Written by 8:15 am Everyday Life, Life English

The Innermost Feelings of Vagrant Kids

 

“ We will share these mooncakes with my beloved parents” – The kids politely replied. 

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Vietnam is rich in tradition and Vietnam is famous for its traditional holidays and festivals such as Tet or Lunar New Year, Mid-Year Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, etc. These holidays are celebrated across the whole country despite how busy life can be; The Vietnamese at least spend a few hours being with their beloved ones and enjoy the festive moments by the end of the day since Holidays or Festivals mean “Time for Family”! 

As usual, Mid-Autumn Festival is a great occasion for kids to get their favorite colorful lanterns of different shapes. 

I still remember there was a tradition called “Pha Co” which means children’s enjoyment of fruit and candy in the countryside across Vietnam before. However, time passes, and things change. When modernity gradually replaces tradition, rarely do we find that people serve or deal out a mid-autumn festival cake and fruit nowadays. It sounds quite sad; however,  people still celebrate and enjoy Mid-Autumn Festival as a tradition, but in a different way – the better way for industrious people. 

Having been studying and working in Saigon for years, I already got used to being alone at Mid-Autumn Festivals and others except for Tet. What I prefer doing at these festivals can be wandering around the city and watching people pass by. It soon became a weird habit of mine. 

Walking along the familiar streets during the time before Mid-Autumn Festival, I could feel the festive and bustling atmosphere covering the entire city and families. Suddenly, I caught the image of 2 vagrant kids earning a living on the street. The stirring of compassion and mercy definitely held me back. I started silently watching them from distance. They were happily chit-chatting with each other as a part of a working day. Sometimes the little one kept silent and looked listlessly at the other kids with their parents passing by on the street. In his eyes moistened with tears, I could feel that he was hungry for a hug or a sweet kiss from his parents. What he was dreaming of seemed too much for that moment! 

Wiping tears from my eyes, I traveled to the famous place in Saigon named The Lantern Street.

“OMG!” – I blurted out in joy.

The entire street is like a paradise. The colored glass paper lanterns shine brightly with little flashes of light. Also, the noises of talking and laughing seem to fill in the air. It was totally the opposite of what I caught a few minutes ago on Nguyen Hue walking street. I gently put a smile on my face and wiped tears from my eyes again, but the tears of joy this time.

The stirring of compassion and mercy harmoniously mixing with joy and happiness at the same time brought me an undefinable feeling. It might be called The Spices of Life: Joy and Desperate, Sorrow and Ecstasy, Hope and Disappointment…All of them make Daily Emotions that people living in Saigon can equip for themselves. It is said that Joy and Ecstasy are for the Rich while Sorrow and Desperate are for the Poor! That’s so Saigon!

Putting all of the emotions aside, I kept wandering around the city with the hope that all the love of the Saigonese would partly ease the pain of the vagrant kids through their charity work. Enthusiastically doing charity is known as one of the special features of the Saigonese.

I just continued going for a quick jaunt around the city before the day ended but the words of the vagrant kids kept haunting me :“ We will share these mooncakes with my beloved parents”

(Diary of Truc Xinh)

Mid-Autum Festival, 2022

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