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Ly Lo May – this means girl

by | Apr 28, 2013 | Creative Media, Erin M McCuskey |

Women of Ta Phin 2: Ly Lo May – A series of images and tales from Viet Nam.

This is Ly Lo May, a young woman living in Ta Phin whose positivity is contagious.

We met Ly Lo May on our visit to Ta Phin last year. Ly Lo May was our guide, and our translator. She has a wonderful Canadian accent when she speaks English.

And she is joyful, smiling often, her dimples quick to jump. She is also incredibly knowledgeable about her village and what needs to be done to support her people. She is a Red Dao girl and she explains to us that all the girls are called May, ‘this means girl’.

Mrs Ly May Chan, the women’s leader of the village, has taken Ly Lo May under her wing. The two women speak together often about how to protect their culture, their village, and also support young people to be happy to stay in school and in the village.

Ly Lo May is walking the tightrope between cultures. She has a phone, email address, rides a motorbike, deals with the results of other’s drug addition and uses Western gestures. She wears traditional clothing that took her two years to make, she embroiders, she understudies to be the next women’s leader, she guides tourists through Red Dao traditions and works to support herself and her family.

And she is passionate about getting a world education and is likely now in Canada doing just that.

08 May: The leader and the protégé



We will be releasing more images of the women of Ta Phin on this blog, you can sign up in the form at top right.

Mrs Ly May Chan

Ly Lo May

Mrs Ly Man May

Ly Ta May

Mrs Ly Ta May King


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