Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – For months, every morning and evening along roads in Hà Nội a young man on a fancy motorbike has been offering pedestrians free rides.
Hà Trung Hiếu or Harry Hà, 26, an IT engineer in Hà Nội, has been offering rides to those travelling on the same route to work as him.
"Every day, I went to work by motorbike and went alone. And then I thought why not let people go along completely free?” Harry Hà told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper.
“It was also an opportunity to do good deeds expressing my kindness for life and it brought me opportunities to meet and talk to many people that I met by chance”, Harry Hà said.
This also helped complete his long-term photo project on strangers.
He hoped his deeds would spread kindness in society, but some people were cautious and skeptical at first.
“Initially, I was on the road, and I asked those who were waiting buses or xe om (motorbike taxi)”, he said.
“The reaction of the people was surprising at first, since it never happened. And they were rather cautious, and refused”.
Gradually, people began to trust and got on his motorbike.
On his Facebook account, he posted his flexible route from 7am-9am and 6pm-9pm every day through Âu Cơ, Lạc Long Quân, Hoàng Quốc Việt, Cầu Giấy, Duy Tân, Láng, Nguyễn Chí Thanh, Kim Mã and Thanh Niên streets.
Many thought Harry Hà had a lot of free time but in fact he was working in a high-pressure role.
The young man from Hải Phòng City works for a company in information security, with long working hours. Because he spends all day plugged into the computer, he wanted to do something meaningful, he shared.
He also explained the many stops.
In the evening after work, his hobby is to photograph strangers and listen to their stories. So, whoever asked for a ride, he was willing to drive them so he could meet someone new.
On the origin of this idea, Harry Hà said he was inspired by Trần Thế Trung, a director of the FPT Research Institute, who drove passengers along his way to work in his car for free.
"First Mr. Trung encouraged me and then once I visited Japan and saw Japanese people do a lot of good deeds for their community”.
“I wondered why these good things could not be done in Việt Nam?" Harry Hà said.
After posting information on social networks, his friends encouraged his work.
However, some strangers online were still skeptical.
"Maybe in life there is a lot of negativity, so people have lost faith. So, I wanted to do this work to spread positive thoughts to people. At the same time, I also get out of my comfort zone to be more liberal thinking and improve myself", Harry Hà said.
One thousand photos
Harry Hà was born in Hải Phòng and graduated from FPT University with a bachelor’s degree in IT engineering.
After that, he found a good job with a stable income.
However, he thought there was more to life and was determined to do something to enrich his soul.
"I had a passion for taking photos of strangers I met in streets and wanted to go to many different places to discover and experience life,” he said.
So he decided to begin a project of taking 1,000 photos of 1,000 people with 1,000 different stories before the age of 30.
Asked why 1,000 photos, he explained he liked the story Arabian Nights so he took the idea for his project.
"With 1,000 people there would be 1,000 different stories about life. I hoped to learn and recount a thousand and one stories of people through these photos and when I met strangers and talked to them, maybe I could spread kindness to them or they would give me more inspiration for my life ", said Harry Hà.
Once he was wandering to take photograph, he saw an elderly couple dressed for a wedding.
"In the middle of the winter, the old couple did not hesitate to kiss, their eyes filled with emotion and smiles of happiness. Admiring their love, I followed them to take photographs for the whole day", he said.
This post received hundreds of shares on Facebook, thanks to their children.
Afterward, he found out he had taken the last pictures of the couple together, because the man died a week later.
He then found out they were dressed as bride and groom to celebrate their 50th anniversary, as they couldn’t afford wedding photos back then.
“The story of the couple left me the most emotion and also helped me draw a life experience: ‘if you want to do something, do it right now, otherwise there will be no chance’”, he said.
That why he set a target of completing his photo project before turning 30.
“Now I feel regret not starting the project earlier”, Harry Hà said.
“At the age of 20, most of us have to follow on parents’ decisions so it’s difficult to realise our dreams. After that, even as university students we must follow a certain framework of the family and society,” he said.
"Only when we have jobs do we have freedom to pursue our dreams, but till 30 years old, life must be stable, so it is difficult to risk," he added.
“So, I decided to do something extraordinary, before the age of 30 to experience life, then I could make more mature decisions,” Harry Hà said. – VNS