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A marriage made in water
November 7, 2008 5:42 AM   Subscribe

Last week, following torrential rains, Northern and Central Vietnam suffered their worst flooding in the past 25 years, killing more than 70 people and devastating buildings and crops. Still, life goes on in the inundated Hanoi neighborhoods, and water won't prevent people from walking/driving/boating around the city, getting engaged, marrying and fishing. These folks got their car back and the scenic Ninh Binh region looks like the Ha Long bay. By the way, Google understands vietnamese now.
posted by elgilito (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Lots of interesting videos are on YouTube about this, many shot by travelers in the area.
posted by nitsuj at 5:59 AM on November 7, 2008


These pictures are great. So emblematic of the Vietnamese, getting married in the middle of a flood, resiliency, toughness. No FEMA or government support there. Life just goes on like one big happy (dysfunctional) family.
posted by stbalbach at 6:00 AM on November 7, 2008


No FEMA or government support there.

Nope. Just people helping people. That's what I love about 'em.
posted by gman at 6:11 AM on November 7, 2008


Just people helping people.

Well, I'm fairly sure all those people "helping" are being paid one way or another, it is a fairly poor third world country. Perhaps 10 cents will get you a ride across the flooded area on a masterfully crafted raft made out of packing supplies lifted from the local train depot, and then a round of beer and rice balls with fish sauce on the other side, and if it's not time for the mid-afternoon siesta, Little Brother can take you to see the sights for the rest of the day for only 5 dollars.
posted by stbalbach at 6:26 AM on November 7, 2008


Well, I'm fairly sure all those people "helping" are being paid one way or another, it is a fairly poor third world country.

And I'm fairly sure they simply have a much better sense of community and a lot less of an 'every man for himself' attitude than pre-Obama America did. Your drivel about the way they may see us as walking dollar bills, has nothing to do with anything.
posted by gman at 6:37 AM on November 7, 2008


The photos of people getting married in the flood are really interesting. They remind me of my Oma's wedding story. WWII, and the church had been bombed. My Opa and her got married in the winter, and it was snowing, the snow falling through the bombed out roof and floating down like confetti. She said it was weird, because it was pretty but very cold, and it was a happy day but also depressing.

Then I think about how at my wedding, I was mad at the catering staff because they didn't cut all the layers of the cake like I asked. And really, was that such a big deal? No, no it was not.

I hope they have a good marriage, those Vietnamese couples. They've already got a resilient spirit, so I think they have a good shot at it.
posted by sandraregina at 6:37 AM on November 7, 2008


This might be my favorite picture this week.

And I thought my wedding was memorable.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:37 AM on November 7, 2008


"Well, I'm fairly sure all those people "helping" are being paid one way or another, it is a fairly poor third world country."

gman: And I'm fairly sure they simply have a much better sense of community and a lot less of an 'every man for himself' attitude than pre-Obama America did. Your drivel about the way they may see us as walking dollar bills, has nothing to do with anything.


You obviously don't know Vietnam, it's not just "us" they see that way. But since your post is oriented to make some sort of negative statement about the USA, with Vietnam as some sort of community spirit Shangri-la, don't let my drivel stop you on your politically correct mission.
posted by stbalbach at 7:04 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


You obviously don't know Vietnam, it's not just "us" they see that way.

Look, I could challenge anyone on Metafilter for the 'least politically correct' biscuit. As a former resident of Vietnam, Lao, and Thailand, I challenge YOU to tell me how it is. Dude, you're ruining my Obama buzz.
posted by gman at 7:08 AM on November 7, 2008


(grabs popcorn and Whoppers, settles in to watch the gman and stbalbach debate)
posted by crapmatic at 7:27 AM on November 7, 2008


"And I'm fairly sure they simply have a much better sense of community and a lot less of an 'every man for himself' attitude than pre-Obama America did."

You should come to Iowa. We had a historic flood this summer and handled it quite nicely. And we'd like to thank the people from all over the U.S. who came to help and sent relief. And thanks to the tax-dollar supported folks at FEMA as well.

Vietnam is a communist dictatorship, and communist dictatorships generally destroy public spiritedness (for more, see "Soviet Union").

That said, God speed to the oppressed people of Vietnam. No doubt someone in Iowa--maybe me--will send help.
posted by MarshallPoe at 7:56 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Vietnam is a communist dictatorship, and communist dictatorships generally destroy public spiritedness (for more, see "Soviet Union").

Vietnam is a communist dictatorship just like how Bush is a fiscal conservative Republican, i.e. not at all.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:13 AM on November 7, 2008


You should come to Iowa. We had a historic flood this summer and handled it quite nicely.

Sweet. I was thinking of the immediate aftermath of Katrina, which was much more publicized up here in Canada.

Vietnam is a communist dictatorship, and communist dictatorships generally destroy public spiritedness

I say unbridled Capitalist governments "generally destroy public spiritedness". I've lived in both small villages and big city neighbourhoods in SE Asia, and I couldn't disagree more.
posted by gman at 8:14 AM on November 7, 2008


Well, much of the responsibility for what happened during Katerina must be borne by the people of New Orleans, not "unbridled Capitalism" (which really doesn't exist anywhere in the world). It was, after all, their city.

As for whether Vietnam is a communist dictatorship, Keith Talent, just run over there and try to open an openly anti-Party newspaper or, say, found an opposition political party. Write me back and tell me how that went.
posted by MarshallPoe at 8:23 AM on November 7, 2008


Well, much of the responsibility for what happened during Katerina must be borne by the people of New Orleans, not "unbridled Capitalism" (which really doesn't exist anywhere in the world). It was, after all, their city.

We could debate how much responsibility lies where, but the initial part of your first sentence is what I was getting at.
posted by gman at 8:27 AM on November 7, 2008


Interesting photos, by the way. Thanks.
posted by gman at 8:47 AM on November 7, 2008


As for whether Vietnam is a communist dictatorship, Keith Talent, just run over there and try to open an openly anti-Party newspaper or, say, found an opposition political party. Write me back and tell me how that went.

Dictatorship yes, communist no.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:48 AM on November 7, 2008


Communist? A childhood friend of mine is building the biggest casino/resort in the country.
posted by gman at 8:54 AM on November 7, 2008


"unbridled Capitalism" (which really doesn't exist anywhere in the world).

Have you seen anything about current economic crisis in America?
posted by gman at 9:03 AM on November 7, 2008


"Have you seen anything about current economic crisis in America?"

This is "unbridled capitalism?" You are quite right that the repressive CP of Vietnam is giving up Stalinist Communism, but they have a long way to go. It's still one of the least free economies in the world.
posted by MarshallPoe at 9:45 AM on November 7, 2008


"Unbridled" was an exaggeration for the lack of regulation in the US banking system.
posted by gman at 9:55 AM on November 7, 2008


By the way, Google understands vietnamese now.

Well. kind of.

"Family President John Kennedy White House each variable into zoo in the presence of dogs, breathing, horses, ducks and mice lang."

Huh?
posted by DaddyNewt at 11:10 AM on November 7, 2008


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