Seeing it From the Other Side

Day four of our trip to Vietnam was an interesting one. It started off in the morning with us attending two lectures at the University of Economics and Finance here in Ho Chi Minh City; a Vietnamese language class and a class on the history and culture of Vietnam. We have had the language class for the last few days learning basic greetings and sentences, and today we learned how to count in Vietnamese. I enjoy these language classes because it is fun to try and learn the words and interact with the Vietnamese students in their native language. However, learning the language is pretty difficult, especially trying to move my mouth to speak in ways that I am not used to doing when speaking English.

After attending the lectures, we went to McDonald’s for lunch. It was weird seeing all of the different things on the menu that we don’t have back in the United States such as cheesecake, chicken wings, and green tea muffins.

After lunch, our site visit to Vina Capital was unfortunately moved to next week, and so instead we visited the War Remnants Museum here in Ho Chi Minh City. The visit to this museum was a very sad, but interesting and informative experience. Seeing the Vietnam war through the eyes of the opposition allowed me to get a better understanding of events that took place during the war. There were also many things talked about in the museum that we don’t really learn about in school that I feel like are important to teach even though many of them are very sad, such as the use of Agent Orange in the war and the torture and death of innocent Vietnamese civilians during the war caused by United States soldiers. There were even a few victims of Agent Orange that we got to see in person at the museum which was really upsetting. A lot of this stuff I didn’t know much about before coming to the museum because it is skipped over when talking about the Vietnam War in school, but I feel like it is important stuff that should be taught so that similar events won’t happen again. Overall, the trip to the museum really allowed me to understand the war through the Vietnamese perspective.

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