The Hungry Cub is Coming Out

It’s my first New Year experience in a foreign country and I had been told that Vietnam is pretty laid back, so I was not expecting anything fun happening tonight. But the beat of the music drummed the night away like there’s no tomorrow and I just have to capture the moment in a few words.
While everybody else is having a party, i’m at the ninth floor of the building where we hold office, hammering my keyboard away in tune with the loud beatbox that seem to be the only lifeblood of Phu My Hung tonight. Overlooking the great dance of lights and smoke at two very strategic venues in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, we await the grand finale of great Ho Chi Minh City countdown.
I tried mingling with the people earlier on, enjoying a more subtle sound during the early hours of the night at the parks. I can see great thirst for some good clean fun in the eyes of the young people who have gathered there. Some were already in a party mode so they were moving along the beat of the music, some are more tame, watching at the background and wondering with great awe that this party is unfolding something really enticing to them. It is like looking at the eyes of young kids who had their first sight of a very beautiful and full colored rainbow. The kind of look you see when a kid is ready to jump into the lake with his best friend on a summer afternoon.
But I had to go back to the building for work. Still the sound is very audible from outside, so I just had to open a window to hear both the music and the bustling cars and motorbikes in the usually empty night streets. I feel the sound getting louder and louder by the minute, becoming more defiant, breaking what used to be silenced night in one of the wealthiest areas in Vietnam. The sound of the music seem to be signaling the coming of a new era for Vietnam, as young people from almost everywhere around the area gather around the heavily lit stage, dancing and shouting, showing Vietnam that they are never more ever ready for changes. The young cub is growing and it is ready for the world.
Two minutes to midnight and the music ceased, getting ready for the final countdown. The display of lights stopped and the stage seemed to be a bit darkened. A voice started speaking in Vietnamese and the crowd responded accordingly. A few more minutes and I hear the voice doing a countdown. We opened the curtains around our office to see what will happen, and just about the time that the counting stopped, all at the same time, I saw fireworks from nearby District 1, fireworks on the stage on the nearby venue and a number of people moving singularly to the direction of the stage. New Year has come and I know for a fact that this young Vietnam has embraced a new outlook, one that is more open for a global perspective. This young cub is coming out, I can see the face of Vietnam changing, developing. I can see people becoming more clear about their wants and their needs. I can see that Vietnam has opened its doors to the rest of the world. And I know that whatever changes there will be in Vietnam, the open doors will stay open for the people of Vietnam and the rest of the world. I feel the welcoming embrace of Vietnam and I know I’m right where I wanted to be tonight.


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