On October 20th every year it is Vietnamese Women’s Day. A day to show love and respect to the women in society and of course there was a big party in Thon Tha village!
Normally the women in the village are very controlled, most of them work in the fields all day and then have their families to care for when they get back. Mr Quyen’s wife doesn’t ever drink. But this is a day where they can completely let loose! They were drinking, eating, drinking, singing, drinking, dancing, drinking from midday to late into the evening. Rice wine was the alcohol of the occasion, as usual. There were also two types of alcohol that we’d never seen before, one was corn wine, the other was red and tasted like it might be petrol.
There were no men allowed, only the Westerners who were staying in the village were accepted. We didn’t arrive until later in the evening, knowing that the alcohol would be flowing freely! This was the scene when we got there…
It was not an option to not drink when you’re offered. We were lucky enough that they accidentally gave us water a couple of times! Almost every single bottle you can see in shot is not water or tea or anything soft… it’s home made potent rice wine! We joined in with the singing and then the traditional dancing started…
First off was a stick jumping dance, which we got the hang of fairly quickly after a few squashed ankles! This song was in our heads for days afterwards!
Note the woman appearing half way through to pour rice wine into the mouths of the women working the sticks. Pete did the sticks for quite a while and had the same thing happen to him!
This was the next one…
After that there was some amazing singing by a few Vietnamese ladies on stage, one Western visitor fell off the stage dancing and a lot more women chasing other women around to pour wine into their mouths.
We left before we could get collared with more wine!
It was an incredible incredible thing to be a part of. One of the many amazing insights into local life in Thon Tha.