I wasn’t going to post anything about this picture, so I just put it up on Flickr as an end to nothing, and it all went a bit mad with 133 “favorites” in the last 36 hours (that’s a lot for me).
I could say that it is a comment on the relationship between the old communist era and the rising dragon that is modern Vietnam (a sort of quasi- communism with an urge to make money, and lots of it).
Lenin’s statue stands in a square off Dien Bien Phu street, quite close to the Vietnamese Military Museum. Dien Bien Phu street carries the name of the famous 1954 victory in the First Indochina war. The Viet Minh commanded by Vo Nguyen Giap (later to wreak havoc on US forces) defeated the French imperialist forces at the city of Dien Bien Phu in the North West highlands close to the Laotian border. French Indochina came apart after the defeat.
There were several official looking people around when I took the photo, and there were a couple of Chinese tour groups milling around. No one was really getting annoyed about the kids playing football in Lenin’s shadow. The kids were having fun. A few hours later, walking back from the museum, the footballers had gone to be replaced with a couple of skaters practicing kerb grinds along the edge of Lenin’s dais.
Social commentary on the face of modern communism? No, I think it’s just a reasonably good picture.