Socialist Republic of Vietnam


March 7, 2005, midnight | By Fidan Karimova | 14 years, 8 months ago


Teenagers from Vietnam at Blair, just like their peers all over the world, like to talk about their hobbies and interests:

Senior Bang Nguyen – I was born in Ho Chi Minh city and came to America in August of 2001. Some of my hobbies include listening to music, playing soccer and playing the piano.

I find that schools in Vietnam are harder than American schools. Teachers in Vietnam are stricter in that they have the right to hit you if you don't do your work. Plus, the education in Vietnam is faster – in eight grade some students already take calculus. Another difference between the school systems of the two countries is the exam system. In Vietnam the examination is very important – if you don't pass the exam, you have to stay for one more year at school, but if you don't pass the second year, you are forced to drop out of school.

Another thing that I have observed is that teenagers in America have more to do on their free time. Back in Vietnam, kids go home straight from school and do their homework. Since Vietnam is poor, there is not much to do for teenagers, only maybe go to the bookstore.

Freshman Angela Nguyen – I was born in America, but I have family in Na-Trang, Vietnam, an agricultural city. In Na-Trang my family lives by the beach and there are a lot of fishermen and rice patches on the outskirts of the city.

One of the differences, in my opinion, between the two countries is the food – in Vietnam everything is eaten with rice, while here people tend to eat everything with bread. Another difference is also the holidays – Harvest moon and Chinese New Year are some of the holidays that are celebrated in Vietnam and are not celebrated here.

If I had to pick where I want to live more, I would probably pick U.S., because I am more adapted to its environment. Also, it is hot there all the time. From one side it is good, because you can go to the beach almost every day, but on another hand there are many insects.

Sophomore Long Nguyen – I came to America in September of 2003. Some of my hobbies include chatting online with friends and playing volleyball. I think one of the biggest differences between Vietnam and America is the freedom of speech that Americans have. Another difference is a higher level of respect in Vietnam – here in class, students don't respect the teacher, they don't listen.

I also find that in America it is difficult to form close relationships with others, because the students don't know each other that well. In Vietnam, for example, students stay with the same class, with the same group of students, from sixth to ninth grade.

Location: Vietnam shares borders with the China, Laos, and Cambodia and is bordered on the right side by Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea

History: From first to sixth centuries AD, Vietnam was a part of the Indianised Kingdom of Funan. The Chinese covered the area in the second century and ruled for 1000 years. Their rule ended in 938 AD, when Ngo Quyen destroyed the Chinese armies and became the leader of the country. Quyen died in 944 AD.

In 1858, the French and Spanish stormed into Vietnam and a year later captured Saigon. From then on, the French ruled Vietnam until 1954, when communist leader Ho Chi Minh helped drive the French out of Vietnam. The same year, the negotiations of the Geneva Accords divided Vietnam into two regions – South Vietnam, controlled mostly by the anti-communists, and the communist North Vietnam.

The opposition between the two sides led to the Vietnam War in 1961. America also got involved when it began to help the non-communist South Vietnam. The war ended in 1972, with the two sides bonding and again forming a united Vietnam; it was one of the bloodiest wars that America was involved in. After the war, Vietnam found itself fighting with the bordering Cambodia, until the UN forced the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia in September of 1989. That marked the first time after WWII that Vietnam was not at war with any other country.

Population: 82,689,518

Capital: Hanoi

Language: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Religion: Buddhist (Hoa Hao), Cao Dai (indigenous Vietnamese religion, which is a synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism), Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic, some Protestant), and Muslim

President: Tran Duc Luong (since 24 September 1997)

Government Type: Communist state

Anthem: You can view the words to the Vietnamese anthem as well as listen to it here

Traditional Recipes: Using the provided recipes , you will be able to cook many traditional Vietnamese dishes, such as Banh Chung (Vietnamese rice cake) and Goi Cuon (Vietnamese soft shrimp rolls).

Places to visit:

Hanoi – is Vietnam's capital. In A.D. 1010 King Ly Thai To, known as Hanoi's founding father, established the site as the capital of the first Vietnamese dynasty independent from the Chinese. According to folklore, when the king stepped onto the riverbank a golden dragon flew toward the heavens, and thus the city was called Thang Long, City of the Soaring Dragon. Since the city was once a French colony, it is filled with French food, history and garden spots.
Temple of Literature

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Vietnam's largest city and the economic heart of the country. Ho Chi Minh has been called the "Paris of Asia,” because the city is lined with French villas. It was capital of Cochin China and from 1887 to 1902 was capital of the Union of Indochina.
Ben Duoc monument

Hue – was the capital of Vietnam in 1945, when the empire was ruled by the Nguyen emperors. Hue's Imperial City was built to match the Forbidden City in Beijing. Tourists come to see the ancient tombs and temples. Another popular place to visit is the Imperial Enclosure, where the Forbidden Purple City (created for the personal use of the emperor) is located. Since Hue was the site of the one of the most infamous battles – the Tet Offensive, an attack by the North Vietnamese on the South Vietnamese during the holy week of Tet, many tourists can get a glimpse at the many old U.S. tanks and artillery still gathered outside the Citadel walls.
Thien Mu Pagoda

Greetings in Vietnamese:

1.Hello – Sin chow
2.How are you? – Kw-eh kong?
3.Fine, thank you – Kw-eh, cahm uhn
4.I love you (male to a female): Ahn e-u ehm
I love you (female to a male): Ehm e-u ahn

Holidays: 1 May - Labor Day, 28 May - Buddha's Enlightenment, 3 Sept. - Ho Chi Minh's Death Anniversary, 2 Sept. - National Day, 19 May - Ho Chi Minh's Birthday, 3 Feb. - Communist Party Foundation, late Jan. – Tet, 1 Jan. - New Year's Day, 30 April - Liberation of Saigon

Interesting facts: compiled from Vietnamese Traditions
1.Breaking a promise is a serious violation of social expectation.
2.Vietnamese may not take appointment times literally, and will often arrive late so as not to appear overly enthusiastic.
3.Speaking in a loud tone with excessive gestures is considered rude.
4.When getting praise, people usually smile instead of saying "thank you” – which is considered a silent thank you.



Tags: print Cultural Connection

Fidan Karimova. Fidan is a SENIOR!!! She is happy to be a part of the Silver Chips staff, considering that it's the best high school newspaper ever! She would also like to point out that she is one of two Azerbaijani students at Blair and proud to ... More »

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