Saigoneses take their children to church to feed pigeons

Despite the rain, many people in Ho Chi Minh City take their kids to the Notre Dame Cathedral area to feed pigeons.

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Early in the morning, people go to the Cathedral in District 1 to wait for wild pigeons.

At around 6 a.m., the wild pigeons begin to gather on the trees by the side of the road and then swoop down in the church front yard. Seeing the birds, kids are very excited, waiting for the moment to feed the birds.

Many parents say that their children are especially interested in going to the church to watch and feed the birds. “It is very difficult to wake her up to go to school, but if I tell her to get up to feed the birds, she will get up right away,” a woman said.

Many young people also love the birds. They often go to the church to feed and take pictures with the pigeons. 

They say that when they see the birds eating and hovering around the church early in the morning, they feel peaceful, temporarily forgetting the bustle of urban life.

Visitors say the pigeons are the symbol and beauty of the church. Many foreign tourists also wake up early and go to the church to feed the pigeons. 

Being fed and cared for by people for a long time, these wild pigeons have gradually become used to people and fly to the church every morning to be fed. 

In the past, the birds used to be hunted but later this stopped. The birds are now protected by the locals and are considered a symbol of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu

Despite the rain, many people take their children to the church to play with the birds.

Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu
Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu

The pigeons are very friendly. They pick up food from the kids’ hands, which excites the kids.

 
Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu
Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu

A young girl comes to the church to take pictures with the birds.

Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu

The food for the birds is mainly grains such as rice, green beans, corn and bread crumbs.

Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu

The wild birds are healthy and have smooth feathers.

Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu

After being well fed, the pigeons fly around the church amid the excitement of the visitors.

Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu

Pigeons flying in the sky create a sense of peace in the bustle of urban life.

Người dân Sài Gòn đội mưa, đưa con đến nhà thờ chơi cùng bồ câu

Nguyen Son