Hundred-year tradition

Phu Quy island, is also called Cu Lao Khoai Cu or Thuan Tinh Island. Churches on the island all have the date engraved on the rafters, or written in Nom (ancient Vietnamese writing using Chinese characters) documents to to show future generations when their ancestors came from the mainland to the island.

Border guard troops in a patrol session

Since 1975, a series of activities have been carried out on the island, with the participation of the border guard forces, including the festival of princess Ban Tranh; Cau Ngu, also known as the whale worshipping festival; and the funeral service for Ca Ong, or “Sir Fish’, among others. Border troops have stood by local authorities to conduct information dissemination among people from all walks of life to raise their awareness and responsibility in safeguarding national sovereignty over sea and islands.

Old fisherman Ngo Van Chuc, born in 1942, is known as the “giant tree” on the island. He shared that his family has twinned with the border guard for many years to popularize information among younger generations and encourage them to continue to reach out to the sea to protect national sovereignty over sea and islands.

Chuc told younger generations about his years at sea without navigation devices and audio-visual equipment. Nowadays, while conducting fishing activities at sea, young fishermen are equipped with modern equipment, including Furuno marine navigator, Haiyang AIS receiver and transmitter to warn and avoid collisions at sea, and long range Icom devices.

Meanwhile, border troops, together with heads of the clans, have implemented dissemination activities to raise youngsters’ patriotism via art performances.

Spreading patriotism widely

On Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai province, a ritual called the Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa (Paracel) soldiers is organized like other festival in An Vinh village, Ly Son district. On April 23, 2024, An Hai village held the festival to commemorate former generations who had sacrificed themselves at sea to protect national sovereignty over sea and islands.

For the local authority and border troops on the island, the festival was an occasion to raise awareness of islanders and people across the country of national sovereignty over sea and islands.

An officer disseminates sea and islands-related knowledge to children.

According to Dr. Nguyen Dang Vu, Chairman of the Quang Ngai provincial Literature and Arts Association, the event was held not only on Ly Son island, but also in many places along the province’s coastline. Wherever there are Hoang Sa soldiers, the festival will be held there. Attentively, on Ly Son Island, this important ritual has been preserved for many generations.

Flagpole of sovereignty

Lung Cu flagpole in Dong Van district, Ha Giang province is a place where flag-raising ceremonies are held. On offshore outposts, the flag-raising ceremony at the flagpole is a symbol marking national sovereignty over sea and islands. Currently, many flagpoles are built on offshore outposts throughout the country, namely Tran Island (Quang Ninh), Bach Long Vi Island (Hai Phong), Hon La Island (Quang Binh), Ly Son Island (Quang Ngai), Cu Lao Xanh Island (Binh Dinh), Phu Quy Island (Binh Thuan), Con Son Island (Ba Ria - Vung Tau), and Tho Chu Island (Kien Giang).

Nguyen Quoc Chinh, former Chairman of the Fisheries Trade Union in Ly Son Island district, shared that from the sovereignty flagpole located on Thoi Loi mountain in Ly Son island district, looking East, one can see boats heading to sacred Hoang Sa archipelago. From the sovereignty flagpole on Phu Quy Island, looking East is the direction to Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago where the border guard force on duty on the island always stand side by side with local fishermen and encourage younger generations to continue to reach out to the sea to firmly safeguard national sovereignty.

Translated by Quynh Oanh