I learn more about the city and history of Vietnam

Wednesday, 2015-09-02 01:23:41
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Ba Dinh square in preparation for National Day
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NDO - Kaela Greenstien, a Canadian, lives and works in Vietnam. On the 70th anniversary of Vietnamese Independence Day, she shares her observations on the holiday and photos of the capital city.

On September 2nd, Vietnam celebrates the 70th anniversary of Independence Day. This day is not only important for Vietnam, but also marks a remarkable and momentous event in world history, as Vietnam demonstrated the power of people uniting together for the cause of justice, freedom and liberty.

It has already been a busy and interesting year in Vietnam with so many significant anniversaries being celebrated - Ho Chi Minh’s 125th birthday, the 40 year anniversary of reunification, and 20 years of normalized relations with the US, just to name a few.

With each anniversary, Hanoi is adorned with lights, flags and flowers in a way completely unique to Vietnam, something that I have never seen before. The symbol of Hanoi, the yellow star, and the hammer and sickle decorate the streets along with the famous stylised posters - the physical changes to the city colour these anniversaries in an unforgettable way.

I learn more about the city and the history of Vietnam with each anniversary. And with each anniversary, I am also experiencing a new time in the city, and am aware of seeing history in a new context. As a young foreigner in Hanoi, I am continually learning simultaneously about both the history and contemporary events in Vietnam. The combination of new and old, traditional and modern, history and current day, make Vietnam a fascinating place to live.

On September 2nd 1945, Ho Chi Minh said, “All peoples on earth are equal from birth, all peoples have a right to live and to be happy and free”. No matter how much Vietnam and the world change, these words will always hold true.

In 30 years, Vietnam will celebrate the 100 year anniversary of National Day. I know that the country will experience many changes in these years that I could never predict today. But with any change, I hope to be back in Vietnam to see the words of Ho Chi Minh, and the foundations of the country, remembered and realised throughout the generations.

The Hanoi Opera House on the eve of National Day



An elaborate arrangement of flowers celebrating National Day

Hundreds of stools in front of the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum



Hanoi glowing for the 70 year anniversary of National Day

KAELA GREENSTIEN