Vietnamese youth escape in public places


HUE, Vietnam — In Vietnam, 60 percent of the population is younger than 30. They seek independence and want to be respected, but they face immense uncertainty. 

Unemployment for those between the ages of 15 and 24 has been increasing. Many work low-paying jobs and must postpone marriage. Some live with their parents well into their 20s. Pressure to achieve comes from all directions: parents, government, media. In a culture that values family and national duty, this demographic strives to succeed.  

And they need to escape. For Vietnam’s youth, private moments happen in public spaces: crowded cafes, busy streets, shopping trips with friends. These places offer young people the chance to forget themselves and their challenges. They can disappear as they enter a world of other young people entertaining themselves.