The national anthem, Tien Quan Ca (The Song of Advancing Soldiers), has more than once proved a rallying song for Vietnamese living abroad.

The song was written in 1944 by Van Cao (1923-95) and adopted as the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, and then unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976, after the end of the anti- American war.

Accordingly, it was recently decided to initiate a contest based on clips of people singing the anthem to encourage patriotism.

Le Tien Dat, a contest organising member and former student in France , told Vietnam News that he used to be overcome by emotion whenever he visited the Vietnamese Embassy in Paris during anniversary ceremonies.

"I felt different to when I had to sing it in school," he said, "It proved immensely moving singing our anthem so far from home."

Le Quang Vu, head of the seven-member organising team, said: "When I studied in Russia , security used to be so bad that we had to sing the anthem when going out at night for bravado."

Vu Truong Giang, another team member, taught his children the song when they first became capable of singing, his five-year-old son understanding each and every word.

Giang said he appreciated the video clips sent in by hearing-impaired students the most due to their use of sign language singing.

On the contest website ( a four-year-old girl stands solemnly in front of the national flag singing the anthem loudly though still unable to pronounce the words correctly.

In another clip, a father plays the anthem with his harmonica while his son cheerfully waves his hands along with the rhythm.

"We want young people to feel proud when singing the heroic anthem," Vu said.

The team has invested a total of 120 million VND (6,000 USD) into the competition which is set to include prizes for the most voted video clip, youngest competitor, the video clip recorded in the most suitable place and the video clip with the most singers.

Historian Duong Trung Quoc and composer Quoc Trung will also form part of the jury.

Participants can send video clips of themselves singing the song to the organising committee no later than March 2012./.