hello from hanoi: harlem shake


More musings on food to appear soon, but this to say that Sundays are the best time to take a walk in the city. Everyone is out – hale old women playing badminton, couples cuddling like they can’t get enough of each other, scores of wedding photographers and pretty bridespeople posing by the lake. It’s an anthropological dream.

Today, there was the filming of Harlem Shake Hanoi.


Or is it Gangnam Shake? I can’t confess to know much about memes these days, having forcibly weaned myself off Tumblr. So when we stumbled into a crowd of hip Viet youth near Le Thach today, and they suddenly burst into a fit of strange shaking… our jaws collectively dropped and stayed on the floor for a while.

As a tourist in Hanoi, I got to see vendors, the Old Quarter, guards, cultural stuff… but hadn’t much inkling as to what people my age did most of the time. Well. Here was one thing, at least – everyone loves Youtube, I guess!


We honestly thought it was a tourism video (and exchanged mildly horrified glances) as they ended their filming stint with a great shout, “Welcome to Hanoi!!!!!!” (Extra exclamation marks necessary to convey all that youthful energy.) Then I asked the dude with the microphone, who told me it was a response to the Harlem Shake video… with a tourism twist.

Well, then.

The video isn’t up on Youtube yet, since it was filmed just today. But you can tell everyone you saw it here first.

IMG_0231 - Copy

Edit: you can now watch the video here. It is a strange, strange piece of work. You can also have a look at all the other photos on my public album here on Facebook.

This entry was published on February 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm. It’s filed under Hanoi, Travel, Vietnam and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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