A TikToker traveling in Vietnam shared a video of herself crying over a local resident who was rowing their boat and added the hashtag “poverty”. It was blasted for “slum tourism”.

TikToker Fiona Wang posted a tearful travel video on May 6.@heyfionawang/TikTok

  • TikToker Fiona Wang posted that she was crying for a woman who was rowing her boat in Vietnam on May 6.

  • The video went viral with over 6.7 million views, receiving criticism from many users.

  • In response to the backlash, Wang told Insider that he does not look down on the Vietnamese.

Travel TikToker Fiona Wang is facing backlash after posting a tearful travel video on May 6.

In the video, Wang is seen crying as her partner comforts her, with captions explaining that she is crying because the Vietnamese woman who was rowing her coconut boat “tried so hard to make us happy”.

@heyfionawang Visiting Vietnam turned out to be completely different from what I expected. I have never been so moved by people in my life. I saw so much happiness here, children playing together, families spending time with each other and genuine smiles. But at the same time I saw so much poverty. Working for 5 years to women like her doing such physical work. It breaks my heart every time I say no or have to tear a child away from me who is begging for help. When I left that lady on the coconut boat I couldn’t stop crying even though I had the best time. She was so beautiful, so funny and reminds me of how hard my mother worked when she first migrated to Sydney. We tipped everyone we met but I wish I could do more for these people but I feel so helpless. When you visit Southeast Asia, please carry more cash, buy more fruit from the locals, tip generously, say thanks and be kind and do more, so the least we can do is appreciated. I have so much to show you about my time here in Vietnam because I think it’s important that we all try to see as much as we can so we can broaden our perspective #vietnam ♬ Home – Edith Whiskers

The TikTok video, posted by Wang as @heyfionawang, has since garnered over 6.7 million views and 1.2 million likes as of May 8.

“It breaks my heart to see these people working so hard to make a living in Vietnam,” captions on the video read.

And users are divided on her emotional reaction – some find her cute, while others find her condescending.

“Makes me cry too,” reads a positive comment, “you have a good heart and that’s the important part,” reads another.

Meanwhile, criticism flooded the comments section. “Do you cry first and then record it, or do you record it and then cry? Mentor on this please,” reads one.

Several comments pointed to the hashtag #poverty in the video’s captions, which has since been removed.

Some TikTokers have even stitched up her video to call her out for being “voyeuristic and exploitative.”

“It’s called slum tourism. She turns people’s poverty and hard work into entertainment, into a spectacle, something that can be experienced for a moment by her, but then she can easily escape it,” TikToker @doc.ho said in a video with over 532,000 views .

Wang told Insider that she posted the video “very spontaneously” and that it was a “very real and raw moment” for her, contrary to her usual carefully curated and edited content.

“Being Asian Australian, I know I’m very privileged to grow up in Australia, but I also understand the struggle. My parents are immigrants and I spent many years in China,” Wang told Insider.

She added that many perceived her video as looking down on the Vietnamese, but she “never said the Vietnamese were poor or unhappy.”

“I actually said in my caption that I see so much genuine happiness and the family bond is amazing. But I also saw poverty and struggle, and seeing both sides really hit me hard,” Wang said.

The travel creator understands how the video may have rubbed people the wrong way, making it seem like it’s “begging for attention,” but she doesn’t want her content to just be “highlights of fun and happy moments.”

“It should also reflect the other side when I’m sad, making mistakes or learning,” Wang said.

“And I don’t think I have to justify all of this to the people who leave negative comments. Because I received a huge amount of positive comments from people who appreciate seeing this side and understanding what my intentions were,” Wang added.

Read the original Insider article

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