Salt Bae Parody: Vietnam Noodle Vendor Jailed For Five Years

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A noodle vendor in Vietnam who parodied one of the country’s most powerful ministers has been jailed for five-and-a half years for anti-state propaganda.

Bui Tuan Lam became famous when he posted a video in 2021 mimicking the trademark gestures of the high-end London-based restaurateur Salt Bae.

A minister had been previously filmed eating a gold-leaf covered steak in a Salt Bae video, causing a scandal.

The Vietnamese government is strictly intolerant of dissent.

The 39-year old’s trial and sentencing in a Danang court took just one day. He must serve four years of probation after being released, his lawyer confirmed.

In his video, Bui Tuan Lam spread green onions on his noodle soups in imitation of the Turkish celebrity chef – real name Nusret Gökçe – who often sprinkles salt on steak in a theatrical manner.

Days earlier, footage of Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security To Lam eating a $2,000 steak at the chef’s restaurant had caused an uproar online.

Many Vietnamese noted the incongruence of a top communist official eating a dish costing more than his monthly salary, and right after he had paid a visit to the grave of Karl Marx in London.

At the time the police interrogated Bui Tuan Lam and closed his noodle stall, which had become very popular for a few days. He was arrested last September and has been detained since then.

BBC/Jide Johnson.

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