Thursday, March 8, 2012

Women's Day in Hoi An

It's Women's Day here! And for many years it has been traditional to give a flower to the closest woman in your life and to honor the others somehow. Many give a single rose with a little greenery. That may cost 4 cents, so most people can do that.

The area outside the local university was lined with students selling flowers for Women's Day throughout the day. There is a need and they are filling it. A friend of mine was telling me how he used to do it when he was a student, but he never made a lot. He would buy roses in bulk for around 2,000 vnd each (about 1 cent) and sell half at a profit, but usually half were left as they were too ugly or too small and therefore really in the end the profit of the day might only be 50 cents after the days work.

We went to see Nhung and honored her. She is a lovely woman; gentle, kind, compassionate, a good woman, and wife, and mother. She is also a Buddhist and a vegetarian in the hope she will create less negative karma.

When we got there she was resting as she had a lot of pain in her head today. She has brain cancer. Her son helped her into the living room, then went off to do some cooking. As it was Woman's Day he was cooking a simple meal for the family.

We are helping her daughter with English classes, her schooling and extra tuition; she was at an extra tuition class during our visit.

We didn't want to stay too long as she wasn't well, but we gave her some orchids in a basket, a certificate in Vietnamese and English saying what a wonderful woman she was, and an album of photos of her and the family, and some money, which was for her to spend on herself.

As usual it was lovely to see her as she is such a gentle, loving soul and we were treated to her smile and the tenderness on her beautiful face.

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