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Regular version of the site

Culture Café: Vietnam

What is the first association that appears in your mind when you hear “Vietnam”? Probably, you will say something like “Oh, it’s the country where that war took place”. Of course, this horrifying war actually happened there with a lot of terrible consequences as a result, but Vietnam is such a fantastic country with overwhelming landscapes and rich culture that everyone should know more about it.
Thanks to Giang Dinh, Khanh Huyen, Ngoc Quynh and Kieu Mi, we managed to dispel some myths and break some stereotypes related to Vietnam!

Culture Cafe Vietnam began with a funny quiz, of which the main purpose was to check how much the audience already knew about the country.

Do you know the exact location of Vietnam on the world map? Do you know its population? What is its capital? It’s quite difficult to answer these basic questions if you didn’t visit Vietnamese Culture Cafe :)


Firstly Vietnam is located on the eastern margin of the Indochinese peninsula. It borders the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and Pacific Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia. The population has around 94.6 million inhabitants. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, and it has vast variety of authentic places (read more:https://blog.hotelquickly.com).


If you are travelling around Vietnam, don’t be surprised if you see people burning dollars or other banknotes - it’s one of the traditions. Vietnamese people believe that the more banknotes they burn for their dead relatives, the better their afterlives will be.

Also, we were lucky to hear a fantastic performance of song called “Hello Vietnam” and to watch a national dance performed by beautiful Vietnamese girls.



Mia told us some main facts about Vietnamese culture and History. Have you ever heard something about Dong Son culture? It was a culture of Bronze Age in ancient Vietnam centred at the Red River Valley of northern Vietnam from 1000 BC until the first century AD. Dong Son drums are a part of heritage within this culture. Its height can be up to 1 meter and weight up to 100kg.

It’s hard to believe, but there was Chinese domination of Vietnam for 1006 years in total. In 1885 all of Vietnam was colonised by France. In 1940 Japan occupied Vietnam. In 1945 the Vietnamese drove the Japanese out of the country. Vietnam was declared to be the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Unfortunately, in 1954 the North and South of the country had some conflicts. In 1965 the United States of America decided to interfere in the internal situation in the country, and we all know the consequences of it.

Despite these sad events in their history, Vietnamese people are extremely friendly, and they don’t hate Americans. Ho Chi Minh, who was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader, said “Everything depends on the Americans. If they want to make war for 20 years then we shall make war for 20 years. If they want to make peace, we shall make peace and invite them to tea afterwards”. 

Vietnam managed to recover after the war and now it looks quite modern. Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower is the tallest building in Vietnam and it has become the symbol of economic growth. 

In general, Vietnamese architecture is a mix of varied styles: ancient architecture, colonial architecture, new architecture, and contemporary architecture. Vietnamese architecture is well presented in Hanoi Old Quarter with Vietnamese ethnic stilt houses in addition to myriad of temples and pagodas, communal houses, ancient villages across the country.

In the evening Vietnamese streets become a unconventional arena for outdoor mini shows (watch on youtube). 

It’s hard to imagine, but the rush hour in Vietnam looks even worse than in Moscow. If a person is going to travel around Vietnam, he or she should be prepared to ignore these traffic jams in order to stay in a good mood. 

Thanks to this presentation we have some useful tips on how to survive in Vietnam while crossing any street. 

Each guest of the event was also given an etiquette lesson “How to be good and polite in Vietnam”. For example, in Vietnam it is customary to be friendly, smiling, polite, gracious. It is important to remember that touching a person of the opposite sex, touching anyone on the shoulder, touching someone’s head or passing anything over someone’s head is completely wrong. Such common things can be offensive and considered as a rude behaviour in Vietnam.

Language Quizzes have already become a Culture Cafe tradition. Vietnamese language was a real challenge for everyone because it has intricate sounds that are hard to replicate with the throat and mouth.   

In conclusion, it is hard to stop writing about Vietnam because it really is amazing. It differs from other countries and has fantastic, hard-working people, who are really proud to be Vietnamese. 

P.S. If you like to travel around the world with your dog, watch it carefully in Vietnam, because stealing and eating dogs in Vietnam is not a myth.

 

Author: Anastasia Ozerova

Editor: Irina Klimova

Proofreader: Shannon Williams