The word Mekong is composed of two parts: “me,” meaning mother, and “kong,” meaning river. After our visit to the Delta, I can see why. The river irrigates the land, making the soil suitable for farming the majority of the nations rice, fruit, and vegetables. The agriculture grows successfully due to the reliability of the irrigation through the consistent seasons. There are three: rainy season, growing season, and flooding season. The cycle makes the harvest plentiful and consistent and farmers know exactly when to gather crops. Unfortunately, the regulation of Mekong Delta has been tampered. Salinization occurs as a result of global warming, which causes all sea levels to rise. When the sea rises into coastal areas, salt deposits into the water, making it unsuitable for certain species to survive. On my trip, none of this seemed fairly noticeable and if anything the island appeared to be full of behavior that enhances the effects of global warning. There was pollution everywhere, whether it be the thick black smokes from the boat engines of the island and plastic bottles littered across ever terrain.
Despite the delta’s problems, it also exhibits beauty in infinite ways. There were happy people using different resources from the island to produce daily products. Did you know that coconut can be candy, a face mask or a comb? Many of the daily items used by the island-dwellers are 100% from there. The animals, such as pigs, also make use of being on the delta. The pigs have much worth alone, but produce fertilizer for the fruits and vegetables too. The fruit grown is vibrant and attractive enough to be sold to tourists as a souvenir themselves. I sampled dragonfruit, kumquat, guava, pineapple, watermelon, and coconut from the island. All delicious.
The coconut religion, created by Nguyễn Thành Nam, was founded on principles of simplicity. Today we learned the history and philosophy of his religion while being on the island of the coconut people. There were many tourist attractions and areas of play. The inhabitants of the island and all of the others were kind and genuine people that seem to give as much as the river itself. With the proper resources, it seems like these people can do anything. This is why the water regulation needs to be fixed, starting with the tide level issue. This can be fixed by the removal of Chinese dams, which interrupt the flooding, raining, and harvest seasons for anyone else.