Friday, September 2, 2011

The Chidlren of Sapa

(I have to admit that this shot was not taken by me, but taken by my friend Mr. Binh using my Olympus EPL1 with the 20mm Panny lens. It's actually a really good shot.)

This image still stalks me.  If you didn't get the last posting, one evening while walking around the area, we sat down and had some coffee. Typically, a H'mong Hill tribe member would come up, but this time it was a little girl. She was selling some stuff, but what was more strange was that we noticed that she was carrying a baby girl as well. We bought a few little trinkets from her, and gave her something to drink. The way she seemed to look, she seemed to be in a work mindset.

Essentially, in Sapa, the hill tribes have adapted to the tourism industry. I've observed many children selling silver, textiles and other stuff. They don't have to go in costume, but just go as they always have dressed. In fact, the indigo dye that they use is very distinct. If you buy anything from them, you had better make sure you wash it on your own, otherwise everything else in the load will turn blue. The children of Sapa are hustling. This is late in the evening. No child labor laws out in this part of the world. She's a cute kid, but also a saleswoman. Now, people in the US may complain about this sort of stuff, but the world is bigger than the US. People do whatever they have to do to live.

Ironically, the children of Sapa probably speak English better than the Vietnamese tourists that come to visit this area. In 10 years, this kid probably will be selling stuff using perfect English.
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