Last week, Viet Nam News asked readers to share their thoughts about the way Vietnamese youngsters applied the global "Kiss cam" trend, which caught on quickly. We have received different comments from our readers. Some find it funny, some do not. Here are some of the best answers:
Hoang Giang, Vietnamese, Ha Noi
It is normal to imitate other cultures, but you should understand what you are doing. If you want to copy a trend, you should adjust it to suit our traditional culture.
As I know, the kiss cam is a social game that started in arenas and stadiums during sporting events in the US and Canada. It is intended as a light-hearted diversion from the main event during a timeout or advertisement break.
In Viet Nam, it might sound the same but it is completely different from the well-known namesake social game at sporting events in the US and Canada. It has annoyed people who suddenly got kissed by strangers.
Kissing on the lips often happens between lovers in private spaces – it is our traditional culture.
I think if you suddenly kiss somebody without his or her permission, the act could be considered sexual harassment. How would you feel if your partner suddenly got a kiss from a stranger on the street? It is not only ridiculous and annoying. If my partner was unexpectedly kissed by a guy when she was walking side by side with me, I would teach him a lesson!
Ashish, Indian, Vijayawada
The most important thing is the way you are taking this trend. If you take it for fun, it is okay, other wise it looks odd. And it should not happen in front of kids.
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi
I look forward to the first time a ‘kiss cam' catches a businessman who said he was on a work trip kissing his secretary, or a university student who said he was sick and couldn't do the final exam. Be careful!
Technology is way ahead of the consumer. As for going up to a complete stranger-be careful or you could get a slap or punch. There are scams where you get distracted and then pick pocketed. No one gets to touch me when I travel.
Peer pressure always turns out to be for silly and stupid things. Drink one more beer then jump off the roof! No one says I am going to clean the park and give away flowers - who is with me?
Do not get a tattoo because your older brother did. Do not take off your helmet because your uncle does. Respect yourself and others. Do not steal a kiss or you could be charged with assault.
Instead of following TV, movies and self-promoting celebrities, perhaps Viet Nam should look closer to home. Singapore is a small city-state, but it is clean, not corrupt and rich. If you need to imitate and emulate, then look to the merlion (lion-headed fish) of Singapore rather than Hollywood and MTV.
Quynh Nhung, Vietnamese, Prague
This trend is funny. It is just a way to encourage youngsters more confident to express their emotion. Common, it is just a surprise kiss! It is a joke! Do not take yourself too seriously. We are young.
I saw some video clip of a kiss cam on YouTube, posted by a group of Vietnamese youngsters. It was cute.
I heard many people, both young and middle-aged, criticised the way the youngsters applied the trend in Viet Nam, especially after a video titled "Mot ngay dao pho" (A day around the city) was posted on Youtube.
The wave of criticism was big so that the youngsters apologised few days later. So, the criticism should end here! It is enough!
Le Vu Bao Anh, Vietnamese, Ha Noi
"Ridiculous!" – that's the only word I can say about the so-called Kiss Cam clip of youngsters in HCM City.
In fact, they didn't really understand Kiss Cam trends, and applied them wrongly without considering Vietnamese culture, which is still influenced by Confucianism.
Although the head of the group admitted that they set up everything, including actors and actresses to record the clip, it has helped send a bad message for those who have no idea about the origin of the trend – you can kiss anyone, as long as you like it, not mentioning about hygiene or being hit!
As far as I know, the Kiss Cam usually occurs in sporting events, where audience members are encouraged to smooch when picked out by a camera operator during a break in play. The kiss is then broadcast to the rest of the stadium via large video screens.
The most important part is that the camera chooses couples, instead of strangers. Sometimes, the machine wrongly picks up two strangers sitting next to each other, and it may create awkward kiss cam moments.
In a basketball game in the Urals City of Chelyabinsk in Russia in April, a man received a sharp slap in the face rather a smooch from the woman next to him when he tried to kiss her. The camera recorded the clip and it was uploaded to YouTube.
Global trends, in general, are funny and harmless. I've seen many young people post photos in response to the Belly Button Challenge – attempting to reach around one's back and touch one's belly button to prove one is svelte enough to do so, or the Ice Bucket Challenge – a choice between donating to charity and dumping ice on one's head. No matter what it is or how it is carried out, it should bring fun to participants and viewers.
I am a Vietnamese person. I am not too old and not too young, but I do not know the way youngsters think nowadays. They do many ridiculous things in public places, and violence has occurred in many schools while our nation's future depends on them. It is an alarm ring for our society. However, we should not blame all for them. Instead of judging, we should educate them. — VNS