The photo series about Tho Ha village in 2014 begins with a quest to re-discover Vietnam after a long time living away from home.
I was fortunate to spend part of my childhood inside a village. But when I was growing up, I spent most of my time in the city.
In 2014, I was introduced to Tho Ha village by a couple of backpackers. My first impression of Tho Ha was a feeling of familiarity. I feel like I have found a part of my childhood. Since then, I have come back here many times, to feel Tho Ha vibe and shape my emotions more clearly.
I came back here so many times that I became a familiar face to the people here. I was invited to visit a village official’s house, and also admired the family’s “incense tree”, met relatives and neighbors, and was also invited to stay at their home.
In a short but meaningful time, I felt like I was a person of Tho Ha. This series of photos is a record of my trips to Tho Ha in 2014, as part of my journey to find myself, overcome the reverse culture shock when returning from Australia to Vietnam. It helps me recall the meaning of a typical cultural feature of the Vietnamese nation: “the village system”.
“The secret of their strength lies in the nature of their society. The foundation is the village.” - Philip Jones Griffith, Vietnam Inc., 1971
’Til next time,