South-East Asia (SEA) games, 31st edition

Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, was chosen to host the 31st edition of South-East Asia and the 11th ASEAN para games happening in 2021.

This competition was created on the 22nd of May, 1958 by 6 founders countries which are Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, South-Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia. The first edition was held in Bangkok in 1959, comprising 527 athletes participating in 12 sports.


There are now 21 countries participating in this game with around 56 sports and almost 5000 athletes. Most of the sports are inspired by the Olympic games but some of them are imported from the local cultures like the dragon boat race, the Kenpō or the Sepak takraw.


For the Hanoi games, the organizers have decided to create a contest to choose the tagline, the mascot, and the logo. As we wanted to take part in this, we decided to propose a logo for the event.

The first proposal, the Koi Fish legend


An ancient legend in Asia has said that, when heaven and earth were newly formed, it was God that made rain and wind, and the creatures living in the water, which is the source of everything.

By being busy creating people and things, the rain stopped but God sends dragons, a heaven animal, flying in the air and spraying water on earth to make the rain. However, the number of Dragons in the sky was not enough, it cannot rain everywhere. That’s why a test to select animals to be dragons was created, called “Dragon contest”.

When the heavenly decree came down, King Thuy Qi was the king who oversaw the underwater work, announced to all species that living in there can compete for the competition. The contest was simple, the talented enough creature that would pass three waves will become a Dragon.

In one month, many waterways species were eliminated, because no one survived all three waves.
A perch jumped through the first wave but dropped the second.
There were two shrimps jumping over two waves, close to making it, but when the third wave reached, exhausted, they fall and they broke their backs.
In turn, there was a carp in the competition, this fish was really rare because it contained a pearl in its mouth …
The wind god found it strange and came to see it, the wind and clouds rushed in, that’s why the thunder and the sky followed each other naturally …
The carp was brought up by this high wave, surpassing all three waves at once, releasing the pearl over Vu Long Mon and turned into a dragon.

Since then, this carp turning into dragons symbolize courage, luck, success, and victory!

All the common carp would love to cross Vu Long Mon because they know that, once they pass through that door, they will turn from ordinary carp into a holy dragon: escaping from the world and living forever. But not all of them have a bright and precious nature (and bearing a gem in their body) and not all carp have the abilities to overcome difficulties and succeed!

Carp turned into a water dragon that made the soil fertile, green trees and brung vitality to all species. By waving tail, its beard, horns naturally growing, the Koi carp shape looks majestic, radiant, and a symbol of the desire of the people in the world.

Therefore, people often consider the image of the dragon carp as a symbol of peace and prosperity. It encourages education, exam success, recognition, and luck in fortune in commerce.

The second proposal, the Ho Guom Lake in Hanoi

meaning the “Sword Lake”.


Not only a cultural and historical symbol, but Ho Hoan Kiem (Ho Guom) is also a destination for locals and tourists visiting Hanoi. The lake is included in the old town.

The legend says, in early 1428, the emperor Le Loi, at the beginning of its struggle against the Chinese, would have received a golden sword from a fisherman who was fishing in the lake.

After a ten years campaign and by successfully chasing the Chinese, by crossing the same lake, a turtle showed up and claimed the golden sword by the name of the King-Dragon, mistic ancestor of Vietnamese people.

Le Loi understood then that the sword was a favor from the sky to fight the Chinese. Since this event the lake was called Ho Hoan Kiem, meaning the “Lake of the restored sword” and the abroad is constantly decorated.

In the middle of the lake, you can observe a stûpa with a squared shape, honoring this sacred animal. We still observe soft-shell turtles, a species known as rafetus swinhoei, since the 15th century.

Today, the Hoan Kiem Lake witness the formation and development of Hanoi Capital and thousands of years of culture, experiencing many ups and downs.

Nguyen Khuyen had a poem written 100 years saying :

Hanoi has Sword Lake
Bluewater as ink
By the lake, Tower Pen tops
Write poetry to the sky.