As we walk through the streets of the Old Quarters in Hanoi, I admire the 3 main factors that condition an individual’s spirit (according to Alejandro Jodorowsky), i.e. 1. family, 2. society and 3. culture. It mesmerizes me to notice the spiritual peace in the vietnamese people, as I hear vaguely in the background the honks of the motorbikes that move like ants in a forest. These are the highlights I have seen on my second day:
- People are extremely rooted to mother Earth (literally), everything they do is in Maalaasana pose (squatting). When they prepare or work on things, they also use the Earth (ground). They do put plastic, paper or fabric, but the conceptual part of using the Earth as a table, amazes me.
- Little chairs and tables are used in restaurants and coffee shops because it is the closest they can be to that squatting position. Very convenient for people with toddlers and children.
- Jaywalking ROCKS! This is a skill you acquire as you embrace the fact that stop lights are only a “suggestion”. I was taught by one of my coworkers that your hand is the key. How to cross a street: a. Take your hand out to the side, b. Proceed to cross the street, c. make a “shushing” movement up and down. They don’t run you over, they just move around you, but no, they do not stop.
- Good spirits- people gather around to eat together, to interact face to face, to prepare for the day and to COOK. They exhale a sense of peace and tranquility. Having the least, they are the happiest and calmest people being with family and friends, and a good old pot of Pho***.
- Mothering all the way! My specialty one. Yes mothers and grandmothers do everything with the children, and the kids learn to stay calm and just be present in the moment. Whether they are chopping basil, pounding meat, or eating noodles, kids just observe.