Caroline Nguyen (阮秋姮), whose YouTube Channel Hang TV – 越南夯台灣 reaches more than 30 million views, is one of the most well-known Vietnamese social media influencers in Taiwan. In fact, her story is not limited to being a YouTuber only, she is a new immigrant residing in Taiwan and also the first new immigrant who presided over the 2018 National Day of the Republic of China.
In addition, she has outstanding achievements in the TV and film industry. She
was shortlisted for the 56th Golden Bell Awards – Newcomer with the most potential award and her movie debut in “Days Before the Millennium” (徘迴年代) also enables her to be recognized in the Busan International Film Festival.
Caroline Nguyen donned Vietnam national costume in the grand event. (Photo / Provided by Caroline Nguyen)
Grew up in a poor rural village in North Vietnam, Caroline says, “My mom came to Taiwan to work as a caregiver when I was very young.” After graduating from senior high school, Caroline felt lost in life for a period of time. She was addicted to gaming and even got into a physical confrontation with others. As a result, she was detained at the police station.
When she reached home, her father told her, “How can you disappoint your mom who is diligently working in Taiwan?” This sentence had roused her from the aimless life. With the support of her mother Liang Shi Hong Er (梁氏紅兒), Caroline decided to learn Chinese in Taiwan. “I was thinking maybe I could return to Vietnam and work as an interpreter & translator in an agency,” she says.
In the first year living in Taiwan, Caroline Nguyen lived with her mother at the employer’s house. This is the period when she started having a closer relationship with her mom. At the same time, Caroline realized her mom worked hard as a caregiver for 14 years in Taiwan because of three daughters.
Due to the underprivileged backgrounds of the family, Caroline’s mom was worried that there might not be anyone willing to propose to her three daughters. This is the reason why her mother made assiduous efforts in earning a living in Taiwan, just to provide better education opportunities and also a brighter future to daughters.
To reduce the financial burden, Caroline did part-time jobs at restaurants after classes, and this enables her to learn Chinese while working. “I am not a rich kid, so I have to apply myself in order to change my life,” Caroline says.
Her intention to come to Taiwan was to learn the Chinese language for a year, and return back to Vietnam to seek jobs. However, Caroline completed her university degree and master’s degree in Taiwan with the encouragement of her mother. In 2015, she met her husband John Li when she was doing a part-time job at the TV station. To pursue Caroline, John Li signed up to be a student in the Vietnamese class taught by Caroline.
In 2016, Caroline and John created the YouTube Channel Hang TV - 越南夯台灣 to promote Vietnamese to more people. The language teaching videos are pronounced in Chinese, introducing Vietnamese cultures to the Taiwanese audience.
At the same time, Caroline Nguyen also created another sub-channel Hằng's - Đài Loan từ A-Z which only has videos pronounced in Vietnamese. In this channel, she filmed her studies and life in Taiwan.
“I only intended to share my life in Taiwan with my fellow Vietnamese,” Caroline says. “But surprisingly, the sub-channel attracts many Vietnamese who wish to study in Taiwan.” She also answered questions patiently, and even helped others to find the relevant government units. Later, in several physical forums, she found out that the sub-channel has become a life guide for many Vietnamese students studying in Taiwan. Many of them came here because of videos Caroline made.
In 2018, Caroline got married to John Li. In July of the same year, she published a story about "My mother is a foreign domestic helper", which tells the story of her mom striving to light up the future of three daughters. This video is viewed and shared almost one million times, striking a chord among Taiwan audiences and receiving wide media coverage in both Taiwan and Vietnam. It is because of this video, Caroline’s popularity soars and thus obtained an invitation to be the first new immigrant host of the National Day of the Republic of China.
Caroline Nguyen presided at the National Day of the Republic of China. (Photo / Provided by Caroline Nguyen)
Caroline’s outstanding performances on YouTube and the National Day hosting also made the crew notice her. She was invited to star in the annual drama “Travel across the ocean to love you” (飄洋過海來愛你) at the Da Ai Theater.
This drama is adapted from the real experience of Vietnamese new immigrants who got married in Taiwan 20 years ago. Caroline says that the character has gone through a journey that she experienced before.
Caroline’s newborn son brings luck to her. For the first time participating in the play & drama, she was shortlisted for Golden Bell Awards – Newcomer with the most potential award. Besides, her movie debut in “Days Before the Millennium” (徘迴年代) also enables her to be nominated in the Busan International Film Festival.
For the first time participating in the play & drama, she was shortlisted for Golden Bell Awards. (Photo / Provided by Caroline Nguyen)
Now, Caroline is 30 years old and has spent a third of her life in Taiwan. From being an international student to a Vietnamese teacher, a social media influencer, and a new immigrant. Her identity in Taiwan changes. However, Caroline Nguyen never forgets her roots. She expressed her gratitude to her mom who has worked in Taiwan for 14 years.
Caroline Nguyen, her husband John Li and their son. (Photo / Provided by Caroline Nguyen)
Because of her stories, the second generation of new immigrants is inspired. Caroline’s life stories were even adapted into a stage play which is going to show in Germany. “I still have a lot of plans in the future besides teaching, publishing books, hosting, and acting,” Caroline says.
She has proven that although she’s the daughter of a domestic helper, she can find the meaning of life and becomes “The new pride of Taiwan”.