Two Faces

My reason for visiting this crowded square in the center of Hanoi was to see the statue of Joseph Stalin. Not far from my hotel and the sun less than ideal, I had to move and this seemed like a good place to head towards.

Spending an hour here was easy. The large plaza in front of the statue was busy with skateboarders practicing their tricks and young couples snuggled close on park benches fine-tuning theirs.

What ultimately caught my attention that day were the kids climbing the statue base. Rather irreverent considering the figure and his historical place in this country – they were enjoying the determination it took to reach the platform and a small contest emerged between a group of ten or so kids.

My takeaway that afternoon was an image that speaks to the different directions this country is going. One stoic and overpowering facing East and the other youthful and diminutive looking the other direction. Connected, but looking towards two different ideologies. Emanating from the same place – clearly looking in opposite directions.

It for me represented the struggles and hopes so many people have here. Tied to the past where their ancestors toiled and died to advance a failing ideology and the youthful energy of a new generation less constant by the past. Looking towards the future.