|For homeland: A flag raising ceremony taking place on a stormy day in Trường Sa.
Tết – Vietnamese New Year and the most celebrated holiday of the year has always been a time for family. No matter where they are Vietnamese head home to spend the last moment of the year and welcome a new year with their loved ones.
But in the Spartly Archipelago (Trường Sa) navy soldiers, charged with the task of safeguarding their homeland’s sovereignty, will not be with their families.
While it’s hard to not feel emotional during this time of the year the young soldiers’ hearts may find warmth in the fact that no effort was spared to make sure that they will have everything they need during the holidays. Two weeks before Tết, supply ships were dispatched to bring them traditional Tết food, gifts, sweet treats as well as the mainland’s heartfelt affection and gratitude for the soldiers’ dedication.
On the islands, cherry blossom branches, yellow apricot and kumquat trees that travelled hundreds of miles from the mainland signal that the end of the year is near and bring with them the joyous spirit of Spring and the holidays.
Việt Nam News would like to salute them. We wish them a year of excellent health and smooth sailing. Chúc Mừng Năm Mới.
|Fun and games: Island soldiers hold activities to celebrate New Year away from home including trivia contests, sing and dance performances.
|Yummy: Soldiers making square rice cakes for Tết on Trường Sa.
|Valiant: A young soldier standing guard at his post looking out to the vast ocean off Trường Sa.
|Having a ball: Sitting together by the fire cooking square rice cake during Tết is a dear memory that all Vietnamese treasure.
|Special shipment: Cargo ship 936 brings Tết necessities to soldiers guarding Vietnamese islands in Trường Sa. A kumquat tree - a typical Tết decoration - can be seen among other supplies.