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Locals, teachers cook sticky rice cakes for residents in Vietnam’s flood-hit areas

Locals, teachers cook sticky rice cakes for residents in Vietnam’s flood-hit areas

Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 13:29 GMT+7
Locals, teachers cook sticky rice cakes for residents in Vietnam’s flood-hit areas
‘Banh chung’ are cooked in a big stove in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

Many people in the north-central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh, and teachers of a kindergarten in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue have cooked thousands of Vietnam’s traditional sticky rice cakes to aid those suffering from historic flooding in the country’s central region.

Many areas in central Vietnam have suffered from heavy flooding due to torrential rains since the beginning of October.

As news of the flooding spread, people in Nghia Xuan Commune in Nghe An’s Quynh Hop District and Huong Trach Commune in Ha Tinh’s Huong Khe District felt the need to supply food to those in need.

They thus started cooking ‘banh chung’ (square glutinous cakes), a requisite dish in northern and north-central Vietnam for Tet, Vietnam’s most important traditional holiday, to send them to affected people.

“People there are so miserable, living with floods, power failure, and no clean water. We don’t have much, but we want to send these gifts [square glutinous cakes] to warm them up on these rainy days,” said Pham Van Minh, a 47-year-old local man in Nghia Xuan.

It is expected that Nghia Xuan people’s cakes will reach residents in flooded areas in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh Provinces soon.

‘Banh chung’ are cooked by teachers at Hoa Mi Kindergarten in Huong Thuy Town, Thua Thien-Hue Province for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo:  Tuan Vu / Tuoi Tre

‘Banh chung’ are cooked by teachers at Hoa Mi Kindergarten in Huong Thuy Town, Thua Thien-Hue Province for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: Tuan Vu / Tuoi Tre

In addition to more than 700 sticky rice cakes, people in La Khe Village of Huong Trach Commune called for donations and collected VND20 million (US$863) in total support, alongside hundreds of items of clothing for their compatriots in the hard-hit region in Quang Binh although they were also affected by the flooding.

Meanwhile, a group of teachers at Hoa Mi Kindergarten in Thuy Phu Commune, located in Huong Thuy Town, Thua Thien-Hue, together with local youth union members, cooked over 2,000 ‘banh tet’ -- with the same ingredients as ‘banh chung’ but in log-like cylindrical shapes and often eaten during Tet in south-central and southern Vietnam.

The cakes were cooked within two days of the storm and will be brought to Quang Binh.

The low-lying Thuy Phu Commune also suffered heavy damage from floodwater before water levels retreated. Notably, Hoa Mi Kindergarten was submerged one meter under water.

“In the near future, the commune will call for more support to make more cakes to give to Quang Binh people," said Phan Tuan Vu, the commune’s Youth Union secretary. 

"Although a pair of cakes is not worth much, they will help people in floodplains to have more diverse food, which can be stocked for a long time, besides instant noodles and milk."

‘Banh chung’ are cooked in a giant stove in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

‘Banh chung’ are cooked in big stoves in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

People in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

People in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province prepare to cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

People in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

People in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

‘Banh chung’ are cooked in giant stoves in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

‘Banh chung’ are cooked in big stoves in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

People in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

People in Quy Hop District, Nghe An Province wrap ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: P. Giang / Tuoi Tre

Teachers at Hoa Mi Kindergarten in Huong Thuy Town, Thua Thien-Hue Province cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: Tuan Vu / Tuoi Tre

Teachers at Hoa Mi Kindergarten in Huong Thuy Town, Thua Thien-Hue Province cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: Tuan Vu / Tuoi Tre

Teachers at Hoa Mi Kindergarten in Huong Thuy Town, Thua Thien-Hue Province cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: Tuan Vu / Tuoi Tre

Teachers at Hoa Mi Kindergarten in Huong Thuy Town, Thua Thien-Hue Province cook ‘banh chung’ for those in need in Vietnam’s flooded central localities, October 19, 2020. Photo: Tuan Vu / Tuoi Tre

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