Kăn Prả — 92, Ta Oi Ethnic Group, Vietnam

Tao Oi Vietnam Portrait
At 92 Prả still works and goes to the forest daily

We met grand­ma Prả in her house in a small vil­lage in the coun­try­side of Cen­tral Viet­nam. Sit­ting on the floor of her liv­ing room we talked to her about the past and her life while she smoked her home­grown tobacco.

I was born in 1928. In the past, I was a pub­lic work­er help­ing sol­diers dur­ing the war (Viet­nam-Amer­i­can). I moved to Viet­nam from Laos…a long time ago. I car­ried one of my chil­dren on my back, the two oth­ers walked with my husband.”

Now I just go to work in the for­est. I col­lect wood for the fire and grow let­tuce. If I stay home, I will be bored and sleepy. I have wood and wild veg­eta­bles if I go to the for­est. I start­ed to go to the for­est when I was a lit­tle kid. When­ev­er stay­ing at home makes me bored, I go to the for­est. That is also because I want to sup­port and con­tribute to my family.”

I grow let­tuce and sell them at the mar­ket. I can sell the veg­eta­bles quick­ly. Peo­ple see that I am old and they sup­port me by buy­ing the lettuce.”

T: “What is your secret to liv­ing a long life?”
KP: “I don’t know why I live long. If I stay home, I am sick! Must go to the for­est!” (gig­gling)

In addi­tion to going to the for­est and sleep­ing at home, I do gar­den­ing too.”

Chat­ting hap­pi­ly with neigh­bors at work makes me laugh.”

Kăn Prả — 92 years old
Ta Oi Eth­nic Group
Cen­tral Vietnam

Pra Ta Oi Ethnic Group Vietnam

Kăn Prả sits on the cement floor of her open liv­ing room, an ances­tral tem­ple sits in one cor­ner, anoth­er cor­ner is filled with large bags of rice from the recent har­vest. A pile of tobac­co leaves sits just out­side the front door dry­ing in the sun on a hot sum­mer afternoon.

Ta Oi Ethnic Group — Summary

Official Name

Tà Ôi

Population (Vietnam)


Location (Province)

Thua Thien-Hue
Quang Tri

(Central Vietnam)

Language Group



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