Lenin Park, Hanoi, Vietnam. September 2007

September is a hot and steamy time in Hanoi.  The locals know that early morning and evening are the best times to be physically active and that is when they can be seen enjoying their leisure. One of the really charming things that I saw in Hanoi was the large groups of people dancing in Lenin Park at about 6am. in the morning.

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There were different groups dancing to different types of music, ranging from rock and roll (in the picture above) through latin to ballroom (in the photo below).

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I couldn’t help but feel a little envy for the people of Hanoi as they unselfconsciously enjoyed themselves in a public park.  It made me realise how disconnected most of us are from each other here in Sydney. There doesn’t seem to be any sense of community back home and I can’t image dancing in downtown public parks here in Australia in the early morning.

As I was taking these photos the occasional dancer would look my way and give me a very warm smile.  I felt so welcome and that is one of the things that struck me about the Vietnamese in general, they are usually very warm and down to earth people.

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