Slaying the dragon: Social media backlash slams New Year decor in northern Vietnam

By VnExpress   January 9, 2017 | 10:36 am GMT+7
Slaying the dragon: Social media backlash slams New Year decor in northern Vietnam
The dragon model decorated with artificial yellow flowers in the northern city of Hai Phong. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh

The dragon model with artificial yellow flowers in Hai Phong City has gone viral on social media in recent days.

Authorities in Hai Phong have asked a state-run firm to remove artificial yellow flowers from a statue of a dragon in the city center following rumors the city had spent $2.6 million on the monstrosity.

The decision was made after images of the model went viral on social media and drew negative responses from many who said the flowers were distasteful. 

The dragon has been in place for several years, but the Green Tree and Park Company Limited, which is in charge of managing parks, flowers and trees in the city, has recently decorated the model with artificial yellow flowers.

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The artificial yellow flowers will be removed from the statue following a storm of negative responses on social media. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh

The new look of the model has triggered negative responses from local people and social media users, prompting the municipal authorities to ask the firm to remove the flowers, according to Nguyen Xuan Binh, vice chairman of the city.

Binh said the artificial flowers were "not only unsightly and distasteful, but may also pose a threat to the roots of the trees underneath which have been carefully manicured for years".

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Hai Phong authorities responded almost immediately to the negative local and social media responses. Photo by: VnExpress/Giang Chinh

Binh also dismissed rumors about the $2.6 million price tag, saying the statue is notpart of the city’s investment program for new projects, and was managed by the Green Tree and Park Company Limited as part of its own periodical decoration program.

Hai Phong is working on a number of projects in the city center ahead of the Lunar New Year, or Tet, which will begin later this month. The total cost for the projects is about $2.6 million.

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