When initially googling about Vietnam, the first page consisted mainly of the Vietnam-US war, even when Vietnam’s discussed majority of individuals including myself just automatically think of the war, however Vietnam is known for so much more, this was made clear when doing brief research on Vietnam. I hope to learn more in-depth knowledge about Vietnam, through this virtual field trip, and acquire better understanding on the dynamics of the country.
Majority of the Vietnamese individuals follow in folk traditions and identify as non-religious. Whilst briefly researching, I came across some of the traditions and customs within Vietnam, they were very interesting and different to my own ethnic country’s (Bangladesh) customs, the Vietnamese culture is heavily influenced by the Chinese culture. For example, the Vietnamese believe in Ancestor worship; where their ancestors continue to live but in a different realm, and they believe in living in harmony with the natural environment, which I find very beautiful.
Vietnam is currently known as one of the most dynamic emerging countries from the East Asian region, Vietnam has transcended from previously being one of the poorest countries in the world into a lower-middle income country. The country was able to increase its GDP by ‘2.7 times’ from the years 2002-2018, Vietnam has been one of the very few countries in the world to show great resilience when being hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The country’s economy is set to continue growing in 2021 by ‘6.6%’, largely through tourism and export-orientated manufacturing.
Vietnam is a popular tourist destination, the country is well known for its food, floating markets, rice terraces, beaches, culture and cities including Ho Chi Minh City. When reading about Vietnam, I found that Vietnamese cuisine is acknowledged by many as the healthiest cuisine in the world, this was very interesting to read. Also, majority of families within Vietnam own a motorcycle, this was very interesting to find out. Some of the activities that can be completed within Vietnam include a private Ho Chi Minh City Tour on the Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam has over 2000 different islands; for example, Halong Bay can be visited where overnight cruises are booked, and museums can be attended.
Prior to researching about Vietnam, I did not realise how massive the countries tourism industry was, and how many beautiful sites resided within the country, I really hope I can attend Vietnam in the future in person, as I would love to try the food and visit the museums and national parks. Despite not being able to go to Vietnam in person due to the pandemic, I am very grateful to be a part of the virtual fieldtrip to Vietnam, since I think it is a great opportunity and will give me some more insight on the country’s socio, economic, and political matters prior to visiting. This will help me learn and understand the culture more too, which I find is very important for visitors from abroad to do, to ensure that the culture is respected whilst visiting.
Najaha Choudhury, Year 2, BA (Hons) International Relations