As I was exploring the northern mountain region, I stumbled upon the people of Hmong who were preparing a feast on the side of the road. After reading some references, I came to understand that the Hmong people would occasionally hold a feast to commemorate certain events, such as the Hmong New Year called Noj Tsiab where they would hold a three day long feast which consists of pigs, cows, and buffalo meat.
That afternoon, somewhere near the Hmong Royal Palace Xà Phìn, Đồng Văn District, Ha Giang province, dozens of men and women, complete with their traditional costume, gathered to enjoy the feast by the side of the road. There were smoke coming from the cauldron where they would cook the meat, and people skinning and cutting the pig.
I recorded the cries of the pigs that were dragged through the road to the chopping block. Along with the cries, the pigs struggled to not get dragged by the people. The cries of the pigs broke my heart. I could feel the fear through their screams. The intensity of the screams spread across the wide mountainous terrain. Perhaps people can say that animals, in this case a pig, cannot think and feel as humans do. However, the anger and fear of the pig can be felt through their screams. It was a different groan than the one made by the pigs that were enjoying their food in the cage. It was the last groans of pain before being slaughtered. In this same recording, we can hear the sound of fire being ignited and people conversing while they skin the pigs they have slaughtered. That afternoon was a very impactful experience for me. In addition, it was the year of the pig.