The little girl got a nice name from her Father, Hoang Cam, but her mother gave her a Cambodian name, Chang-Ca-Mum-Duoi-Then. Duoi-Then happens to contain the same words in reverse order as “Then-Duoi”, which is Vietnamese slang for “dark black.” Her mother explained this was an old tradition in the countryside: if the child looks cute with white skin and big eyes, the mother should give her an ugly name to avoid the jealousy of bad spirits and related misfortunes.
Since her early age, her mother used to sew a brown religious dress for her to wear at sunrise and sunset for the purpose of bowing down low to worship. Every time the little girl went out to the Heaven's Altar to worship, after the ceremony in front of the Buddha's Altar and the Ancestors' Altar inside the house, she liked to wink at her friends in a way that said she was engaged in serious business. She meant that they had better go away when she was busy bowing down before Buddha. After the worship, the little girl sat down with crossed legs with her mother at the front banister to recite Buddha's name.
Her home was near the Ancestral Temple, about two minutes’ walk. The Ancestral Temple was actually the house of Duc Ong and Duc Ba Huynh Cong Bo, the parents of the Prophet Huynh Phu So, whom every young child preferred to call Su Ong (Grand Master). She still remembered that all bike riders or rickshaw drivers who passed by the Ancestral Temple always stepped down and walked the vehicles, took off their hats, and bowed to show their respect. Throughout the years she lived in Hoa Hao Village, she did not see anyone who did not respect this ritual.