Vinh – Day 2

We traveled for about an hour to Giao Xu Ru Dat to have lunch with a family of one of the Vietnamese seminarians in Christchurch.  We managed to borrow a step-through scooter, and persuaded a deacon from the local parish who can speak English to come with us.  Without him, having dinner with a family who cannot speak English would be like ‘ducks communicating chickens’ as Mum used to say….  He acted also as the lead scooter, negotiating the mad traffic!

The traffic was horrendous!  Many a times, the big trucks just tooted warnings of their approaching, especially when they encroached on our side of the road.  One just have to get out of the way!  The bike ride took about an hour – longer than I expected.  At Giao Xu Ru Dat, it was a pleasant lunch with much laughter…..  In this area, the villagers are definitely displaying ‘in your face’ Catholicism!  Approaching the small villages, one would see FOUR or more churches standing out in the horizon – all in European Gothic architecture (see photo below).  And there is no half measures here:…… large church buildings with with large grounds to match, mansions for presbyteries and other edifices for various Church-activities!!! New buildings here and there….

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Note the Churches!!

I have yet to come across any protestant Church!  There are temples here and there, and I have seen Buddhist monks as I travelled through Vietnam, but in the Catholic areas, one cannot see any other religious expression but Catholicism.  Its like saying to the authorities: ‘eat this!’

After lunch it was a trip home for a siesta.  There was less traffic as we took a different and more rural route.  However, the trucks that were on the road forced us off the road several times…… (photo is an example only, and taken from another spot later in the day)

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Tooot Toooot – GIVE WAY!


At 3pm, there were over 5000 youths gathered for Mass in the local parish next to the seminary.  It was a day of “Youth Formation” – on a Monday, and during School holidays.  They sang their hearts out.  The Church in Vietnam is definitely young and vibrant.

I did not do much photography even though I would have liked to stop on the bike rides.  It felt impolite to expect our ‘guide/translator’ to stop every so often.  Besides it was too hot!