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