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Fat Cat local attraction

Update: December, 01/2015 - 09:45

Tran Thi Nga, 75, lives in Van Mieu Ward, Nam Dinh City in the northern province of Nam Dinh. She has a 20-kilogram cat.

With the heavy weight, her cat is famous in the ward and many people come to Nga's house to see it.

Nga bought the cat eight years ago and since then she has been surprised because the cat has grown rapidly. In some months, it even gained 900 grams per month.

Nga said that the cat ate a little, only some spoons of rice and about two or three small fish per meal. Nga's family earns their living by making pork pies, but the cat has never eaten some of those on the sly.

Recently, a person paid Nga VND120 million (US$5,300) to own the cat, but Nga refused adding that it was not easy to raise such a cat, and the cat was like a member in her family.

Nga said that the cat could walk briskly, climb 40-centimetre stairs and catch mice.

The heaviest cat in the world is Elvis, 17.5kg, and owned by a German person, but it could not move because it is too fat, according to the Gia dinh (Family) online newspaper.

A cat's life-span is about 20 to 30 years.

Visitors destroy Ha Noi flower valley

With hope that people living in Ha Noi can contemplate triangle oat flowers, the famous flower of northern mountainous provinces, Bui Manh Hieu, owner of the West Lake Flower Valley decided to open his garden for free for a week from last Friday to this Thursday.

But after only two days, Hieu had to stop his programme because too many people flocked into the garden and destroyed the flowers. From a beautiful and romantic valley, it become a desolate one.

Hieu said that on Sunday, the valley made a record as it received more than 7,000 visitors who came to take photographs, which far exceeded Hieu's expectation.

"We could not control the situation and it became bad," he said.

The valley was crowded the most from 11am to 3pm on Sunday.

Hieu had to assign more workers to look after visitors' vehicles and flowers, but it wasn't enough because too many people came and stepped on the flowers.

"We suffered great losses, the losses could not be counted by money or efforts because the flowers can not be re-planted to welcome the Lunar New Year festival, which will fall in the beginning of February next year," he said.

"It also means that our plan for the festival fell to pieces and it will affect the valley's turnover," he said.

Hieu added that he was very sad because of the visitors' low consideration.

Ethnic group worships baby souls

Vietnamese people have the customs of worship ancestors and the souls of people who have died.

But the Van Kieu ethnic minorities in mountainous districts in the central province of Quang Tri have an unique custom of worshiping living people.

Ho Van Hung, former deputy director of the Public Relations Division under the Dakrong District Party Committee, said that whenever a child is born, he/she receives a bathing ceremony when he/she is three days old. The family then prays to an alter of ancestors for permission to place the baby's soul in a porcelain bowl. The family also offers up two chickens to the ancestors.

When he/she was one month old, he/she would receive the naming ceremony and the family would place the baby's soul on the alter. At this time, a pig would be offered.

As the child grows, his/her soul would be worshiped in a bigger and bigger bowl, said Hung.

Hung said that the worshiping is aimed at asking the deities to protect that person.

In Van Kieu people's thinking, worshiping live people's soul is as important as worshiping dead people. Thus the altar must be put at a highest place in their house.

The altar is cleaned only once a year when the Lunar New Year festival comes. — VNS

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