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How a Viral Video is Challenging Vietnam’s Traditional Gender Roles

It’s an age-old story – a couple breaks up and someone asks to be repaid for various expenditures made during the relationship. This scene was captured in 2 recent YouTube videos which quickly went viral on Vietnamese social networks and, surprisingly, have spurred a (somewhat) serious dialogue about gender roles in Vietnam.

Vietmeme, a wonderful website which “keeps tabs on social media chatter in Vietnam,” recently published an extensive article on these breakup videos and their effect on Vietnamese netizens:

“The original clip also proved inspiration for dozens of videoblog rants for Vietnamese bloggers and for parody and sketch artists, who took the age-old dichotomy at the root of the incident — love or money — and gave it a contemporary Vietnamese updating.”

It found that these videos prompted a plethora of parodies, remixes and memes, which, while often comedic in nature, have served to challenge long-held gender roles in Vietnam:

“The underlying point of friction — one that has been playing out in China for several years now — will only continue to become more prevalent as the many imperatives of wealth and status in Vietnam butt up against traditional notions of Confucian behavior and gender roles here.”

Will memes become a legitimate forum to discuss serious social issues in Vietnam?

Head over to Vietmeme for further analysis and to see the various parodies, remixes and memes that were born from the original Youtube clips.


[Photo via kerolic]

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