Dan Cha is not only attractive and talented in the school, but she also causes many people fall in love with her because of her kindness and generosity. Illume magazine’s Autumn issue met the Vietnamese version of Selena Gomez as she was starting a new life in the United States. The story with many seemingly simple things is Dan Cha’s own intriguing and genuine perspective on happiness and true beauty in each woman’s everlasting youth days.
Hello, Dan Cha! How has your current life changed after nearly two years in the United States?
In 2019, I just intended to visit the United States for a project, but I happened to be ‘stuck’ here. Thanks to this incident, I’ve had the chance to live the life I’d always wanted: spending time practicing yoga, swimming, climbing, exercising, exploring renowned landmarks, and immersing myself in local culture. In addition, cooking for friends and family is a goal that I can only achieve recently. (Laughing).
The biggest change is probably: When I was in Vietnam, I didn’t have to “move a finger tip” but here I have to do everything myself. But one thing hasn’t changed: although I admire the United States for its freedom of growth and courteous and polite people, Vietnam remains my favorite place. Every day, I cook and enjoy delectable delicacies from my homeland, such as rice and traditional sauce.
Has your perspective on life changed significantly as a result of altering living conditions and circumstances?
Anything that could be purchased with money used to make me happy, but it was only a fleeting happiness. If you buy yourself a new pair of shoes or a new shirt, you’ll be delighted at the time, but if you buy someone else those shoes or that shirt, and see that person wear those shoes or that shirt every day, the joy in your heart grows indefinitely.
Besides, I appreciate the minimalist Japanese way of life: possess less to live and feel more. I try not to make needless purchases and don’t spend too much time on social media. Instead, I go walking, climbing, and sightseeing, and I believe that eating and drinking should be simple and unfussy.
Living modestly but with deep motivations – Are they the finest terms to describe a famous beauty’s current life that many people have not forgotten. Can you share a story or a strong impression you had when you first arrived in America?
When I was visiting a school, I witnessed a 7–8-year-old boy stepping up to declare himself as a member of the LGBT community. Following that confession, there was a round of applause from all of the teachers and friends. I was speechless out of emotion when I felt that everyone’s support and tolerance would save his future, allow him to be himself, help him enjoy his life, and not push him to become someone he didn’t want to be…
Since childhood, my personality has been straightforward, not as gentle or ‘way too girly’ as other girls. Many people used to scold me for being a troubled kid, but I was also stubborn, determined not to change my true color. Later, when I began working, I went to apply for a job; thankfully, I met a foreign boss who liked my straightforwardness, and I was hired. Working in harmony with your boss and colleagues makes every day at work a delight, rather than pushing yourself or forcing yourself to be someone else.
Do you think that having a gorgeous figure and an appealing smile is enough for women?
My mother has taken wonderful care of me since puberty and has helped me practice simple yet strict beauty routines. Every morning, drink warm water mixed with a pinch of salt to cleanse the body, and exercise 4-5 times a week. As I grew older, I kept this habit and added yoga to my routine, as well as spending weekends with friends climbing mountains and participating in outdoor activities. It is not only a good habit for beauty but also for health.
But being beautiful is not enough. I believe that everyone has a lovely heart in their own unique way. The beauty of the soul, despite its lack of form, is profound and long-lasting, and it deserves the most respect. When I was a child and my mother drove me to school, many friends teased me that my mother was not as beautiful as their moms since she never wore makeup or gorgeous outfits. And mom always came to pick me up on an old scooter. But, my mother is always the most beautiful to me because her eyes are always filled with love, she always teaches me wonderful things, and her hands are calloused yet help me achieve my goals in life. Mother is always the most beautiful woman in the eyes of her children!
Besides the love for your mother, what do you think makes a modern woman truly beautiful?
Currently, I’m in Los Angeles, where many attractive women from all over the world gather, representing different identities and skin colors… For me, apart from body shape and face, women can become really beautiful when they are kind and treat others properly. Can you image a gorgeous and stylish woman honking her horn loudly and harshly criticizing the homeless? Do you still think they’re beautiful? I don’t believe they’re beautiful at all.
On the contrary, some people require plastic surgery because they are not blessed with natural beauty. But to me and many others, they are truly beautiful because they live dignified, kind, as well as loving their family and willing to help people in need.
It is known that you participated in several volunteering activities while in Vietnam. Can you tell our readers about some of your upcoming plans?
I used to cook meals for charity and give them out every weekend when I was still in Vietnam. Every time I participate in a volunteer activity, I feel as if my heart is blooming with joy. Going to the US, I no longer have the opportunity to do the same thing. When I have free time, I will go to the hospital to read books and talk to the elderly since many people are lonely here.
Later, when Covid-19 is over, I will return to Vietnam, hoping that everyone would join me in making meals and giving them to poor workers every Saturday! During this pandemic, everyone is more or less affected. Keep fighting, and I believe Vietnam will triumph over the pandemic.
There have recently been several articles on social media discussing the “dark corners” of charity; what do you personally think is the most essential factor in doing volunteer work?
If I have a lot of money, I can help donate utensils, food, and money… if I don’t, I can help with manual work. There are several ways to assist people in tough situations, but the most important factor is your heart. But requesting money from others in order to earn a profit for their own is speechless. If you don’t enjoy helping people, don’t do it; no one will compel you to.
What is your most recent wish? Can you tell Illume readers?
I wish to give birth to a lovely baby boy like his father and give him the best living conditions possible, as well as teach him to live a calm, good life, to love everyone, and to live in accordance with the Buddhadharma. When my kid is doing alright, I wish to open a Vietnamese restaurant serving traditional cuisine from my homeland; my happiness will be as simple as that! (Laughing)
Thank you for having this discussion. I wish you and your family good health and that all of your dreams come true!
Dan Cha, actual name Nguyen Dang Chau, was born in 1990 and was one of Saigon’s first hot girls.
Dan Cha’s unique beauty drew the attention of many people when she first entered the Vietnamese showbiz. She began as a photo model and gradually asserted her talent. There was a time when Dan Cha’s image was covered all over fashion magazines and publications. She used to appear in the music videos of famous rapper Andree Right Hand, singer Trinh Thang Binh… and played a few minor roles in the popular short film “Ghien Mi Go” on YouTube.
The teen model was a former student of Tran Dai Nghia School for the Gifted. She graduated from RMIT International University and worked as an English teacher at Asian International Primary School. In 2019, she went to the United States and had an unexpected turn; currently she is beginning a new life with changes that few people know about.