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Vietnamese Man's Reassurance to Son After Paris Attacks Goes Viral

Father tells toddler flowers and other demonstrations of unity will protect them from the 'bad guys'.

A father’s explanation to his young son that the unity shown in the aftermath of the Paris attacks will protect them from "bad guys" has captured the hearts of people around the world, particularly in Vietnam, where the man is originally from.

In an interview with the French TV show Le Petit Journal, Brandon Le was asked whether he understands why extremists killed people in Paris on Friday.

The preschooler responded, "Yes," saying "bad guys" did it.

The toddler expressed anxiety that his family has to relocate. But his father, Angel Le, reassured his son, saying they do not have to move away from Paris because "France is our home."

But Brandon appeared bewildered and said that the "really really mean guys" who "have guns" can "shoot us."

Angel then told his son not to worry because "we have flowers", pointing to the floral tributes left at the makeshift memorial site outside the Bataclan concert hall, where many people died last Friday.

"It's to fight against guns,'' the father said.

The video has gone viral, reaching over 15 million people on the Le Petit Journal Facebook page in two days.

Trying to get back to normal

Other Vietnamese in Paris are trying to go about their lives as usual, days after the bombings and shootings left 129 people dead in the French capital.

Tuan Anh, a student who has studied and lived in Paris for seven years, said he was not far away from Place de la Republique when the attacks happened.

"I was in panic as I heard sirens blasting and helicopters hovering all over Paris," he said. But he added he should not live in fear forever.

"Initially, I was extremely scared, but that fear disappears now. ‘La vie continue’ [Life continues.] If not, we would lose out to terrorists", he said.

Another Vietnam native in Paris, Duc Binh, is a restaurant owner in the popular tourist area Montmartre. He said the situation in Paris is not stable yet, but he still opens his business.

"Life has to go on, and we should not step back from jihadists," Binh said. "If we live in fear, we show that we surrender to terrorists one more time."

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.