On September 2, the North Vietnamese people will celebrate their first 25 years as an independent state.
On September 2, the North Vietnamese people will celebrate their first 25 years as an independent state. Preparations to celebrate the anniversary are already underway in the capital, Hanoi.
For most of the 25 years, the North Vietnamese have been involved in almost continuous warfare. And the accent is still on continuing the struggle against "Imperialist" forces, with huge street posters reporting the progress of the fighting in the south.
The anniversary -- closely followed by the first anniversary -- of President Ho Chi Minh's death on September 3 -- is also a time of increasing nationalistic fervour. At one Hanoi workshop, girls are hard at work embroidering elaborate flags to be distributed on the anniversary day.
Following the end of United States bombing missions over Hanoi, air-raid shelters in the capital were allowed to run down -- and were even used for dumping refuse. The shelters are now being cleared out as part of the 25th anniversary preparations.