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Van Mieu strengthens “forces” to protect stone turtles
Bee.net.vn 15:13, 2009/07/06
The Hanoi Times - The management board of Van Mieu, or the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam, has mobilised 50 student volunteers to “protect” stone turtles from being touched by students during university entrance exam days.The university entrance exams will take place from July 4. As of June 28, 50 student volunteers have been o­n guard at Van Mieu to protect stone turtles from being touched o­n their heads for luck.
The Hanoi Times - The management board of Van Mieu, or the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam, has mobilised 50 student volunteers to “protect” stone turtles from being touched by students during university entrance exam days.

The university entrance exams will take place from July 4. As of June 28, 50 student volunteers have been o­n guard at Van Mieu to protect stone turtles from being touched o­n their heads for luck.

More difficult than that

Student Vu Thi Nhat from the Hanoi University of Social Sciences and Humanities said: “Though I have tried every way to prevent students from touching the heads of turtles for luck o­n their university entrance exams, they still ignore me and try to touch the turtles’ heads.”

Asking whether she touched turtle heads before her university entrance exams several years ago or not, Nhat said “No”.

After rubbing turtle heads, ignoring a request not to, Pham Thi Thu, who is going to take exams to enter the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, explained: “I touched the turtle heads because I saw every o­ne else touching them. And they said that touching turtle heads will bring good luck.”

Another student who is applying for the Banking Institute affirmed: “All the turtles are made of stone, so they will not be harmed if I touch them a little.”

Most important task is preventing stone turtles from being touched

From morning to the afternoon, turtles’ heads have no rest because they are assaulted by 12th grade students. All 82 turtles carrying steles are touched, also turtles carrying cranes. Their heads have become shiny because of being touched too much.

“This year we will cooperate with the Hanoi Youth Union to protect Van Mieu in two phases, from June 28 to July 2 and from July 5 to July 7, and the key job is preventing stone turtles from being touched o­n their heads,” said deputy director of Van Mieu relics, Pham Thi Thuy Hang.

“However, we can’t completely protect stone turtles. We can manage the relic by culture o­nly,” Hang said.
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