Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Southeast Asian Games!


Southeast Asian Games closing ceremonies’ photo by Jove Francisco.

The 23rd South East Asian Games, which recently concluded in Manila this week, were known as the South East Asian Peninsular Games until 1975 when the SEAP Games Federation accepted Indonesia and the Philippines as members. The name was then changed to South East Asian Games. Beside the normal sports, there are some unusual games such as Arnis from the Philippines, Pencak Silat from Indonesia, Wushu from China, Muay Thai (Thai boxing) from Thailand, Sepak Takraw from Malaysia, dance sport and an underwater swimming where the swimmers wear a huge flipper on their feet.

Vietnamese have little interest in the Olympic Games because they don't have much chance of winning a gold medal but we followed the recent SEA Games in the Philippines every day. To Vietnamese athletes, these games are our Olympics and they train specifically for them.

In the Philippines, as the hosts’ gold medal count rose, there was controversy when the Thai prime minister supposedly accused the hosts of cheating and poor sportsmanship. The two countries are also sport rivals, particularly in the sport of boxing. The accusations led to much commentary in Filipino blogs. Torn and Frayed in Manila felt that the Thais were just being sore losers: “‘Pikon’ is a useful Tagalog word meaning something like ‘bad loser.’ There is no direct equivalent in English and I wonder whether there is one in Thai.” Jove Francisco, meanwhile, suggested that the Thai PM was trying to divert attention from his collapsing domestic popularity.

Two years ago, Viet Nam was the host of the 22nd SEA Games and we finished on top of medal ladder. It was one of the most significant events in Vietnamese history, both culturally and in terms of our sporting history. Even though we win lots of medals in a range of sports, football is the king of sports in Viet Nam and the medal we want the most.

While the media flooded our papers and TV channels with football mania, lots of ex-pat bloggers had something to say, too. No Star Where, an American in Saigon, blogs about the street fever and the sad outcome for Vietnam. Our Man in Hanoi‘s loyalties are divided between England and Vietnam, Newcastle and Hanoi.

On my blog, Vietgod, I write about

Vietnamese fans ride around shouting “Viet Nam Viet Nam”- “Vietnam Vô Đich”(Vietnam are champions!) or shouting the goalscorers’ names till 1 or 2 am non-stop and it is a great advertising opportunity for businesses, with many companies paying heaps of money to make ads on TV and in magazines to publicise their businesses. Some others conduct quizzes in the newspapers and on mobile phones. Everybody tries to make some profit from the interest in the games, by standing along main roads selling flags, hats, head bands or make up for fans.


Photo by Vietnamese God.

So, it's over, and again Vietnam lost to Thailand in the football final but we ended up third on the medal table. On to Thailand in 2007!

11 comments

  • vietmom

    SEA is so much fun! Not to mention that the Vietnamese will do anything for Soccer. A good friend of mine names is first born son Becham in honor of a famouse Soccer player.

  • I remember when i used to work for Catwalk NIghtspot in New World Hotel and we are facing the main street back in 94 – 97. Cant remember when it was actually when Vietnam won the first GOld for football. Man, the 2 million so motorbike sure make a great parade…..well done.

  • It’s a shame to now discover that the Vietnamese were involved in match fixing (read: cheating) in their SEA Games win over Myanmar. To people living in Vietnam, it comes as no surprise. Vietnam has been trying to clean up sports corruption for years but to have it leak out onto the international arena is a national embarrassment.

  • Hey guys this is best event of the year. My dad was there he is Mr. Bebot Pondevida. I hope u like the opening and closing ceremony. This is the best event of the year. Philippines is the best.

  • Hey everybody, SSsssssssssssssssssEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGaaaaaaaaaaaammMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEssssssssssssss

    was the best event of the year 2005. Hope u like the opening and closing ceremony of it!!!!!!!

  • norman

    this is one of the best event of the year!!!!!!! I hope it will have a part 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Robert

    The Philippines is the best in South East asia…Filipinos are competitive, strong and brave.

    Hail to the Filipino athletes!

    GOd bless the Philipines.

  • Have you heard of the new Thai Boxing monthly magazine. Check it out! http://thaiboxingmonthly.com

  • nap

    this event 24th southeastasian games is not design to pathom our courage in sports arena….. this to think that we asians should poster camaraderi amomgstasian nation….. lerts not fight for supremacy. lets help one another

  • Ah okay. Camaraderie, like Thai SHIT games officials judging in favor of their own country? That would induce camaraderie and unity. :(

Cancel this reply

Join the conversation -> vietmom

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site