Entry Title: "The Mekong Delta"
Name: Sumesh Senan , India
Category and Expertise: Culture, Non-Professional
The Mekong Delta Region in South Vietnam is home to approximately 16 million people. Life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and it’s interesting to observe how life unfolds in the river basin. People share a rather obscure relationship with the water with many living in houses erected on logs to overcome floods in the delta during rainy season. Within the river basin, highest floods can reach up to six meters and last for 6 months. Life in the region is simple and is deep rooted with water.
Reports also state that dozens of companies from industrial zones in the Mekong Delta are heavily polluting the environment by discharging waste directly into rivers and waterways. The trade activities and flourishing industries in the region are a direct threat. The floating markets of Mekong is a meeting place where local folk being their produce especially vegetables and fruits to sell. Yet people fish, drink and also bathe in the same polluted water without realizing the health risks.
What fascinated me most about Mekong was its way of life. The Architecture, people, culture and trade intertwine into a sailing symphony. The myriad looks of a hard working middle class striving to make ends meet was simultaneously overtaken by zillions of wealthy tourists who plunder Vietnam, capitalizing on its cheap currency and hotel rates.