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Nuns provide for poor ahead of Vietnam new year

Laborers receive food and clothes to help with celebrations

Nuns distributing food items to poor laborers during the fair Nuns distributing food items to poor laborers during the fair
  • ucanews.com reporter, Hue City
  • Vietnam
  • January 25, 2011
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Hundreds of poor laborers from a central Vietnamese province received food and clothing and played traditional games at a fair held by local nuns ahead of Vietnam’s Tet lunar new year festival.

Some 300 locals attended the fair, held at the Daughters of Mary of the Visitation in Hue city.

A mother who attended the fair, Do Thi Lien, said she was given some colorful paper tokens worth 13,000 dong (US$6.5) with which she “bought” sugar, milk, meat, confectionery and clothes for her children. Her youngest son played ball games and games of chance.

Sister Martha Nguyen Thi Ngoc, one of the organizers, said the fair aimed to bring joy to local poor people to celebrate the Tet. They have been badly affected by cold weather since early January, she added.

Sister Ngoc, 55, said visitors to the fair also watched cultural performances and a lion dance performed by nuns.

“We are deeply grateful to the nuns who give needy people like us food and clothes to celebrate the Tet festival,” Lien said.

The mother of five said she had no food or money to celebrate the Tet, which starts on February 3.

Lien, 57, said they have to work on their 3,500 square-meter field of rice again after a young crop they cultivated early this month died due to cold weather. “If we do not cultivate rice in time, we may lack rice for next six months,” she added.

Nguyen Huu Bon, father of three, said he “bought” blankets, a hat, socks and cake.

“We are happy to have food for the Tet,” Bon said. The 40-year-old trishaw rider has to work hard even in the rain and in temperatures of 12-15 degrees C, starting at 3 a.m. and earning 10,000-30,000 dong a week to support his family.

He said his wife and children were also invited by nuns to have a party at the fair.

Archbishop Etienne Nguyen Nhu The of Hue was also present at the fair, the 50 million dong cost of which was covered by benefactors. He wished everyone present a happy Lunar New Year.

The nuns have held a Tet fair for poor people since 2004.

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Hue Catholics Welcome American Counterparts During Tet

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