We are thrilled to announce that the Smashed Project will visit Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in November 2015. Working with our creative partners Angela and Matthew from Socio Muso, the project will reach 30 schools working with 14/15 year old students.
As I saw for myself on my last visit, the underage drinking culture in Vietnam is ingrained. This mirrors the drinking culture amongst adults. Alcohol is intrinsically linked with celebration, family and friends and youth culture has embraced alcohol as a tool for socialising at home and on the street.
Significantly, drink-driving is a cultural norm and attempts are now being made to address this through awareness and enforcement. But the culture change will be tough and will take time. Scooters are the norm for the bulk of the population and young people on average get their first unlicensed scooter by 15 years of age. This, combined with underage drinking has led to drink driving being the biggest killer of young adults.
Our work with key partners and schools in Ho Chi Minh City has led Matthew to expertly adapt ‘Smashed’ to ‘Mot, Hai, Ba, Dzo!’ The performance and workshop, delivered in Vietnamese, will explore the culture of underage drinking amongst young people, and the horrific consequences of drink driving. By working with young people just as they are starting to drink underage and get their first scooter, our goal is to help young people think objectively about the decisions they will have make about both alcohol and drink driving over coming years. To a percentage of our audience, those decisions will literally be life or death.