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07/06/2017 - 10:22

Sacred soils sent from Hue to the Spratly

Soils taken from various locations in Hue, such as the Imperial Citadel, Nam Giao Esplanade, Xa Tac Esplanade, the Temple of Literature, Martial Arts Saint Temple will be sent to the Spratly islands. Integrating with the blue sea and white sand, these soils will breathe life into green trees on our beloved islands.

Heaven and Earth convergence

One early morning mid-May, the organizers of the program went to Nam Giao to collect the soil. Upon entering, the young members of the Youth Union as well as the seniors of Hue Monuments Conservation Centre were filled with a sacred, touched feeling.  

Carefully collecting the soils for Truong Sa

Historian Vinh Cao, a member of the royal bloodline was chosen to represent the group, performing ceremonies before collecting the soil.  In his ceremonial ao dai, he offered incenses to the altar, and along with the group prayed to the Gods for permission to send the soil to the Spratly islands. As soon as the incenses were over, the group chose a spot inside the esplanade, carefully lowered a box with the words “Sacred Soil to Truong Sa – From Hue” and filled it with scoopfuls of soil. Later, the group returned to the Imperial Citadel, the political center of the Nguyen Dynasty; Xa Tac Esplanade, the embodiment of the nation’s land, and the shrine where ceremonies are performed to pray for good harvests, providing enough food for the people; the Temple of Literature and Martial Arts Saint Temple, where generals and scholars in the Nguyen Dynasty are honored. “I hope these soils will make the Spratly a little bit closer to the mainland, as green trees cast their shadows to protect our soldiers from the sun,” said Mr. Vinh Cao.

Asserting the sovereignty

During the ceremony of receiving the soil boxes at Phu Van Lau, Hue, joined by youths, representatives of unions, Hue Monuments Conservation Centre and the organizers, many were overwhelmed with emotion. “We have never been to the Spratly, but we do know about the sacred sea of our country. Born and grown up in Hue, now as I witness the moment parts of our land are being sent to the Spratly, I can’t help feeling deeply touched. The soil sends our message to the soldiers who are guarding our sea day and night that the nation always care about you,  so stay strong and continue to protect our sea and islands,”shared  Nguyen Thuy Linh (aged 21, Hue).

Nguyen Phuoc Hai Trung, Vice President of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre reminded youths of Vietnam sovereignty at the ceremony.

Standing in front of the Flag Tower, Mr. Trung recalled the safeguarding of the territorial waters under the Nguyen Dynasty. He said that the Nguyen Dynasty had a consistent system of policies regarding the sea, such as constructing the coastal defense system, building the navy; issuing and implementing policies on managing ships, patrols, rescues and fighting pirates; and establishing sovereignty over the islands as well as the Paracel and Spratly islands.

Among the records there were over 20 documents with details about the establishment of sovereignty of the Nguyen Dynasty over the two archipelagos. Those are vivid evidence showing that the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty were always concerned with the sovereignty by continuously sending dispatches to the Paracel and Spratly islands for surveying, marking and mapping. Over the centuries, from the lords to the kings of Nguyen, soldiers were regularly dispatched to the archipelagos. The Paracel Corps was formed in the 17th century in the Nguyen Lords’ reign.

Overall, the Nguyen Dynasty issued and implemented a comprehensive policy system regarding military, defense, and diplomacy, economy… to establish, protect and explore the territory. In particular, the establishment of sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands through social governance, as reflected in the documentations, the Nguyen Dynasty adopted a clear view and consistent policy on managing the territorial sea. This provides valuable lessons for issuing and implementing sea policies of the current Vietnam government. And this activity is meant to assert the sovereignty of our nation, from the mainland to the sea; voicing the desire for a peaceful sea, as well as sending our supports to the brave soldiers who are protecting our land. “The Holy Soil sent from Hue to the Spratly is another effort to assert our sovereignty, strengthening our spirits to continue protecting our homeland,” Mr. Trung emphasized as he handed over the box of soil to the organizer.

The Holy Soil sent from Hue to the Spratly is part of the program “Sending the homeland’s spirit to the Spratly islands,” organized by the TuoiTre News. Two units responsible for collecting the soils are the Youth Union and the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre.

Aside from Hue, the program also received holy soils collected from Lung Cu, A1 Hill, Dien Bien Phu, King Hung Temple, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Truong Son Range, Cu Chi and Dat Mui. This May, the naval task force will be delivering the holy soils from all over the country to the Spratly and mix them with the island soils to plant trees. This is the will, the unyielding strength, and the indivisible bond of Vietnam.


Author: Phan Thanh

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