Tunnels and trenches: Vietnamese children battle through the war

By Phuong Hoa, Ngoc Thanh   June 2, 2016 | 12:02 am PT
More than 100 photos are on display at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi showing how Vietnamese children lived through the brutal hardships of the war.

The exhibition is a part of the Children's Books Festival held by the city from June 1-5.


When the war broke out, the first lesson children were taught was to dig tunnels and bunkers. To ensure safety, schools arranged their classes in multiple locations, each of which had a trench to help people avoid the bombs.


Children were evacuated from cities to the countryside.


Schools were destroyed by bombs so classes were held everywhere, even warehouses and local houses. 


Teachers and students at Hau Loc High School in the central province of Thanh Hoa dug embankments around their classroom.


A makeshift classroom in the southernmost province of Ca Mau in 1970.


Children were encouraged to fight for the country by joining in a strategy named "small plan", which involved planting trees, raising animals or collecting waste paper. In this picture, a student is handing walking sticks to a soldier who is about to enlist.


To follow "small plan", a student is seen selling his chicken to the cooperative.


The sound of explosions was unable to overwhelm children's laughter.


During the war, the Mid-Autumn Festival continued to be celebrated, with lots of lanterns and candy for children.


Children in an A-shaped tunnel made from soil and straw.

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