|Viet Trieu Friendship Kindergarten
The children at Viet Trieu nursery school sing “strawberry mountain” song in Korean and learn basic knowledge of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which funded the construction of the school in 1978.
On the initial days, the Viet Trieu Friendship Kindergarten had only 4 classes for 120 children from 3-5 years old. Covering nearly 4,000 m2, the school had a two-storey building, including classrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and laundry rooms. Each class had a piano, an accordion and a violin. Toy cabinets, shoes cabinets, backpacks cabinets were installed separately and neatly. In the 1980s, such a beautiful school was a rare gem in Hanoi.
|Kids at Viet Trieu Kindergarten wear traditional Korean Hanbok
Now the school has 17 classrooms and 11 functional rooms to take care 470 kids under 6 years old. It has classes named after the DPRK’s former leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. In these classrooms, pictures of leaders of both countries are respectfully hung together with photos capturing important meetings, activities, and maps of the two countries.
Ngo Thi Minh Ha, Director of the Viet Trieu Friendship Kindergarten, said the school has worked with the Vietnam-DPRK Friendship Association to organize activities to strengthen bilateral diplomatic and cultural relations. “We’ve kept in touch with the DPRK Embassy. They invite us to major events in their country. They congratulate us on the new academic year, the school’s founding anniversary, and National Day. In 2004 and 2005, the DPRK Embassy sent lecturers to teach music here.”
Viet Trieu Kindergarten has twinned with Kieng San Kindergarten to share educational and managerial experience. “The kids are told about the name of their school. It’s a gift that Korean friends gave us. They also learn about the DPRK’s culture, the capital city, and typical food among other things,” said Ha.
Teacher Nguyen Thi Phuong Thanh said the kids have learned both Vietnamese and Korean culture: “The kids learn about costumes, people, songs, and some basic sentences to say hello and say goodbye. They are interested in learning and trying North Korea’s food and costumes.”
41 years since its establishment, the Viet Trieu Kindergarten has always been a symbol of friendly relationship of the two countries.