Chaos value

My last experience in Hanoi was frightened. When I returned to the hotel late at night and prepared to cross the beautiful Ly Thai To street, dozens of motorcycles suddenly appeared, roaring in a crazy and very deadly race. It is a "game" that one car is chased by all the other cars around the city at a very high speed.

I have witnessed many such ridiculous races living in Hanoi before 2010, but this time the "game" seems more wild. To my amazement, the riders now include young girls, two on a motorbike, behaving dangerously like boys and nobody wearing a helmet. With insane speed and acrobatics to follow the pursued team, the risk of death on the spot is very high.

The crowd in a flash disappeared into the darkness of the night, as fast as it appeared. When the quiet street returned, I began to think. These young people enjoy opportunities that their parents do not even have in dreams. The previous generations have gone through many difficulties of the two wars and the subsidy period, the new generation can study, succeed, exchange, travel ... why they risk their lives a how unreasonable like that?

I couldn't help but think of a close Vietnamese friend, close to my age. When she was a child, American bombings escalated, her school was evacuated from Hanoi. It was also a dangerous night ride on two wheels, but in a different form. She and her classmates spent a long time with farmers, cycling every few weeks back to the city with their teachers, only to be with their parents for a few hours. They rode their bikes in the dark to get back to their evacuation place at dawn.

Remembering this story, I was bewildered: how could a much easier life lead to such troubled values? I also think about many other signs of social disruption that I often hear: the explosion in divorces, the exponential increase in frivolous issues, consumerism in order to impress. others, dependence on debt rather than labor. Certainly these problems have existed in all eras, but they seem to be exacerbated among young people in times of economic growth.

This is not only a Vietnamese problem. In the 1950s, the movie Rebel without a cause shows how rich young people risked their lives with "chicken game." In a "chicken game", two riders rushed towards each other on a fierce road until one or both of them could die. The expensive cars used by these wealthy young men to risk life were beyond the reach of the average American worker at the time.

This highly successful film depicts the moral decline of a very wealthy group in society. But it is said that James Dean, the star actor who played the male lead, died in a road accident at the age of 24, before the film was released. He was also fascinated by the unique cars and unconscious acceleration.

In the 1980s, Spain experienced a period of social turmoil. For decades, under the fascist dictator Francisco Franco, the country was under the moral guise of conservative and patriarchal Catholic thought. But after Franco's death in 1975, with the transition to democracy, a "discovery" appeared. Young people have suddenly taken part in a meaningless race to increase the number and complexity of sexual intercourse.

For Vietnam, the story of confused young people is strongly told by Nguyen Huy Thiep in his wonderful novel, My Dear Age 20. It tells the story of young men who are struggling with drugs, passionate about racing and totally not interested in studying, working or taking care of their families. Like other works of Nguyen Huy Thiep, this novel conveys a sense of deep moral chaos.

The United States in the 1950s, Spain in the 1980s and Vietnam in the 2000s had something in common. In all three countries, it was an unprecedented period of economic prosperity and strong, broken social transformation. And in any case, the sudden generosity of sources of income and opportunities makes the discipline and sacrifice mentality of the old generation seem unreasonable to many young people.

These conversions do not last forever. Sooner or later, a new equilibrium will be formed. The US and Spain today are advanced economies with good society. Concerns about unjust rebels or indiscriminate sex have disappeared.

I have no doubt that Vietnam will someday become an advanced economy, and I am not really worried about the prolonged moral decline. In fact, I am impressed by the strong work ethic and strong sense of responsibility of the Vietnamese people.

But this transformation can be expensive. On the way to new, improved society, families

As a lover of Hanoi, I see another disastrous consequence from this period of valuable confusion. The unique character of a city can easily be lost during periods of rapid economic growth. On their journey to find an immediate profit, many people are ready to destroy anything, and push anyone away. In doing so, they are backed by buyers of new apartments and shoppers in the new shopping center - people who aspire to show consumerism even when they have a great deal of debt.

Hanoi needs multi-party commitment to maintain its charm and liveliness. "She" needs to be understood and protected, for the happiness and prosperity of its residents when all this turmoil will end. But the young men and women enjoying this prosperity did not care about the great things of the city where they grew up.

And this thought was what most frightened me as the roaring motorbikes disappeared toward the old town, in the darkness of the night.

Martin Rama