By Minh Phong – Translated by Kim Khanh
8700k vs 9700k streaming
Judges at the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year photo contest, an annual event sponsored by UK-based The Food Awards Company, has selected several submissions by Vietnamese photographers to take home top prizes in the 2021 iteration of the event.
The contest – launched in 2011 to “celebrate the very best in food photography and film from around the world” – accepts photo and video submissions of foods for its various categories, including photographs of food styled for magazines, as well as family themed, food production, and even food in politics categories.
With the competition now in its 10th year, judges sifted through almost 10,500 entries from more than 70 countries before announcing the winners online during a live-streamed event on April 28.
|‘Taste’ shows a young family preparing food in their home in Lichang, Shanxi, China. This photo won the Grand prize at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Li Huaifeng|
Chinese photographer Li Huaifeng took home the grand prize with her submission, titled ‘Taste,’ depicting a young family preparing food in their home in Lichang, Shanxi.
|‘Enjoying’ depicts a street vendor selling che (sweet soup) and tao pho (soya bean curd) in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. The photo won the ‘Street Food’ category at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Tran Viet Van.|
Meanwhile, Vietnamese lensman Tran Van Viet triumphed in the ‘Street Food’ category with his submission ‘Enjoying’ – a magnificent shot of a street vendor selling che (sweet soup) and tao pho (soya bean curd) in Hoi An City.
“[Hoi An City is] an old town and popular tourist destination in central Vietnam where there are many sweet soup sellers,” Viet said.
“Watching these four young girls passionately eating soup made me feel that life is beautiful despite the ongoing pandemic.”
Thong Nguyen, another Vietnamese photographer, was awarded first prize in the ‘Food at the Table’ category with his photo ‘Breakfast at Weekly Market,’ which depicts locals in a mountainous area of northern Vietnam enjoying pho for breakfast at a local weekly market.
|‘Feeding the Ducks’ shows a farmer feeding a flock of ducks in Vietnam. This photo won second prize in the ‘Food in the Field’ category at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Nguyen Phuoc Hoai|
A photo named ‘Feeding the Ducks,’ snapped by Vietnamese photographer Nguyen Phuoc Hoai, won second prize in the ‘Food in the Field’ category.
Other works by Vietnamese candidates made a shortlist highlighted in a gallery on the contest’s official website.
This year, the finalists’ images will be exhibited at The Royal Photographic Society in Bristol as part of a free exhibition set to run from November 20 to December 12.
|‘Winter Breakfast’ shows locals in a mountainous area of northern Vietnam enjoying breakfast at home. This photo is part of the commended gallery at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Nguyen Huu Thong.|
|‘Lychee Season’ shows a Vietnamese woman arranging lychees in a basket after a harvest. This photo is part of the commended gallery at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Nguyen Huu Thong.|
|‘Fishing Net’ shows fish harvesting in Vietnam. This photo is part of the commended gallery at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Nguyen Phuoc Hoai.|
Just over 120km from Đà Nẵng City, Ta Lang is a new community-based ecotourism village in Tây Giang District, Quảng Nam Province, where many unique Cơ Tu ethnic cultural features are still preserved.
Tây Giang is a mountainous district, bordering Laos and home to the Cơ Tu ethnic minority.
The district maintains many unique cultural values of the Cơ Tu, such as pottery making, knitting, brocade weaving, musical instrument making, wooden statue carving as well as folk songs, folk games and traditional cuisine.
It also has a lot of potential for ecotourism and community-based tourism with valuable and rare primeval forests and a cool climate year-round.
Located on the peaceful Chơr Lang Stream, Ta Lang Village has many unique Cơ Tu cultural traits, such as crafting and performing various types of ethnic musical instruments such as aheen (three-hole flute) and abel (bowstring instrument). Other cultural aspects are preserved and promoted for tourism.
In the village, we had a chance to immerse ourselves as part of the Cơ Tu community when we were greeted in a solemn ceremony for a tranquil life and a formal village entry ceremony.
Visiting the long communal stilt house with the Cơ Tu cultural identity was an interesting experience. Folk games such as walking on stilts, throwing rattan rings, pounding rice and catching fish were also a blast.
We made and enjoyed Cơ Tu traditional cuisine with rustic mountain flavours such as sừng trâu (buffalo horn) cake, cơm lam (steamed rice in bamboo tube), grilled chicken in bamboo tubes and wild vegetables.
After a break, we explored the Chơr Lang Stream with bamboo rafts, contemplated the R’cung waterfalls and trekked in the forest, visiting Axoò Tunnel and cycling to experience the legendary wartime Hồ Chí Minh Trails.
At night, by the flaming fire in the majestic Trường Sơn Mountains and forest with the sounds of drum and bustling gongs, we indulged in Rụm Cây folklore music and tung tung da dá , a dance to worship heaven, in front of the communal house.
“We researched on the internet about Ta Lang Village and when we came here, it was like in our imagination. People here still live in ancient houses like upland villages. With traditional features and fresh air, we felt quite familiar and really liked it,” said tourist Nguyễn Công Khanh from Thừa Thiên Huế.
Ta Lang is an ideal ecotourism site connected between tourist sites in Tây Giang such as Đỉnh Quế (Quế Mountain top), primeval forest, Azut sky gate, Ra-ai waterfalls, and other community tourism villages along the Hồ Chí Minh Highway.
Earlier, the USAID Green Annamites Project was successful in giving Quảng Nam and Thừa Thiên Huế provinces support for sustainable ecotourism development in combination with biodiversity preservation, natural and cultural protection in 2018. The Ta Lang community-based ecotourism village was put into operation and started to serve tourists by the end of 2019.
This model of community ecotourism contributes to properly exploiting Cơ Tu cultural treasures in combination with the development of ecotourism and community-based tourism.
According to Lê Hoàng Linh, vice chairman of People’s Committee of Tây Giang, the district government has invested in building infrastructure, upgrading roads, and the communal house of Ta Lang village to welcome tourists. This is considered a sustainable move to improve people’s livelihoods, contributing to local economic development. VNS