|The teaching staff of the University|
move up to the statue of Ton Duc Thang
to place burning incense in honor
of Teacher's Day and the Nation.
|Leanna stands with the artwork prepared by students to|
honor the Teachers on National Teacher's Day
|Leanna and Helena Worthen, another|
volunteer teacher at TDT finish
the 1 Kilometer race!
|Leanna crosses the finish line!|
Teacher's day is both a solemn occasion with some speeches and special appearances on campus: the President of the VGCL (the national labor union), a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic and many other dignitaries lead into the Auditorium of the University by our Mr. President Le. The VGCL Union President, Mr Hung, addressed the gathering and then made a gift presentation to the University. It should be noted that the VGCL founded and supports the University in the name of the working class of Vietnam. Later the Czech President and our University President both addressed the assembled teachers. There were video clips produced by students, songs and dance performances by students and a very moving speech by a first-year student. All the students in the auditorium stood and sang a traditional song about teachers -- made Leanna cry.
Meanwhile, outside and on-going were athletic events including running, slow bicycling (How slow could the rider go without falling over before meeting the finish line -- our team mate Ms Vinh won 2nd place!), a fishing contest, football-soccer, badminton, tug-of-war, sack race, and swimming. Leanna won 4th place in her first ever running race! Her aching knees!
Of course after all the competitions and the gala event in the auditorium there was a BIG Party in the Arena with hundreds of the faculty present and enjoying themselves. Lot's of "mot, hai, ba, yo" salutes. Students made bulletin boards honoring students, Leanna is posed by one above, and also hand-made artificial but very beautiful flowers that were presented to the various teachers. There were also handmade cards that were gorgeous for every teacher. Before the big party students presented us teachers with beautiful bouquets which we carried as we moved about on campus.
Have we ever got a lot to learn from Vietnam about celebrating learning and teachers!