The new countryside village
As we are cycling trough the ricefields and villages in the area around Nihn Binh we discover rural life of northern Vietnam. This area is off the beaten track and curious eyes are popping from behind doors and window; wondering what may have drawn us to their village.
An old woman gazes at us as if we are aliens.
Banners around the area are showing communist party slogans: “ there is no violence and drugs in the new countryside village”
“building the new countryside village is the responsibility of each and every one”….
the village of han thang is clean and tidy, no litter, everything nicely organised…
From a distance we can hear music playing. Approaching the community house we’re halted by the villagers. We are invited to join them to celebrate their nomination as “New Countryside Village”. It is a much desired crown on a long journey to become a better community.
We are literally dragged into the community house as unexpected guests of honour, and we gratefully share their pride, congratulate them and indulge the ceremonial toasting? doing a bottoms -up with locally brewed rice wine followed by traditional handshaking.
The village elders want to share an individual toast with us which leads to an abundant volume of alcohol in a brief time..
Only a few miles further we’re stopping to take pictures of some waterbuffalo’s and minutes later we are invited into a kind woman’s house to join her for tea.
She tells us about her kids and the construction works on their house and a sense of old friendship grows within the brief time we are spending with her. She grabs Kristin’s hand and holds on to it as if it was supposed to bring her luck.
The warm welcome is a perfect reflection of the Vietnamese kindness and hospitality, no ostentatious trappings but an appreciation of friendship.
And this is exactly what we’re after,
Random encounters can be very gratifying.
Capturing the moment.