ca Mau city becomes the type II one; The town of Nam Can, Song Doc is the type IV; There are also Ca Mau Gas-Power-Fertilizer Complex, Ca Mau Airport and the GMS Southern Coastal Corridor. Nam Can Economic Zone will be a multi-sector and multifunctional economic hub, for international trade in the Mekong Delta, becoming one of the 15 dynamic coastal economic zones in the country. Nam Can – Ca Mau Cape is oriented into 1/5 national tourism in the delta. Particularly, a dream from “the creation of the world” of the people in the Southern ending point has become reality, “the one-stripe nation”, connecting to “the prow of our ship”.
The vitality and achievements today manifested the spirit, creativity, dynamic of Ca Mau’s people. Pointing the image of white stocks walking on the middle land of the river, Tu Duong said, “That is the new mound, people will go and plant mangrove trees … “. There comes a new land, new range of mangrove, paletuvier, Aegicera corniculatum, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, etc. in Ngoc Hien, Nam Can which are developing to occupy the sea.
That is the mission for the “fence” land in the Southernmost.
It has been long time ago, Vietnamese feet are still more stable, much stronger in the desire to approach the sea that inspired by thousands of generations of Vietnamese people. “Big toe” of Ca Mau will never “dry mud from miles”.
by Vu Thong Nhat
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