The Eurovision fan experience in Vietnam
Today is National Day (Ngày Quốc Khánh) in Vietnam which commemorates the Declarations of Independence of Vietnam at Ba Đình Square in Hanoi on 2 September 1945.
To mark the occasion we spoke to David from Vietnam about the Eurovision fan experience in his country.
David is a Eurovision fan and YouTuber that many will know on Twitter as @DavidsESCBlog.
He let us know how he became a fan, what it's like watching Eurovision in Vietnam and the Vietnamese connections to the Contest.
Tell us about you, where are you from and what do you do or tell us something interesting about yourself?
My name is David, and I'm a Eurovision fan and YouTuber from Vietnam. I've been passionately exploring the world of Eurovision for about three years now, and I have a little YouTube blog called DEB, which stands for David's Eurovision Blog. Aside from that, I'm a junior student and a design nerd, and I do consider myself to be a travelholic and a geography nerd also!
When and how did you first get into Eurovision?
I believe it was in 2018 that I first heard Saara Aalto's music and then learned that she had represented Finland that year. And then I discovered Eurovision, which I became completely obsessed with... I enjoy competition and am fascinated by all things European, so... I was hooked! I'd just play Eurovision songs from that playlist of about 100 Eurovision songs while doing my things, and sometimes I'd learn about the song, the year it competed, and I'd just hum along with the songs (which I still do!).
Then I'd forget about Eurovision for a long time, until Arcade by Duncan appeared by chance in my recommendations (thank you, YouTube!). This renewed my interest in the competition! I joined the Eurovision Instagram fandom the day after Viki Gabor won [Junior Eurovision] in Poland. And this began an era for me that I believe it is named "open up." I got new people, new friend, all are in the same interest. Exploring Eurovision is one thing, but actually being able to express myself and engage an audience took a long time for me, but it was well worth it.
What is it like being a Eurovision fan from Vietnam, is there many people who watch or care about Eurovision?
I'd like to summarize in one word: "special"! Our media almost never mentions Eurovision (just when the winner is announced). However, I am not the only Vietnamese fan. We have an active Eurovision fan page and a group chat called "Eurovision cult" (yes, I'm serious) where the people there are just the sweetest ever. We have 50+ members, and I recall that during the last Eurovision 2022 national selection season, we literally had a schedule and updates, even with the live show of the grand final, so basically, there are some people who watch or are into ESC just like me :)
What do you usually do for Eurovision, do you get up early and watch it live?
To be honest, watching Eurovision live in Vietnam must be the strangest thing ever. For the Aussies, the shows began around 5 a.m., but for us, it was 2 a.m. So the day before the show, the only thing I can do is drink two shots of espresso. And when it was the showtime, I basically just watched the YouTube stream... with my earphones in and in silence of midnight. I'm hoping that many other Vietnamese or Asian fans reading this will find this relatable haha.
We understand that you've done lots of research to find the many Vietnamese connections to Eurovision, do you want to share them with everyone?
I believe you were referring to my Vietnam-Eurovision iceberg chart! I had a Twitter thread about it, so check that out! To be honest, it's a surprising and enjoyable experience. Actually, it was the cult (the Eurovision Cult, as previously mentioned) that helped me dig deeper when I showed them the idea.
We suggest checking out the full thread from David where he goes through each Eurovision connection from William and Suzanne from Wiwibloggs, well known Eurovision covers by Vietnamese artists and Alice Svensson who competed at Melodifestivalen in 2017.
If there was ever to be a Eurovision Asia, what artists from Vietnam would you like to see compete?
EBU extended the contest to the United States, Canada, and Latin America but not to Asia… a bit weird haha. And well... Hoang Thuy Linh is my choice for Vietnam! Her music is incredible, and she recently released a new album called "Link," which you should check out!
How is the Independence Day of Vietnam celebrated, do you do anything on the day?
So, some background information. September 2nd is National Day, and it holds great significance for our country, as it’s the day President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence in Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square. The day is an opportunity for everyone in Vietnam to remember their ancestors' great sacrifices, which resulted in the freedom and independence we have today.
We usually have two days off, so for most people, it is a trip, an opportunity to reunite relatives for a long or short period of time, or even a feast with relatives and friends to celebrate Independence Day. For me, the two days off are perfect for taking a break and exploring corners in my city. (This is also an advertisement; please visit Vietnam!)
And now some quick fire Eurovision questions for you:
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
Euphoria obviously! But Arcade is a close second.
Was your favourite from 2022?
Sweden, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, and Iceland. I just have a lot of favorites!
Is a guilty pleasure?
Lock me in!
Is your favourite all time?
Hard question! But for now it’s Nocturne by Secret Garden!
Had the best live vocal?
Dami Im in 2016! and Elina in 2018.
Had the best staging?
Heroes. Just mind-blowing.
Is the best from Australia?
Zero Gravity! It is my 3rd in 2019!
Thank you David for sharing your experience and enjoy your National Day!