Women capture capital's charm

HA NOI — Colourful photographs of the capital captured by expatriate members of the Ha Noi International Women's Club (HIWC) are on display at the organisation's annual photo exhibition and contest.

Seventeen members contributed 99 photos under the theme "1,000 years! Celebrate Ha Noi", which can be viewed at the Sofitel Plaza Ha Noi.

Visitors to the opening ceremony voted Counting Money by Colemont Davy as the first prize winner. Second prize went to How Old Did You Say Ha Noi Was? by Kirsty Mason.

Davy is a Belgian citizen who has lived in Ha Noi since 2006. He tries to capture the simple beauty of life through his lens. His winning photograph was from a series of vendors who sell fruit o­n the street.

Second place winner Mason has been living in Viet Nam for two years.

"I'm planning lots of trips next year with my trusty camera and an upgrade to a new digital model," she says.

Another entrant, Barbara Barbu, has been living in the capital for almost two years. "Like everyone, I have taken pictures of Ha Noi and its people," she says.

"Right before Tet (Lunar New Year), I enjoyed seeing the peach blossoms, kumquat trees and many other trees and flowers that were for sale o­n the roadside."

She submitted her favourite photos of flower markets and villages to the contest. "One evening I was at the flower market when trucks were unloading huge bunches of flowers. Happily, I had my camera with me," she says.

The photos are o­n sale in the Sofitel Plaza lobby until next Sunday. Thirty per cent of the proceeds will go to o­ngoing HIWC charitable projects benefiting families in the greater Ha Noi area throughout the year, says Kathy Ramsey, HIWC's co-ordinator.

HIWC is a non-profit group formed by 30 diplomatic ladies in 1986. Today, the club is a dynamic organisation with an average annual membership of 250 women from more than 50 countries and territories.

The club's main objectives are to promote the development of social, charitable and cultural activities in the Ha Noi-based expatriate community and the people of Viet Nam. It is also a forum for expatriate women to meet and discuss issues of common interest regarding their personal and professional lives in the country.