Perserverance

I stumbled onto what counts as his property while exploring the massive spread of Binh Hung Hoa cemetery in western Ho Chi Minh City. Nestled among the graves, he welcomed us in and promptly offered me rice wine. After several shots and minutes, it came out to my friend and translated for me, that three of his family members had died on the same day, only one week ago. His handwritten note explains their names, relationships and times of death. Mother, Son in law and brother in law.

This image has been in my mind since I captured it only several hours ago. But it has only come as a recent thought that this man was surrounded by death on all sides. Physically with graves all around him, and assuming mentally since these recent tragedies. But in true Vietnamese style, deaths are less mourned, and more celebrated, with typical funerals lasting for three days gathered at the family’s house. It would never have been knowable that that day took place so recently by his character. Warm, friendly and welcoming, also in accordance with Vietnamese ways.

He gave me another very welcome, but unexpected insight into live and living.