British the Gap

As a proud resident of Hanoi, travelling around the city during the summertime can be a challenging experience. Despite the city’s undeniable beauty, the sweltering heat can make it uncomfortable to explore. That’s why I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to visit London. I immediately imagined all the exciting experiences I could have in this fascinating city, free from the discomfort of Hanoi’s hot streets.

The weather is what I find most captivating about London. I was thrilled to see that people in London can play sports, especially football, at noon. This is the opposite of Hanoi, where playing sports at noon is almost impossible. My dad and I love to watch Premier League matches of our favourite football teams. We often must stay up until the dead of night, but we don’t mind. It’s our guilty pleasure, and we enjoy the unique feeling of staying up late to watch the match privately. We even spend the whole week before a derby match between two teams in London following the teams’ news to better understand the significance of winning that match. This habit has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, and we owe it all to this beautiful city of England. Cheering and screaming whenever a player does a special move or scores an acrobatic goal are treasured moments I have with my dad. England’s robust sports culture, and London in particular, deserves the credit for these unforgettable experiences.

I must admit that, as a student of a major that requires a vast amount of research and reading on all countries in the world, I have not been able to give exclusive attention to news about London, except for football news. However, from what I have learned about this city, I know for sure that the cultural and historical richness of the country is deeply embedded in the national pride that Londoners confidently speak about. This pride is clearly manifested in the unwavering support of the fans when the England national football team plays in the EURO. In fact, they almost became the champions in 2020. The unity and vibrant atmosphere displayed by the British fans in Wembley stadium was unmatched. It was amazing to see people from different backgrounds, preferences, and races rallying around the same badge, devoting their emotional energy to encourage the players. This was incredibly impressive, and I have always been curious about how London can cultivate such amazing pride in its people.

I am excited to visit London in May and immerse myself in the vibrant culture of this wonderful city. I am especially thrilled to meet my new friends at Westminster University. My main objective is to have a great time, so I plan to explore all that the city has to offer, embrace its unique vibe, and connect with its people.

Nguyen Chi Dung, Faculty of International Studies, Hanoi University

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