mastercopycat

Virtual meanderings

Hanoi: Young women on scooters

I’ll devote this post to something one notices a lot on the streets of Hanoi yet I did not include it in the previous post, saving it for a separate blog entry. Here it is:

Woman on a scooter, Hanoi

Courtesy: wanderingscotsman.com

Woman on Scooter, Hanoi

Courtesy: www.informatik.uni-bremen.de/~net/photos/vietnam/hanoi/

Woman on scooter in Hanoi 2

Courtesy: whitemonkeynewsbureau.wordpress.com

Women on scooters, Hanoi

Courtesy: whitemonkeynewsbureau.wordpress.com

These fotos aren’t mine but I too could confirm the massive numbers of dressed-up young women riding scooters in Hanoi. So much so that at one point I too gave in and immortalized this phenomenon:

Scooter Girl, Hanoi

Scooter Girl, Hanoi

The focused look, the elegant attire, the high heels,  waiting for the light to turn green..
True, in Vietnam you will also see the women doing all the other hard work that women do in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia (in fact, the first photo is a good example of the “two worlds”). But in addition to that there is a noticeable differece in how much women feel at ease and in control in Vietnam compared to the other countries that I had visited so far.

Without a doubt, in part this is due to the socialist path that Vietnam took (the official name of the country is Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, to this day). Promoting women rights and raising the status of women in society has historically been a core aspect of socialist governments’ policies – by improving education, health care, opening up for women to take high-ranking government posts,  etc. Yet, while this is also true for Vietnam, I think it is not the whole story. There is another factor that, I believe, played a major role in the unsurpassed degree of equality and independence women get to enjoy in Vietnam. They earned every little bit of it, it is of their own accomplishment. Because when you look at those care-free young ladies on the photos, you should go back a generation earlier and remember their mothers who fought in the Vietnam war (or, as it is called in Vietnam – “the American war”) alongside the men, sharing all the burdens, and then some. To hel you make up your mind on this one, I looked up some Vietnamese posters from the war for you:

Vietnam war poster - woman fighter 1

DETERMINED TO BE VOLUNTEER BOYS AND GIRLS - VOLUNTEERS ARE MEMBERS TOGETHER

My comment: note who is pointing the finger and leading the way.

Vietnam war poster, Woman fighter 2

'THE SOUTHERN FEMALE GUERRILAS ARE TRULY GUTSY’

‘FIGHTING THE ENEMY IS EVERYONE'S DUTY’

Vietnam war poster, Woman fighter 4

‘A MOTHER AND HER CHILDREN FIGHT THE AMERICANS TOGETHER’

Vietnam war poster, Woman fighter 5
‘DETERMINED TO HOLD THE TRANSPORT ARTERIES’
Vietnam war poster, Woman fighter 6

‘NOTHING IS MORE VALUABLE THAN FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE’ - UNCLE HO

All posters presented here are courtesy of The Dogma Collection. If you wish to find out more about the significance of posters during the war in Vietnam, follow the link.

Oh, and by the way. Nothing is more valuable than freedom and independence, indeed.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: