Karaoke in Vietnam

Arseny Neskhodimov

Published on 24/11/14

© Arseny Neskhodimov

How Viet­namese have fun?

They prefer to have fun in karaoke. It’s come into fash­ion 15 years and now its essen­tial part of Viet­namese soci­ety. Nowadays build­ings with a sign «KARAOKE» can been seen every­where, even in  tiny towns, where pop­u­la­tion 1000 people. In big cit­ies such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh  num­bers of  karaokes estim­ated in thousands.

The karaoke in Viet­nam looks like a five or even higher store build­ing with rooms inside. Rooms can be from 5 sq. meters to 100 sq. meters. The price var­ies from 50 cents to 100$ per hour. Every each karaoke has its own design. There is a fierce com­pet­i­tion between the own­ers. Man­agers of karaoke often reluct­antly let me take pic­tures of rooms being afraid that I could steal their design, espe­cially from the expens­ive ones.  A great deal of money has been spent to make rooms look incom­par­ably beautiful.

I have seen rooms that the price of repair was over 50000 $, the rooms that can accom­mod­ate hun­dred people. Even wed­dings are cel­eb­rated in karaoke.
Facades of build­ing are glow­ing with neon lights to attract cos­tumers. It’s really hard to pass by KARAOKE without noti­cing a build­ing. It stands out from the rest res­id­en­tial build­ings by shin­ing for one hun­dred meters away. It works as a giant magnet.

Viet­namese never goes to the same karaoke his choice is ran­dom. He never knows in which karaoke he will be singing today. He doesn’t remem­ber the name of karaoke cause the major­ity of them are called just KARAOKE. He just comes it across. He spends there an hour before head­ing home. He drinks a couple of beers and rarely smokes. There are no win­dows. He sings impec­cably.
Viet­namese lan­guage has a con­sid­er­able large num­bers of vow­els. Prob­ably for this reason to sing for Viet­namese as nat­ural as to speak. Every­body is able to sing here. They really enjoy singing, they go singing even dur­ing the lunch­time being abso­lutely sober
To run karaoke busi­ness it’s a dream for many young people. Whatever hap­pens in the world people never stop eat and go singing.  After hard work­ing day, after hav­ing les­sons Viet­namese goes to karaoke. They go singing after meet­ing with friends, col­leges, wed­dings, birth­days and even funer­als. In other words any party ends up in karaoke. There is even a say­ing exists  “A party without karaoke is not a party”

I have pho­to­graphed karaoke for 4 months. Espe­cially I was in inter­ested in design of rooms all rooms that I have seen never been the same. I took pic­tures of the staff that work there. They earn just 150 $ a month and I come to con­clu­sion that they get this job not for a salary but for hav­ing an oppor­tun­ity to sing for free.

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