Back in December 2005, a friend and I were on holiday together, doing the photography/back packing thing, we’d just arrived in Hanoi from Hong Kong and had spent the day familiarising ourselves with the city, getting out and about, capturing life on the streets of Hanoi. I was quite surprised by a few things that I’d learnt on that day. The first thing was how much you can transport on a moped. I knew that mopeds were popular in Vietnam, but I didn’t know they would be used for mass goods transit, by this I mean whatever they could balance on the back of the moped would be carried, whether it was 10 crates of water balanced on the back seat or a dressing table and chairs tied and balanced on the back.
We were tired from the journey and went back to our rooms, time to crash for a little while. I woke from my slumber later in the evening, still feeling a little hazy, but could hear a noise coming from thestreets below, a mix of chanting/cheering and horns being hooted on mopeds. I looked out of the window and the streets were alive with thousands of people riding mopeds and walking along in unison through the streets waving flags, from above I couldn’t tell whether this was a celebration or a protestation.
We quickly grabbed our kit, ran down from the 3rd floor of the hotel and into the middle of this protest or celebration. It was then we realised that the faces we were looking at were definitely smiling and the chanting was in celebration, there was such a positive energy on the streets it was truly fantastic, we started snapping. The crowd were really playing to the camera, fantastic stuff and apart from the low light and the relatively poor performance of digital cameras at high ISO’s 6 years ago it was a stream of great shots. Only minutes into the shoot, we were asking various people why they were celebrating, eventually we were told that the reason for the celebration was that Vietnam had apparently just won the South East Asia Cup, go team!
I wasn’t really into football in any way, but on returning to the UK I thought I would research this a little and I actually couldn’t find any reference to Vietnam winning the South East Asia Cup… so, it was definitely a celebration… but winning the South East Asia cup… I’m really not sure… perhaps one of the readers can guess on this one 🙂