Trash is a global problem, not just in Da Lat

December 5, 2022 | 11:33 pm PT
Trash is a global problem, not just in Da Lat
Garbage scattered at Lam Vien Square in downtown Da Lat. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
Readers were defensive after an American expat shared his opinions about rampant littering in Vietnam's tourist town Da Lat.

"It's just the way it is... and most people seem happy to live with it. Obviously pride in their township's appearance, hygiene & cleanliness isn't a priority or concern. Vietnam isn't the only country like that and you'll find that most of the world's population lives in similar environments.

The planet Earth isn't really populated by squeaky-clean inhabitants, living in clean environments. Look at a map. Heavily populated areas in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, India and South America are living in conditions that are unacceptable to others, and they're the majority of Earth's inhabitants.

If you're living in a Western country with sanitation, waste management facilities & local councils enforce environmental standards. Then you're lucky and also the minority. Get caught in Singapore chewing gum or dropping a lolly wrapper on the street and you're in trouble. Same in a lot of western countries, where fines are enforced for littering. Local authorities can even fine the residents for not keeping their front homes tidy. However, if things do change for the better, don't expect to pay 60 cents for a coffee and 75 cents for a banh mi."

"This type of disregard for public cleanliness is widespread, and even worse in tourist areas where vendors want to make quick money at any cost. However, maybe channel these efforts toward the youth who are usually more willing to change, plus environmentally and globally conscience.

These vendors are trying to make a living, many are poor and worry just about basic necessities like feeding their families or having a roof over their heads. Trying to be a vigilante is dangerous when meddling with people who are desperate!"

"Some of the transgressions listed presumably are covered by Vietnamese laws, especially thinking of drunk driving. The laws are drawn up by Vietnamese, but it seems a sorry state of affairs if the enforcers of the law are reluctant to enforce them. It is up to Vietnam to decide how to manage itself and how to come to an agreement between the executive, judiciary, public servants, and the populace."

Some readers were even more protective of the highlands town, saying that Da Lat's problem should not be judged by a Westerner.

"I just left Da Lat few months ago after living there the last 13 years... No place is perfect but apart from the overuse of charcoal that people use to provide for their family I totally disagree with this person. There are instances but not that bad."

"It is easy for someone with the Western background to criticize the locals based on the standards of order and cleanliness. By the way, some parts of cities in the U.S. are far worse than Da Lat. So better go and take your pictures over there, and let the locals live the way they want to live here."

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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