The Viet Cong announced it will observe a Christmas and New Year ceasefire during a broadcast monitored in Saigon on Thursday (21 December).
SV Statue of Virgin Mary
SV Artificial Christmas trees for sale in market
SV People looking at palm trees
SV & CU Small boys looking at toys in market (3 shots)
SV Small boy looks at mechanical toy astronaut (2 shots)
SV Small boy PULL OUT TO GV Boy looking at toys
GV Rickshaws with Christmas decorations in background
Initials BB/0101 WR/BOB/BB/0116
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Viet Cong announced it will observe a Christmas and New Year ceasefire during a broadcast monitored in Saigon on Thursday (21 December). The Viet Cong's Liberation Radio said the truce would last for two separate 24 hour periods beginning on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
Only three million of South Vietnam's 17 million people are Christians. The rest are Buddhists whose big annual holiday is Tet, the Chinese Lunar New Year in February.
But Foreign traditions are accepted readily in Saigon and many South Vietnamese take the one-day holiday and attend Pagoda or Church.
Christmas is a time for children all over the world and the children of Saigon are no different. They look longingly at the toys from the United States and Japan that adorn the colourful stalls along Saigon's streets. And they don't like being led away from the toys their parents cannot afford.
SYNOPSIS: Only three million of South Vietnam's 17-million people are Christians, but a far greater number celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Small Christmas trees are only for those who can afford 30 dollars to pay for them.
But it is the children of Saigon who are more excited by the festive season, whether they be Catholic or Buddhist.
Their eyes light up when they see toys such as this United States astronaut riding his lunar cycle. Toys from the United States and Japan dominate the colourful stalls along Saigon's streets. But most parents cannot afford them.
For Christmas the people of South Vietnam will have a little peace. The Viet Cong have announced they will observe a Christmas ceasefire.