Hanoi in the eyes of young beholders

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Younger generation pay their tribute in different ways

Movie-in-the-making: A scene from one of the short films, made by a group of young people, to be included in "Hanoi, I love you", which tells of love stories in the capital. The film is expected to be released in October 2010 to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the capital. (Photo courtesy of the HanoiILoveYou project)

 "It's Hanoi through their eyes, Hanoi in their eyes."

Hoang Hoa Trung is speaking of postcards hand made by children with different disabilities under a volunteer project that the 20-yearold has been running since last September.

The Long Bien Bridge, the Sword Lake, the street vendors the sights of the capital city are portrayed by 13 children of the Friendship Village in the former Ha Tay Province, now part of Hanoi.

Under the Thiep nhan ai (loving cards) project, every Sunday, a group of seven volunteers conducts a workshop where the children are taught to make the cards designed by members of the project.

The finished products are then supplied to several shops in Hanoi and are sold at exhibitions or fairs. They have become popular among tourists and can also be bought online at www.thiepnhanai.com.

According to Trung, the project generates an average of VND2 million (US$105.4) per month and this money is given to the children to pay for their school fees and other necessities.

The project promotes Hanoi through the eyes of the children, some who have never visited the capital's major sights.

"The children have been able to make cards that are pretty close to our original designs," Trung says.

Trung and other youths are paying tributes to the capital city on its 1,000th anniversary in very different ways.

"˜Hanoi, I love you'

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, Vu Quynh Ha, along with members of the "Hanoi, I love you" project, plans to bring a collection of love stories featuring the capital city.

Ha, studying film production in Los Angeles, has been inspired by the movie "Paris, Je t'aime" (2006) and "New York, I love you" (2009), to take up this project.

Ha said they have received about 25 film scripts since February.

"We have completed the production for one story," Ha said. "It's titled Hanoi hoa (Hanoi flower), and is about a guy asking his best female friend to help him bring a flower every day to the house a girl he loves. Finally, he realizes that the one he has fallen in love with is his best friend, not the girl."

The project operates independently, from casting to choosing film crew members and seeking sponsors. Anyone can submit their ideas to the website www.hanoiemyeuanh.com. The members will judge whether the idea or the script can be turned into a film.

"If we like your idea, we will put you in contact with other members in our network who can help you with directing, writing the script or casting. We're here to connect people," Ha said.

The movie is expected to be completed on October 10 and will consist of five to ten love stories that happen in or around Hanoi. Ha says they plan to show it on national television and are considering taking it to domestic and international film festivals.

Online library

Ngo Quy Duc hopes that anyone looking for any information about Hanoi, past or present, can find it at his online library www.myhanoi.com.vn.

But most of all, he wants his peers to learn, understand and better appreciate the place they live in.

Established in 2008 out of the idea of having one comprehensive online resource on Hanoi, Duc and other members of the MyHanoi group, with the help of some local historians, constantly update information about Hanoi on the website and even conduct research about festivals and craft villages.

Duc says he hopes to have information on the online library translated into English, Chinese, Japanese and French.

The most difficult task now is providing updated information about Hanoi, like the changes in street names, schools and new areas.

"I think young people should at least know a bit about the history of the capital," he said. "It's just better that way."

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