Warm Tet Holiday for ethnic people in Tung Qua Lin Commune, Lai Chau

A warm Tet Holiday for ethnic people in Tung Qua Lin Commune, Lai Chau province

It took a whole day for VoV reporters to reach Tung Qua Lin Commune in Phong Tho District, Lai Chau province. Everyone noticed the cheerful looks and friendly smiles of the locals when they arrived at this spot 1,800 meters above sea level.

After 15 hours spent traveling 500-kilometers, the vehicle arrived in Tung Qua Lin commune full of Tet gifts and VoV reporters. Welcoming the delegation were teachers of the commune’s Primary School and soldiers of Giao San Border Station 281. Their warm hospitality seemed to revive the tired delegation. Nguyen Duc Anh, a young reporter from the Chinese Section of the Overseas Service shares his first impression of this remote border area ‘I realized the living conditions of local people are very hard, especially the poor children. They don’t even have clothes to wear. It’s very cold here but their houses are in such bad condition that the wind blows in from everywhere. I feel pity for the locals. The trip has made a big impression on me’.

Warm Tet Holiday for ethnic people in Tung Qua Lin Commune, Lai Chau - ảnh 1

The sight of children with bare feet walking in frosty weather gave us a chill. The children were trying their best to resist the cold. Vang A Chay, a Mong ethnic child, was eager to get a gift and said ‘I’m very cold but I don’t have any warm clothes’.

The 10-year-old’s words made us think of urban areas where children put on warm clothes at the first hint of cold. The children of Tung Qua Lin Commune will remain illiterate, if cold weather prevents them from going to school. Luong Bich Ngoc, Vice Rector of the Commune’s Primary School said ‘According to official regulations, when the temperature falls below 10 DC, primary pupils are allowed to stay at home. If such a regulation were applied here, pupils would be out of school all winter. So, if it’s extremely painfully cold, pupils  can stay homw but at any other time, staying home would seem lazy’.

The local children’s singing to welcome their guests warmed our heart. The children were thrilled to be given warm clothes and some Lucky money and the adults were happy to have ‘chung’ cakes and confections. Ly Gieo May from Ha Nhi ethnic group had this to say: ‘I’m very happy because this year I’ve received a lot of Tet gifts donated by the Government and by social organizations and individuals’.

Giang Chang Dinh who trekked over hill and stream to the commune’s People’s Committee to receive Tet gifts from the VoV reporters said ‘I’m moved to know that Radio the Voice of Vietnam cares enough about us to give us some gifts so we can have a warm Tet holiday’.

As usual, Mong, Ha Nhi and Dao ethnic people in Phong Tho District will welcome in the New Year with soldiers of Giao San Border Station 281. The Station’s Deputy Head, Captain Nguyen Ngoc Anh said ‘With our motto ‘the border station is the home, the frontier is the fatherland’, we know well that Tet in the border area is the same as at home. This is the 6th year I’ve welcomed the Tet Holiday at the border station since I joined the army 13 years ago. I’m happy to see how hopefully the local ethnic people wait for more renovation and economic growth. I hope their living conditions will improve this year so the children will have enough food and warm clothes’.

Lan Anh – T.Cuong