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Vietnamese propaganda

Propaganda for fire fighting
Propaganda for fire fighting
I saw this poster when I was passing by the Fire
 Fighting Department in Điện Biên Phủ city, north
west Vietnam. The woman wears traditional dress
of the Thai ethnic minority group in north west Vietnam.
In May 2007, during my transit time from Brunei to Hanoi, I had to stay for a night in Kuala Lumpur. While I was walking down a street in Bukit Bingtang trying to find a hotel or guest house, I passed by a Vietnamese restaurant in the area. It was easily recognizable since the Vietnamese propaganda were hung up as decorations both inside and outside the restaurant. I went into the restaurant and asked a boy there if he could speak Vietnamese. He answered me in Vietnamese with southern accent and advised me to ask the hotel next to the restaurant. For the first time I saw a Vietnamese restaurant when traveling abroad and it was interesting to see the owner chose Vietnamese propaganda for decorating the restaurant, instead of paintings of the famous landscapes in Vietnam.
Perhaps propaganda have become a special feature of Vietnam, as I've seen some people in the Thorn Tree travel forum asking where they could buy propaganda.
Vietnamese propaganda
Đồng Hới city, central Vietnam
This shot was taken after Tết (the Lunar New Year)
 in January 2009 in Đồng Hới city, central Vietnam.
The words mean "Congratulations to the Country,
the Communist Party and Happy New Year!".
Imagine they would hang up in their room a picture of Vietnam with a star, flag or soldier with machine gun. In Vietnamese we call propaganda as "Tranh cổ động". There are many subjects for the propaganda,for example, celebration of the important events, national holidays, new years, elections, family planning (every family should have one or two children), fire fighting and protection of property through fire prevention, traffic safety (safety first and everyone should wear helmet when riding motorbike), prevention of drug use and spread of HIV/AIDS etc.

In my opinion, the propaganda play an important role. Not only they draw public attention to some events or social issues, they also show different ideas and imaginations of the artists. This also can be seen in Vietnamese stamps. Sometimes competitions are organized to find a design for a poster/stamp campaign. These competitions attract the participation of many painters. My grandfather was one of the contestants and he was once awarded a prize for his design.

Vietnamese propaganda
Country reunification day 30 April
Celebration of the 35th reunification day of
Vietnam on 30 April 2010. (Poster in Hanoi)
Having been to 18 countries, I found that I did see more propaganda in Vietnam and China than other countries. It is because I've spent more time in these countries, but I guess another reason is that the communist parties lead the countries. In different cities of China, I often saw propaganda with pictures of the Chinese presidents. Last year there were propaganda of the Olympic games in Guilin when I traveled in this city.

The photos in this blog were taken in different cities/towns of Vietnam from north to south. You can see the various expressions of the same event, for example, celebrations of the new years. There are also different sizes of propaganda depending on the places. Often I ignore the political propaganda and only take photos of propaganda which are related to the festivals or interesting events.

Tips: There are some shops in Hanoi's Old Quarter that sell propaganda to tourists. You can view the samples on their websites, but it's better to see them in reality and check out the price.

Tết 2008 in Hanoi
The words on this propaganda mean "The Year
of the Rat 2008 - Vietnam is changing".
"AIDS - Never use drug" propaganda in Hội An town

Điện Biên Phủ city, north west Vietnam
These propaganda posters were placed near the airport in the city. In May this year (2009), we celebrated the 55th anniversary of Điện Biên Phủ victory over the French troops. Điện Biên Phủ battlefield was the place where the French troops were defeated in May 1954, resulting in the end of the French war in Vietnam and Indochina.
Gate into Thống Nhất park in Hanoi
Red banner with figures 10-10 (Hanoi's Liberation Day) 1954 - 2009 and propaganda of the event outside Thống Nhất park in Hanoi.

Happy New Year 2009!
By Hoàn Kiếm lake in Hanoi's center on 1 January 2009.
Posters in Quy Nhơn city
Celebration of the 35th liberation day of Quy Nhơn city on 31 March 2010 - photo taken in Quy Nhơn city in South Central Vietnam.

Propaganda for tax payment
Poster in Kon Tum city

Happy New Year 2012!
By Hoàn Kiếm lake in Hanoi's center.

Propaganda for birth control
Mù Cang Chải commune in Yên Bái province (North West region) is famous for beautiful terraced rice paddy-fields and Red H'mong ethnic minority people.

Propaganda in Mù Cang Chải town
To build up a good life.

Propaganda in Lai Châu town
Determination to achieve socio-economic targets.

Propaganda for environment protection
In Đá Chông historical site near Hanoi.
Propaganda for following Hồ Chí Minh sample at Đá Chông historical site near Hanoi.

Propaganda against using drug
Phan Thiết city, Bình Thuận province
Propaganda in Phan Thiết city, Bình Thuận province

Family planning propaganda - Phú Quý island
Happy New Year 2009!
This poster was placed next to a stage outside the Imperial Palace in Huế city, central Vietnam before Tết 2009 (Vietnamese Lunar New Year).


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