It is the 19th time YWAM Mercy Vietnam has made CHUNG cakes with children at our three community-based Children’s Homes. We do this so that the children can have a close connection to their culture and its traditional foods. We want them to have similar experiences and childhood memories as other children growing up in Vietnam around them.

Although the ingredients, such as DONG leaves, glutinous rice, green mung beans, pork, and ground black pepper, are common in everyday life, they hold a significant meaning for Vietnamese people and are an essential part of their holiday tradition. The children take great care in cleaning and drying each DONG leaf, and they meticulously pick shells from a tub of green beans that have been soaked in water overnight. The Home staff mixes small pieces of pork, marinated in fish sauce with fragrant pepper. In the backyard, they gather large bundles of firewood. When everyone comes together to wrap the cakes, the joyful Tet holiday spirit is in the air and the Vietnamese proverb comes to mind that says, “Tet has arrived when you see Chung cake.”

Tet gifts were lovingly delivered to the children and staff of the Children’s Homes by local officials and philanthropists, bringing them happiness during the holiday season. It was another joyful Tet for all the children.

I gained a lot of experience while living in a big family at the Children’s Home. It inspired me to create a joyful household for my own family. At the Van Hoa Children’s Home, everyone cares for and loves one another, and I no longer feel alone or forgotten. [See Hue’s Story Video here.] Even after getting married and having my own independent family, I continue to do the same things that I used to do when I lived at the Children’s Home, such as cooking together, making CHUNG cakes, celebrating Tet as a group, and taking commemorative photographs.

Hue

former resident of the Children's Homes

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