Minorities in Vietnam

Vietnam has a great variety of different minorities. From South to North there are many differences and as well a lot of connecting issues. When I first arrived here I had the idea to get in closer contact with some of the ethnic tribes and to do a photo reportage about it. Due to my incapacity to learn the language and other duties I had to full fill at the same time this didn't work out. Nevertheless I tried several times and as being stubborn I came along someone who is doing his post graduate studies about minorities and who could speak English. He invited me to the Central Highlands and gave me some opportunity as well at other locations. And than there was a change which I couldn't predict or at least didn't see ind advance.

Coming from Germany and thinking in this terms I thought that most of the minorities would be kind of proud to show off their colourful costumes on any possible opportunity. When I arrived in  the Central highlands I found quite the opposite. There are still people wearing their costumes but mostly at some special occasions, religious festivities and alike. A lot of musicians, dancers and theatre players still use them. But there where as well a lot of people who agreed to get photographed but didn't have any costume at all and had to borrow them from different neighbours. 

When I took photos of them I noticed, that especially the man didn't feel comfortable as a lot of the old costumes had just a cloth in front and in the back, a kind of loincloth. The more elaborate and decent dresses of the woman didn't pose any problem at all. I realised that many of them are just wearing "normal" clothes every day and don't want to be put into a drawer with the name minority drawn all over it. The image I show here are from a meeting of students from different minorities in Hanoi. It has been a great experience taking images with them.

Kon Tum - in the middle of Vietnam

Hanoi takes some time off