Hanoi has seen many generations come and go and has inevitably changed over the years.
The Nha Nam Media & Culture JSC and L’Espace held a discussion entitled “How Hanoi Has Changed” on the night of September 10, with speakers including architects, poets, photographers, and researchers with a deep understanding of Vietnam’s capital. The discussion was attended by hundreds of people from different generations who all share one thing in common: a love of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
It has been 61 years since the French Army retreated from Hanoi. They left behind two Hanoi’s; the Hanoi strongly influenced by France in regards to culture, architecture, lifestyle, and people, and the Hanoi of Vietnam.
Speakers and participants agreed that the Hanoi of the past and the Hanoi of today both have their own beauty. Modern buildings and beautiful street scenes mark the modern Hanoi but the environment has been damaged somewhat.
Not only Hanoi has changed but also its residents. The human diversity in the capital expands constantly as people from other provinces and countries come to live and work. People at the discussion agreed that retaining the beauty of Hanoi involves awareness among everyone, not just city leaders.
Ms. Vi Thuy Linh, a poet who writes about Hanoi, said: “I have been to Italy and France and loved the ice cream I found there, but the ice cream I had in Hanoi as a child has a special meaning that nothing can compare with.” Agreeing, Mr. Pho Duc Tung, an architect, said that people always see wonderful things when they are children and tend to think the place of their childhood is the most beautiful place they have ever seen. “Maybe for the young generation, today’s Hanoi is the most beautiful city they have seen,” he said.