Life inside Cu Chi tunnels

Life inside Cu Chi tunnelsAccording to Mr Dao, in 1962, 1963, Cu Chi people responded to the campaign of digging tunnels and so did Phu My Hung ward. Used to dig the tunnels since 14 years old, Mr. Nguyen Van Tien (born in 1935 in Phu My Hung ward) understand than anyone else the toughness of the days that he called “nest underground”. He recalled: “When I was small, seeing my parents digging, I also joined until the day the Party launched the campaign. That time, everyone was having impetus, together compete to dig. Those are the first day I fight.”

Mr. Nguyen Van Tien was from Go Vap district. He said: “I remember the day I hold a small hoe to dig every cm of soil. Those day were like festival of digging. Everyone, woman, man, young, old joined. Everyone has his own job. There were clear assignments before digging: the old pull and trace earth, the young take turns to dig the tunnels.”

Mentioning about the techniques to have such a system of thoroughly connecting tunnels, both Mr. Dao and Mr Tien confirm: “There were no one knows about the job. When you have no experience, you find it hard. But when you are familiar with it, it is like a piece of cake. The thing is how to keep secret.” Accordingly, the maker need to keep the main requirements like: Two sidewalls need to be vertical straight and even. There are no convexo-concave, the floor is flat, the ceiling is in dome form. The bleed valve is gradually small to the top, etc.”

The tunnels are mainly the complex of layers of tunnels. To complete a system of long tunnels in hundreds of km, people need to be separated into groups and dig in the different areas or even different wards. Mr. Tien describe: “Each group in charge of a tunnel. The position of the mouth of tunnels is decided beforehand. People use their experience to make the tunnels connected. There were no contributions of modern science. The tunnels maker often based on the sound resounded from the other side to measure the accuracy of the tunnels direction or how far to it. It needs a close attention to recognize and meet each other underground in the dark.”