We started the day with a really interesting class on the history of Vietnam at UEF. We learned about the migration of the people of Vietnam, leading to cultural differences between the North and the South. We also learned about the origin and culture of all the other more specific regions of the country. For example, we learned about the central highland and the native people’s love markets. Since I know I can’t really just throw that term out there without explaining it, here it goes. Because the villages are so far apart, and many villages are made up of only a few families, there are yearly gatherings of people to trade goods. Included in these gatherings, are ceremonies where men perform to impressive the women watching. From their options, the women will chose who they want and then they begin to know each other and hopefully begin the marriage process. That class will be interesting moving forward.
For lunch, we went to Hutech University in what I believe was their hotel hospitality school. There we passed practice bedrooms and dining rooms, one of which, we ate lunch in. They did a wonderful job and the food was very good.
Finally and most interestingly, we went to the American consulate in Saigon. More specifically, we went to the American center. There we sat down with three foreign service workers who did a very good job explaining what they do and why should do the same. The American center provides a place for American citizens to come in and use the wifi and enjoy the AC. It is also where many people come to interview for visa applications to the United States. Apparently Vietnam is on the list of countries that requires personal interviews for the application. The American Center is also a place where they hold press conferences and other events. The meeting place inside the center actually holds events pertaining to American culture, for example, Halloween. These help to get Vietnamese citizens to think something about America is kind of cool. From there, they might think highly of America and Americans in general. Inside the center is also a collection of books and movies that the Vietnamese government has restricted. The American center was a really cool place and foreign affairs, at least at this point in my life, seem like a very real possibility in the future.
Thanks for reading,