Interpreting the meaning of animals in Vietnam

Songbirds of Hanoi

Keeping songbirds is very popular among the Vietnamese. Cages are often hung on opposite sides of a café or restaurant, encouraging the birds to sing harmonious melodies to one another. Vietnamese bird enthusiasts place their bird’s cages side by side so that they will learn new songs from one another.

Hanoi Pet Rescue

For Vietnamese people, Tet is the biggest holiday of the year. During this time, locals rid themselves of unwanted household clutter…. including their pets. Cats are especially susceptible to abandonment, as they as seen as ‘unlucky’ during the New Year. The sound of a cat’s meow in Vietnamese is meo meo – which has the same sound as ngheo ngheo (‘poor’). This cat was taken in and cared for by the Hanoi Pet Rescue.

Dogs in cage

Halong Bay Dog

The village of Vong Vieng, population 250, floats on blue plastic barrels between a clutch of islands in Halong Bay. A small dog is tied to a post on the wooden landing, his barks echoing across the bay. The tour guide explains that every house has a dog and that they serve three specific roles. They are used to hunt animals, they protect the floating villages, and they are eaten.

Mickey the Macaw

‘Mickey the Macaw’ lives outside a hairdressing salon, in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh. His beautiful plumage and talented mimicking draws customers into the shop.

Pet Dog

Vietnamese Chickens


About Author

<a href="" rel="tag">Rhiannon Smith</a>

Rhiannon Smith is in her final year of a Bachelor of Journalism/Communications, majoring in Public Relations, at the University of Queensland. She is no stranger to South-east Asia, having visited Vietnam a number of times. However, this time Rhiannon is armed with a camera and ready to share her experiences with the world. Whilst in Vietnam, she hopes to adapt, build upon and further hone her journalism skills.

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