Visitors to the exhibition Tre Em Thoi Chien (Children at War) can see powerful images of Vietnamese children smiling despite the suffering caused by the war around them.

The exhibition, which opened on Sept. 7 in Hanoi , depicts the life of children during the American War through 70 photos taken by journalists from Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Thieu Nien Tien Phong (Young Pioneers) newspaper and Japan-based Nihon Denpa News.

"This is an opportunity for us, who were born during the war, to look back at the north of Vietnam 40 years ago and see how children lived and studied during the cruel war," said Nguyen Duc Loi, general director of the VNA.

"I and other visitors of the same generation are moved as we see ourselves in the lively pictures," he said. "We learnt to make straw hats to avoid bomb fragments and always carried first-aid kits to school."

"The wartime children often lacked parents to care for them and faced difficulty and deprivation, but we still see their smiles," Loi said. "They studied hard and took care of themselves."

"They are a symbol of the Vietnamese people's strong will and vitality," he said.

The Nihon Denpa News opened a permanent office in Hanoi in 1964, and has over 2,000 photos, documentaries and news broadcasts about Vietnam . Among them is the only documentation, in colour film, of the funeral of President Ho Chi Minh. In 2011, Kim Dong Publishing House bought more than 2,000 photos of Vietnam taken between 1965 and 1975.

The photos in the exhibition have been selected from these to show the daily lives of children during wartime, when many parts of the country were heavily bombed by the US . Kim Dong Publisher also displays a number of books published during the war which served as invaluable spiritual sustenance for children at that time.

The exhibition will run until September 14 at Exhibition House, 93 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hanoi.-VNA