Handcrafted Miniature Musical Instruments in box, purchased in Saigon, circa 1980s. These instruments were purchased by the Hoang family as a reminder of a traditional Vietnamese cultural object, as they prepared to migrate to Australia in the late 1980s. They represented Vietnamese skills and were something of Vietnam the family could take with them.

In the late 1980s the Hoang family presented the instruments to Rhyll Rivett and her mother Nan, to say thank-you for all the assistance they had provided their daughter Lien Hoang with in undertaking her studies and helping the rest of her family migrate to Australia from Vietnam.

Lien Hoang arrived in Australia from Vietnam in 1981 on her fourth attempt to flee Vietnam. In Australia Lien wanted to recommence her studies, she went to a social worker in Springvale who introduced Lien to a restaurant owning family in Hartwell. They agreed to rent to Lien a room and support her through Wattlepark High School. She stayed with the family for two years and then moved to her own flat in Ascot Vale. She passed Year 12 and was accepted into Medicine at Melbourne University but she needed work to support herself. Lien featured in a newspaper article, received a $500 donation and was offered housecleaning work.

Nan saw this article and organised a scholarship for Lien and acted as her guarantor throughout her studies. Lien wanted her family to join her but had no income to make her eligible as a sponsor. Rhyll Rivett, Nan's daughter, assisted Lien in getting her family out to Australia and also provided her with financial support.

Physical Description

Black case with removable lid and red lining containing 11 miniature musical instruments. The bottom part of the case, which contains the instruments, has a glass covering to enable view of objects but not access to them. The instruments are made from two types of wood and adorned with mother of pearl decoration. Each instrument is identified in Vietnamese and the central wording says: 'Traditional/Folklore Musical Instruments of Vietnam' also in Vietnamese. There is an image (in relief) of a dragon on the top of the case.

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