Vietnam Police Summons Noodle Seller After ‘Salt Bae’ Parody Video

Vietnam police summoned a beef noodle vendor who filmed himself imitating Nusret Gokce, or “Salt Bae,” days after the camera captured a senior Vietnamese official eating a gold-encrusted steak in the London restaurant of the famous Turkish chef.

Bui Tuan Lam, 38, from the central city of Danang, said that his intention in making the video, which shows him ceremoniously cutting boiled meat and extravagantly sprinkling green onions on a bowl of noodle soup, was not to make fun of anyone. individual in particular.

“The video I made was for fun and to publicize my beef noodle shop. More customers have come since I posted it,” said Lam, adding that it was unclear if the police citation was due to his video.

Last week, Gokce uploaded a video of himself feeding Vietnam’s Minister of Public Safety To Lam a gold-leaf encrusted steak at his London restaurant, where a steak sells for up to 1,450 pounds ($ 1,960).

Days later, Facebook said it had unblocked the hashtag ‘#saltbae’, having discovered that the hashtag had been blocked globally after the images surfaced.

Police officers, wearing protective masks, stand guard in front of a communist logo at the National Convention Center, site of the XIII National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hanoi, Vietnam on January 28, 2021 (credit: REUTERS / KHAM)

The Vietnamese police often summon activists and people who are publicly critical of the ruling Communist Party for questioning. Danang Police did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Lam, who had previously criticized authorities on Facebook, said he had been “speaking out for a better society” and that police had previously summoned him to a meeting in April, without saying why.

He described himself in a Facebook post that was uploaded alongside the video as “Green Onion Bae.”

The images of To Lam’s golden dinner have caused a stir both inside and outside of Vietnam, with many wondering how such a high-ranking Party official allowed himself to be filmed enjoying such an expensive meal in the midst of a state offensive against Vietnam. corruption.

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