To Swim in Our Own Pond : A Book of Vietnamese Proverbs

By Ngoc Dung Tran
Illustrated by Xuan-Quang Dang

Hardcover: $15.95


When is the best time to train bamboo or dogs? East and West agree it is when they are young. When asking for a handout, should you demand chocolate cake or sweet rice? Or course, neither. These are not the only examples of how the two different cultures sometimes agree. This book contains a charming and illuminating collection of Vietnamese proverbs, all of which has Western equivalents.

Twenty-two fun and witty proverbs are assembled in Vietnamese, together with their corresponding English translations and western equivalents. From generation to generation in Vietnam, these intriguing oral traditions are learned at mothers' knees; told in the mountains; whispered in the fields; murmured on the river banks; and floated amidst the reeds. It was the author's early childhood exposure to rhymes and poetry that has given him a lifelong fascination with proverbs that reflect on both the happy and the sad moments of his life.

Each proverb is illustrated with lyrical and romantic watercolors that, in delicate tones, show the people and country of Vietnam lovingly. Every reader will find a feast of wit and beauty in these pages that convey the simple message of how much people are alike, no matter what their background or country may be.

About the Creators

Ngoc Dung Tran - Author

was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States in 1991. He holds degrees in linguistics and literature from both Vietnamese and American colleges. He is proud to be the author of six books, instructor of English for over 20 years, and translator of numerous works of Vietnamese literature.

Xuan-Quang Dang

was born in Cambodia and moved to Vietnam with his parents at the age of eleven. A journalist in Seattle, he has degrees in Fine Arts and Eastern philosophy.