Video depicting Vietnam’s ‘river kids’ melts netizens’ hearts

A video clip capturing kids who live on a Mekong Delta river tributary has touched local netizens’ hearts, as it describes their rustic lifestyle and highlights their childish wishes.

The four-minute documentary “Thi Song Cu Chay” (Down the Stream) focuses on a group of kids in Long Xuyen, the capital city of An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta, newswire Vietnamplus reported.

The short video, directed by Mai Huyen Chi with camerawork by Ta Nguyen Hiep, one of Vietnam’s emerging young short film makers, was posted on YouTube on International Children’s Day (June 1), which was observed in several countries.

The clip has caused quite a stir among the Vietnamese netizen community, attracting almost 750,000 views, 40,000 likes and 20,000 shares on social media only one day after being uploaded, according to newswire Zing.

“Thi Song Cu Chay,” which has English subtitles, offers a haunting glimpse into the floating lives of the unkempt-looking kids, who live with their families on sampans along the river.

Most of them are denied schooling, peddle lottery tickets, sell vegetables or scavenge for fish to help their parents eke out a living.

They said they have never lived on land before and expressed plain wishes such as living in a comfy house on land with dogs and cats around, or getting a job to pay off their mothers’ debts.

Some found the river polluted and yearned for all the fun that the on-land life would bring.

Some little girls were adamant on not getting married when they grow up, as rampant sights of women physically abused by their drunk husbands have put them off the marriage prospect.

The film also features the idyllic yet destitute life in the area, which is crisscrossed with canals and river tributaries.

The film’s director and cameraman cherished the project for a long time, Vietnamplus said. 

The crew is working on plans to raise funds for kids in Long Xuyen’s waterway areas, and mount charity campaigns in poor, remote areas across the country.