Vietnam’s oxen race in muddy festival

AN GIANG—Their stomachs full of eggs, beer and coconut water, Nguyen Van Liet’s prized white oxen streak ahead of their rivals to the cheer of tens of thousands of spectators in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

The bovines and their owners gathered on a hot morning in a muddy field for the annual Bay Nui ox race—a celebrated ritual of Vietnam’s Khmer minority, ethnic Cambodians living mostly in the country’s south.

Out of action for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the animals—racing in pairs—appeared a little rusty, running off the tracks to the disappointment of the vast crowd.

Liet’s beloved Oxen Couple No. 3, with their big dark eyes, long legs and curv…

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