The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News

Vietnam

Catholics offer food aid to struggling farmers during Tet

Humanitarian aid dispensed to those undone by last year's floods in central Vietnam

ucanews.com reporter, Hue

ucanews.com reporter, Hue

Updated: February 14, 2018 07:02 AM GMT
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Catholics offer food aid to struggling farmers during Tet

Father Anthony Nguyen Thang poses for a photo with the families of flood-hit farmers, who received free pork and sticky rice from the parish on Feb. 11 at An Truyen church to help celebrate Tet. (ucanews.com photo)

Share this article :
Catholics from parishes in a central Vietnamese province have given meat and other humanitarian aid to underprivileged farmers who suffered due to last year's floods and storms, in celebration of Tet this Feb. 16.

Falling on the same day as the Lunar New Year, Tet is the most important festival in communist Vietnam. It runs from Feb. 14-20 this year.

Some 300 farmers from various faiths gathered at An Truyen church despite the bitter weather on Feb. 11 to receive three kilograms of pork and two and a half kilograms of sticky rice each. The Catholic Church has made charitable giving to flood-hit farmers a tradition in recent years.

Father Anthony Nguyen Thang said the parish purchased 13 pigs and 700 kilograms of sticky rice to offer to poor farmers. The animals were slaughtered earlier by local parishioners.

"Poor people only have rice and vegetables year-round. They rarely get to eat meat," Father Thang said.

Pork and sticky rice are only eaten on special occasions by many farming families in Vietnam, such as at wedding parties, Tet festivals, as offerings to village gods or at events honoring ancestors who have passed away, he said.

During a recent event dubbed "Tet of Love," the parish priest had an uplifting message for those in attendance.

"We want to share something useful with you so you can celebrate Tet properly and overcome the difficulties caused by the floods and storms last year," he said.

Non-Catholic Doan Van Vu, 68, said: "I'm happy to have some pork and sticky rice so that I can use it to prepare food to offer to my ancestors for Tet."

Another pig farmer who gave his name as Vu said he lost 10 million dong (US$450) last year due to the inclement weather conditions.

He now sells lottery tickets to make ends meet and support his ailing wife, he said.

Le Thi Le, a farmer from An Luu of Phu Vang district, said she collects second-hand goods to ensure her family has enough food to eat.

Floods washed over their 1,000-meter-square farm in late November, damaging vegetables and other crops, said the 50-year-old mother of three.

"We aren't Catholic yet local Catholics still offer us food for Tet. We are deeply grateful," she said.

Teresa Nguyen Lan Huong runs a Catholic youth group from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.

She said group members cooked up batches of a popular glutinous rice cake known in Vietnam as banh tet and distributed it to poor people in Hue City.

Fundraising was carried out by 100 group members who sell used items at the weekend to raise money for charity, she added.

Father Dominic Tran Thien Thanh, who serves as an assistant priest at the parish, said a food fair organized on Feb. 15 was designed to bring the community closer together and help those in need at this special time of the year.

Many other parishes and religious orders have given food, blankets, clothes and money to thousands of people in rural areas who do not have enough to eat.

In early February, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered that 12,000 tonnes of rice be given to those who are facing starvation in 18 provinces over Tet.

The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control reported in 2017 that natural disasters claimed 386 lives and left 654 injured that year.

The damage done to houses, crops, cattle and public facilities cost as much as US$2.65 billion, it said. 

Support UCA News...

UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.

UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.

Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.

As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.

UCA News Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution