How a young kung-fu master travelled from one fringe of the communist world to the other before beginning a life-long journey.
#stories from the eastern west
‘Saying that Poland was a different world would be an understatement. I felt like I had arrived from the stone age to the post-nuclear-apocalypse age.’
As much as The People’s Republic of Poland may seem a distant country hidden behind the Iron Curtain, it was an open and welcoming one... towards other socialist states. Student exchange programmes were one of the many ways of building international socialist partnerships
The Vietnam War was just ending when Hai ‘Nam’ Bui Ngoc had reached university. He was one of the few lucky ones given a chance to travel to the other side of the world to study ship building. After a few weeks spent travelling by train from Hanoi to Warsaw, he saw everything other than what he had imagined. But this was only the beginning of his incredible journey...
[01:08] What does Nam mean?
[02:09] The end of the world: growing up during the Vietnam War
[07:14] Moving to Poland to study shipbuilding
[12:51] Vietnamese secret agents appear
[13:51] Becoming a guru
[20:44] 'What saved me was a hand'
[23:22] Asylum in France
[24:13] Problems in heaven & a difficult return to Poland
[25:36] Where home is
Further reading & watching
Written & produced by Monika Proba
Edited by Wojciech Oleksiak & Adam Zulawski
Hosted by Nitzan Reisner & Adam Zulawski
Scoring & sound design by Wojciech Oleksiak