Vietnamese youth group plays with iconic conical hat

By Vy An   October 5, 2016 | 10:09 pm PT
A youth delegation put together a photo series that adds new expression to Vietnam's traditional leaf hat.

The Vietnamese delegation to this year's Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) sought to breath new life into the country's tired conical hat.

The team took the hats, photographed by tourists and favored by farmers toiling in the sun, into modern urban spaces and turned them into a medium for emoticons

“Our shoots drew the attention of many young locals and foreign tourists on the street," one member said. "They even borrowed the hats for a few on-the-spot selfies."

SSEAYP, first held in 1974, aims to promote friendship and cooperation among young people in Japan and 10 Southeast Asian countries. Vietnam first joined the program in 1995.


Emoticons helped convey the sensation of actually being in Vietnam. Here, a hat suggests the terror and exhilaration of driving in Ho Chi Minh City. 


Crossing Saigon's streets may prove fun or damaging to the psyche, depending on whom you ask. The series offers snapshots of simply being here.


A bowl of sidewalk noodles, likewise, has the power to fill bellies and blow minds. 


A coracle, or round sailing vessel favored in central Vietnam.


Skateboarding opposite Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake.


Strolling through a used bookstore in the capital.


Standing in the midday heat on Nguyen Hue in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.


Walking through a golden rice field.


A trip across a Mekong tributary on a questionable old ferry.


Lemon tea, drunk on plastic stools in a house in Hanoi.


Marveling at Ho Chi Minh City's Bitexco tower.


A walk through the forest in Quang Tri Province.

Photos courtesy of SSEAYP Vietnam 2016

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