Kăn Prả — 92, Ta Oi Ethnic Group, Vietnam
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
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.