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Kolkata in change mode

Kolkata in change mode

Hanoi - Melancholy and Dreams

There is a melancholy to the music people listen to in Hanoi. The tunes are slow, in minor, and I listen to them every day when sitting on the balcony. The ladies doing their morning workout routines around the Hoàn Kiém Lake, prefer more rhythmic disco music. Early morning, I listen to the rooster welcoming the new day. 


Considering the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an atheist state, as declared by its communist government, religion and folk religion are very much present here. Many shops and homes, often on the same premises, have small alters where offerings are given to the gods. 


The laid-back business in the city is polished. Suits and high heels commute on their Vespas. During weekends they put on their Sunday bests and flock around the lake. The surrounding streets are closed to vehicles, and the area transforms into a playground for young and old.  

I am currently working on a zine with photographs and stories not featured here.


Students take the weekends as an opportunity to meet tourists and practice the English language. Doan, 22, and his girlfriend Thuong, 21, dream of finishing their studies and finding jobs so they can get married and live together. That requires living in a big city, they tell me. 


In the streets surrounding the Hoàn Kiém Lake, you will find tons of activities and things to buy for children.

Hanoi - Melancholy and Dreams


Sunflower seeds are served almost everywhere and they are delicious. Green tea is more or less mandatory.


These ladies meet up every morning to workout together following the instructor on the TV.. And no, this is not a gym but a restaurant.


Some street food vendors start serving as early as 5 AM and close up around 10 PM.

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