A recent photo has caught the eye of Vietnamese netizens as it captured a building in Hanoi festooned with national flags, a sign of solidarity when Vietnam is combating the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In the photo, more than a hundred Vietnamese national flags are seen hung from the balconies of an apartment building in the capital.
Prabu Mohan, of India, took the photo on Sunday and posted it on Hanoi Massive Community — a Facebook group whose 136,000 members are expats and locals living in the capital city of Vietnam.
“One of the ways to show your support in difficult times,” he wrote in the photo’s caption.
His post has since been flooded with positive comments from members.
More than 2,000 people have reacted with ‘likes’ and ‘loves’ to Mohan’s photo as of the time of writing.
|Prabu Mohan has received postive feedback on this photo after he spread it over social networks. Photo: Supplied|
A sense of national pride and togetherness
Talking to Tuoi Tre News on Monday, Mohan said he noticed the scene when he went out for groceries last week.
He remembered seeing many apartments close to his place having a Vietnam flag hung from their balconies.
“It was quite beautiful to see and I wanted to capture that,” he said.
At first, the 39-year-old man did not understand the meaning behind the action, but he knew “this is something.”
“I have seen it a few times when the national flags are on the street as I have been here for nine years,” he went on to explain.
“I have seen it during the football wins, National Day, and so on.
“Later, one of my Vietnamese friends told me that they were doing this in support of people fighting against novel coronavirus disease.”
Mohan also recalled the scene on his Instagram handle.
“It’s a residential apartment near my place with the Vietnam flags to show that we are all in it together,” Mohan wrote in the description of the Instagram post.
He went on to explain to his followers, “It’s been always like this in Vietnam, whether the county wins a football [game] or [deals with a] difficult time like this.”
|A photo taken by Prabu Mohan in January 2018 after a football game. Photo: Supplied|
According to the man, who has lived in Hanoi for nearly a decade, the scene for some reason gave him the feeling that he was part of the country, which he called “a sense of belonging.”
Mohan said he loves to capture “these kinds of situations [which bring out] unity among the people.”
“[They show] the love of the Vietnamese people for their country,” he said.
“At least a good majority of people show a sense of national pride and being together if not all.
“That’s how I see it as an expat and it’s a good feeling for expats as well.”
The national flags-decorated apartment building has attracted not only its neighbors but also the local media.
On April 16, ncov.moh.gov.vn, the official website of COVID-19 launched by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, cited a recent story run by Gia Dinh va Xa Hoi (Family and Society) newspaper as saying the residents were doing it in the hope that Vietnam would soon defeat the disease.
Vietnam has confirmed 268 COVID-19 cases as of Monday morning, with 207 having made a full recovery.
No virus-related death has been reported in the country so far.
A math lecturer who likes photographing Vietnam
Mohan said he is a senior lecturer of mathematics at British University Vietnam, and photography is his hobby.
“I love taking pictures of Vietnam,” Mohan told Tuoi Tre News.
The lecturer recollected that when he got a job offer at the Hanoi-based university, he did not have any expectation as he did not know anyone in the country.
“My plan was to stay here for one year and see how it would go,” he said.
However, the local people’s friendliness and tendency to go out of their way to help others have kept him rooted in the country for longer than he had thought.
“Ever since I arrived in Hanoi, the people have always been friendly and nice [to me],” he said.
“People have always helped me and I never felt like I don’t know anyone.
“A simple smile from the local people helped me and I kept extending my job contract and it’s been nine years already."
Now with a little bit of Vietnamese under his belt, Mohan is able to travel to many places in the northern region of Vietnam by himself on his trusted bike.
“I always get to meet and interact with local people,” he said.
|Prabu Mohan (L) is seen posing for a picture with local people in the mountainous commune of Ta Xua during his trip to Son La Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Supplied|
Below are some photos of Vietnam Mohan has taken during his nine years living in the Southeast Asian country, shared on his Instagram handle @the_prabster:
|A photo by Prabu Mohan describes Ta Hien Street, Hanoi at twilight. Photo: Supplied|
|A photo by Prabu Mohan captures street life in Hanoi. Photo: Supplied|
|An aerial photo by Prabu Mohan captures water buffaloes in Hanoi near the Red River. Photo: Supplied|
|The harvest season in Mu Cang Chai District, Yen Bai Province through Prabu Mohan's lens. Photo: Supplied|
|'Sunset in the northwest mountain with the watered rice terraces on the foreground,' Prabu Mohan gives a caption to this photo taken during his trip to Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province, northern Vietnam, posted on his Instagram handle @the_prabster. Photo: Supplied|
|The beauty of Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province, northern Vietnam, through Prabu Mohan's lens. Photo: Supplied|
|Prabu Mohan's photo features the old quarter area in the central city of Hoi An at twilight. Photo: Supplied|
|A photo captures Hanoi by night. Photo: Supplied|