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Year of the tiger
Year of the Tiger and tales from a Saigon Village

It’s the Year of the Tiger, so what better time than to share the following story that was included in local magazine AsiaLIFE back in 2018. In the article about wildlife in Ho Chi Minh City, Hieu shares a story told by her mother, about tigers roaming the jungles of Saigon during her own childhood. Written by my friend, Barbara Adam, back in August 2018, it is nothing short of incredible to think that these incredible beasts use to prowl around what is now a very urbanised Ho Chi Minh City…


Wildlife in Ho Chi Minh City

“When Ho Thi Hoa was a child, parts of what is now Ho Chi Minh City were heavily forested and full of wild animals, including tigers.
Since that time, vast swathes of forest have been urbanised, and now most of the city is a concrete jungle. But wildlife still exists, if you know where to look.

Tiger Tales

Hoa, who was born in 1932, told her children she heard tigers roar in the jungle surrounding her village, a terrifying sound, especially in the pre-dawn dark when she was going to the market. The jungle was between Hoa’s village, now known as Phu Nhuan district, and the airport, and continued all the way to Cu Chi district.
“When someone heard or saw a tiger, they would bang a drum or cooking pots,” Hoa’s daughter Nguyen Minh Hieu said. “All the villagers would make a big noise. It was for two reasons. First to scare the tiger away, and second to let everyone know there was a tiger around.”
Hoa also told her children a story of a midwife who was carried off by a tiger in the middle of the night. She returned to the village the next day with tiger teeth-marks on her side, scars she carried for the rest of her life.
The midwife, Ba Mu, said the tiger carried her into the jungle to where a second tiger was having a difficult labour. She helped the tiger give birth, and then ran away. Several days later she found the carcass of a wild boar on her doorstep, which she believed to be a thank-you gift from the tigers.
From then on, Ba Mu (midwife) was known as Mu Choi (midwife from god). Hieu’s mother told her Mu Choi was from her village, even though this story seems to be an urban legend in Southern Vietnam.”


Fact or fiction, you be the judge….


This excerpt was shared with the permission of AsiaLIFE. To read the full article, check this link:…/wildlife-in-ho-chi…/

To celebrate the Year of the Tiger, Very Ngon Homewares has created a handy, machine washable, canvas tote bag featuring a smiling tiger print. You can find them online in our Shop:

#tigers #hochiminhcity #saigon #lurkinginthejungles #veryngon #veryngonhomewares


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