The hard workers behind your glamorous Tet blossoms

By Truong Nguyen, Thanh Nguyen   February 15, 2018 | 02:38 pm GMT+7

Every year, southern farmers migrate to Saigon to take care of plants and flowers for Lunar New Year decorations.

When Vietnamese all over the  country are busy filling up their houses with flowers and bonsai for  Tet, or Lunar New Year, workers in this flower farm, one of a very few  in HCMC, are working day and night to meet that high demand. Most of  them are farmers in nearby provinces the city who came to here around  four-five months ahead of Tet to work as flower garderners.

When Vietnamese all over the country are busy filling up their houses with flowers and bonsai for Tet, or Lunar New Year, workers at this farm in Saigon are working day and night to meet that high demand.

Bo Hoa, 29, from Ninh Thuan Province waters sunflowers at the farm in Go Vap District. He has been working at this farm for six Tet. Every year I came to Saigon in September of November and work here until Tet before return home with my familys crops.

Most workers at this farm in Go Vap District, one of the few that plant flowers in the busy commercial city, come from nearby provinces. Bo Hoa, 29, from Ninh Thuan has been working at this farm for six seasons. “Every year I come to Saigon in September or October and work here until Tet,” he says. He is paid VND4-5 million ($180-220) a month plus food, accommodation and a bus ticket home.

It looks easy but theres  actually lots of work to do. We have to work nonstop from 6 a.m. to 8  p.m. and in days near Tet, we have to stay up almost all night, Minh  from Tra Vinh Province says.

"There's a lot of work. We have to work nonstop from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. For three days ahead of Tet, we have to stay up almost all night,” Minh from Tra Vinh says.

Three days before Tet is the most busiest time, says Minh. Trucks come and in out to get flowers from early morning to mid night.               {C}{C}{C}{C}<!--  /* Font Definitions */ @font-face  {font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-font-charset:78;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face  {font-family:Cambria Math;  panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;  mso-font-charset:0;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face  {font-family:Cambria;  panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;  mso-font-charset:0;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073743103 0 0 415 0;}  /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal  {mso-style-unhide:no;  mso-style-qformat:yes;  mso-style-parent:;  margin:0in;  margin-bottom:.0001pt;  mso-pagination:widow-orphan;  font-size:12.0pt;  font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-fareast-font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;  mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;  mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-bidi-font-family:Times New Roman;  mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} span.5yl5  {mso-style-name:_5yl5;  mso-style-unhide:no;} .MsoChpDefault  {mso-style-type:export-only;  mso-default-props:yes;  font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-fareast-font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;  mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;  mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-bidi-font-family:Times New Roman;  mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1  {size:8.5in 11.0in;  margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;  mso-header-margin:.5in;  mso-footer-margin:.5in;  mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1  {page:WordSection1;}

Three days before Tet is the most busiest time, says Minh. “Trucks come and in out to get flowers from early morning to midnight.” 

Nguyen Viet Duc from the Central Highlands carries two pots of sunflowers to a truck at midnight. I grow coffee and pepper back in my hometown. This is the first time I come to Saigon to work to take care of flowers. Its nice here as most people are easy to get along with. t <!--  /* Font Definitions */ @font-face  {font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-font-charset:78;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face  {font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-font-charset:78;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face  {font-family:Cambria;  panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;  mso-font-charset:0;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073743103 0 0 415 0;}  /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal  {mso-style-unhide:no;  mso-style-qformat:yes;  mso-style-parent:;  margin:0in;  margin-bottom:.0001pt;  mso-pagination:widow-orphan;  font-size:12.0pt;  font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-fareast-font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;  mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;  mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-bidi-font-family:Times New Roman;  mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} span.5yl5  {mso-style-name:_5yl5;  mso-style-unhide:no;} .MsoChpDefault  {mso-style-type:export-only;  mso-default-props:yes;  font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-fareast-font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;  mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;  mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-bidi-font-family:Times New Roman;  mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1  {size:8.5in 11.0in;  margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;  mso-header-margin:.5in;  mso-footer-margin:.5in;  mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1  {page:WordSection1;} -->

Nguyen Viet Duc from the Central Highlands carries two pots of sunflowers to a truck at midnight. “I grow coffee and pepper back in my hometown. This is the first time I come to Saigon to take care of flowers. It’s nice here as most people are easy to get along with.”

Workers stay up all night to bring flowers from the farm to trucks.

Workers stay up all night to bring flowers from the farm to trucks.

Minh has some food while another rest in a tent. Ill spare part of my income to buy Tet gifts for my family. If theres much money left, I buy a cow for my farm back home, he says.              {C}{C}{C}<!--  /* Font Definitions */ @font-face  {font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-font-charset:78;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face  {font-family:Cambria Math;  panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;  mso-font-charset:0;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face  {font-family:Cambria;  panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;  mso-font-charset:0;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073743103 0 0 415 0;}  /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal  {mso-style-unhide:no;  mso-style-qformat:yes;  mso-style-parent:;  margin:0in;  margin-bottom:.0001pt;  mso-pagination:widow-orphan;  font-size:12.0pt;  font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-fareast-font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;  mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;  mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-bidi-font-family:Times New Roman;  mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} span.5yl5  {mso-style-name:_5yl5;  mso-style-unhide:no;} .MsoChpDefault  {mso-style-type:export-only;  mso-default-props:yes;  font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-fareast-font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;  mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;  mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-bidi-font-family:Times New Roman;  mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1  {size:8.5in 11.0in;  margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;  mso-header-margin:.5in;  mso-footer-margin:.5in;  mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1  {page:WordSection1;} -->

Minh has some food while another worker rests in a hut. “I’ll use some money to buy Tet gifts for my family. If there’s enough left, I will buy a cow for my farm back home,” he says.

Working hard and partying hard: They sit down for a year-end party before each of them return home for Tet.              {C}{C}{C}<!--  /* Font Definitions */ @font-face  {font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-font-charset:78;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face  {font-family:Cambria Math;  panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;  mso-font-charset:0;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face  {font-family:Cambria;  panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;  mso-font-charset:0;  mso-generic-font-family:auto;  mso-font-pitch:variable;  mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073743103 0 0 415 0;}  /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal  {mso-style-unhide:no;  mso-style-qformat:yes;  mso-style-parent:;  margin:0in;  margin-bottom:.0001pt;  mso-pagination:widow-orphan;  font-size:12.0pt;  font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-fareast-font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;  mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;  mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-bidi-font-family:Times New Roman;  mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} span.5yl5  {mso-style-name:_5yl5;  mso-style-unhide:no;} .MsoChpDefault  {mso-style-type:export-only;  mso-default-props:yes;  font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;  mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-fareast-font-family:MS 明朝;  mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;  mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;  mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;  mso-bidi-font-family:Times New Roman;  mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1  {size:8.5in 11.0in;  margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;  mso-header-margin:.5in;  mso-footer-margin:.5in;  mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1  {page:WordSection1;} -->

The workers cheer at a year-end party before each of them return home for Tet.

 
 
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