Friday, October 16, 2009

Long Bien festival

An important symbol of Blue Dragon's work in Hanoi is the Long Bien Bridge.

Once a beautiful landmark, famous for being designed by Mr Eiffel himself, it is now a rickety bridge which is home to street kids, beggars, drug dealers, and a night market that thrives and bustles with traders and thieves alike.

But it's still at the heart of Hanoi, and of Hanoians.

Last week the local community held the first ever Long Bien festival, intended to celebrate and recognise the place that the Bridge has in Hanoi's history and spirit.

Blue Dragon got involved because so many of our kids live around the bridge... or on it... or under it...

Follow this link to see photos that the Blue Dragon kids took early this year of the Bridge, as part of a project we organised.

Some of our boys performed a dragon dance, which is thought to bring good luck. The first photo below shows our kids doing the dance along the bridge - and that's another bridge, called Chuong Duong, in the background. Both Long Bien and Chuong Duong span the Red River.

The following 2 photos were taken by Vincent Baumont. The first is taken looking up at the Bridge, which usually isn't quite so festive...

... and the next shows our boys under the body of the dragon.

Oh, and a quick bit of trivia: Long Bien literally means, in English, "Dragon of the River Banks."


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