Like most of the countries in the world Vietnam celebrates Children’s day, a day to celebrate being a kid and where the adults make wishes and give presents to the children. In Vietnam children’s day is on the 1st of June which is extra special due to it being the first day of the school holidays. It is similar to ‘Wan Dek’ AKA Children’s day in Thailand.
The new school we are working for, DTLC, held its own special children’s day party with the kids. As the world cup is just around the corner the party was world cup themed with different rooms for the kids to enjoy.
Clearly all my singing of ‘Happy and you know it’ over the last month had impressed and I was assigned to the room teaching the children how to sing David Correy ‘The World Is Ours’ which is the world cup theme song. (see video below! Thankfully there are no videos of me singing it!) The other rooms had a magic show, sand colouring (making pictures with coloured sand) and penalty shoot out. The day was also a good way for the school to advertise to new students and students from different schools were invited to take part in the day so there was also areas for enrollment.
We arrived at 7.30am and got ourselves ready in our DTLC polo shirts… or in Andy’s case a tight Manchester United strip as he was the official mascot of the day!!! As the classes started to come in they rotated around the different rooms while all stopping to get a picture with ‘footballer Andy’. The class started with me giving the students ‘wishes’ such as good health, good studying, good test results etc. then went on to learn the song, even though they only have 30 minutes per class the kids were able to pick up the song very quickly!! You could hear the kids cheering from the penalty shoot out and magic show and then come down the stairs covered in coloured sand from the sand painting! My class finished a little early and allowed me to visit the magician which I have to admit had some quite impressive tricks…. Although some that were not quite so impressive and he was a bit more like a clown but the kids LOVED him!!
All in all it was a fun 4 hours and is a great reward to the students of DTLC for studying so hard throughout the year! It was a very different day to the Children’s day we experienced in Thailand but just as fun!! It also gave us a chance to get a picture of all the teachers together at DTLC!
Finishing at 12 pm we had a whole day to kill and decided that we should celebrate children’s day as well. We took the scooter down to the main street to the Hai Phong beer factory (our city is famous for its local beer) and met our Vietnamese friend Kevin who we met on the bus on the way to Hai Phong and got our first taste of drinking with the Vietnamese which also includes food (something we never knew and ate a huge lunch before hand!!)
Kevin’s girlfriend and I sipped our drinks but Andy had to do ‘the manly thing’ and keep up with Kevin who was able to knock back a pint in about 5 minutes…. one after the other in quick succession! Between four of us we had 20 glasses of beer… in an hour and a half, a plate of steamed vegetables (morning-glory) fried tofu and a kind of sausage dish which I can’t remember the name of! Andy and I haven’t been paid for almost 2 months now and we were dreading the bill… but when it came we were surprised to see that 3 dishes and 20 glasses of beer came to 190,000 dong ($10 or about £5!!!) split that in two and it was the cheapest outing I have ever had as it worked out at 14p/$0.24 per beer!!!!
It was a great way to celebrate Children’s day and experience a wee bit of Vietnam!