Japan! Kyoto: Getting Lost and Ginkgo Trees - The next morning Meena and I headed to Kyoto. We spent the entire day wandering the city. We wandered into temples, removed our shoes, and meditate...
Monday, November 2, 2009
Cultural Preport: Vietnam
The July 2009 estimate of Vietnam's population was 86,967,524. Unlike many of the other ports on this trip, there is no core religion that ties the country together. In fact, in the last census, over 80 percent of Vietnam's citizens responded that they did not have a religion. There are, however, significant cultural influences that govern the way people behave, and how they interact with one another. For example, the family is extremely important in Vietnamese culture. As a result, it is quite typical for people to live with their parents even after they marry. There is also a very strong sense of respect for elders, and students were advised how to greet older people and even how to give them money when shopping (with both hands cupped) to avoid unintentional signs of disrespect.
One of the other important issues that was discussed was the government. Vietnam is a communist country, whose constitution was enacted April 15, 1992. Although it may be difficult to see the differences in a country caused by government type during a stay as short as ours, the students were encouraged nevertheless to be observant while in port.
The students favorite part of every cultural preport is when they start talking about food. In Vietnam, some of the specialties include Com (rice), Gio Lua (lean pork pie), Cha Ca (grilled minced fish), and Banh Tom (crispy shrimp pastry). They were even given recommendations of places with the tastiest food! To keep everyone safe and healthy, they are advised to only eat cooked food.
Posted by SAS Fall 2009 Communications Coordinator at 10:14 AM