Vietnamese teens go wild over home-grown scraper-bikes

According to the AFP news agency, Hanoi in Vietnam has spawned a home-grown scraper-bike sensation:

An exotic and colourful new urban species has invaded Vietnam’s crowded city streets, turning heads, slowing traffic and making a lot of noise — the feather-boa bicycle bandit.

Teens have beautified small two-wheelers with glitter and plastic flowers, giant silk butterflies and teddy bears, Christmas tinsel and paper parasols and, yes, feather boas, in an anything-goes creative arms race.

Youngsters have rigged blinking lights, MP3 players and batteries to the frames to blast techno and hip-hop down previously tranquil tree-lined streets, earning them both amused smiles and reproachful looks from their elders.

Californian artist Bradford Edwards, resident in Hanoi, said:

“It reminds me of rococo decorative architecture — but mobile and with a rockin’ sound system.

“I’ve seen lots of kitsch in Vietnam, but what I like about this is that it’s young, home-grown and wholesome. It’s third-generation kitsch, handed down from grandpa to dad to the kids, who’ve taken it and blended it with Western street culture, but with this heavy-glitter Vietnamese thing.”

Pix and longer story here.