Vietnam

Grant E Period 6

Vietnam

Vietnam is a mix of cultures. From fancy hotels to humble street stalls. From designer malls to local markets. From classy restaurants to KFC, we have it all. We are also a mix of geography. From the South China Sea to the Mountains in the West. From the Red River delta to Ngo Dong River. The most beautiful thing about our country is that the culture blends in so well, you can't even tell. Welcome to Vietnam.

Vietnam- Everything's better in good ol' 'Nam.

Vietnam Geography and Climate

They say that Vietnam looks like a bamboo pole with a rice basket on the end. It can be as short as 30 miles side to side and as long as 350 miles. Vietnam is in South East Asia, just south of China. To the West is Laos and Cambodia. The beautiful South China Sea is East. Vietnam is mostly separated from Laos and Cambodia by a thin strip of mountains. Vietnam has two deltas great for farming, the Red River delta in the North, and the Mekong delta in the South. Those and the coastal areas is where most of the food comes from.
The Climate is pretty tropical, but not all out rainforest. You will really get a jungle vibe coming here. It's not too hot here, only about 80 degrees, but that means you can swim year round! Speaking of water we get lots of rain here, so we have very healthy crops coming out. You will enjoy fun in the sun here in Vietnam!

People and Culture

If we talk about the culture of Vietnam we have to talk about the food. Vietnam in the North is heavily influenced by China, and has a lot of noddle based soups and stir fries. Near Thailand and Cambodia is where the real flavor mixing begins. Vietnam overall has sweeter food, so they will take something savory and add something like palm sugar to it. The Tropical area near Thailand and Cambodia inspires more rice paddies, coconut groves, jack fruit trees, which are basically a prickly pear, and herb gardens.

The people down here in Vietnam are the friendliest people you will ever meet. Even Americans they will not hold a grudge upon. They are known for smiling and lending a helping hand. The best part is, there are lots of friendly people. Only Indonesia has more people than us. You do have to be careful of the younger ones that do not know of the suffering in the past. Vietnamese came from the Mongolian Empire, but are largely influenced by China and India. They were local farmers migrating south, kicking the Champa people out into the mountains is the theory. But that's in the past.

Today we have 3 major minorities. We actually have 60, but there's no time to discuss them all. The first is the Chinese, a pretty straight forward one. They came down from China in the 17th and 18th century. Then we have the Cham. The Cham are the people that descended from the Champa kingdom before the farmers showed up. Then there is the Khmer, who have been living in the Mekong delta for a long time. These are all the people in the main area of Vietnam.

Vietnamese sports hold a high importance in the country and seem to be held up with pride. The most popular sport in Vietnam is soccer, although chess, karate and shooting are most important. The Vietnamese soccer team is pretty good, and whenever they win a big game, most of the fans stay at the stadium waving the Vietnamese flag.


Government & Citizenship

The rights of Vietnam aren't perfect, but what is? You aren't allowed to speak out against the government, but if your host did, then you would have to listen to him complaining about the government instead of actually toured Vietnam. This actually is one reason you should visit Vietnam. It will make you humble, and aware. These people want rights, so raise awareness for them.
The government is a strict communism government, which means you have one party, and the guy in charge is, well, in charge. That's why if you visit, the government will get more money and be nicer to the people that will be so nice to you. Their school system is very interesting. They go to school six days a week, but only 4 hours a day, so it evens out with the U.S system. They clean their own school. Everyday, one classroom is assigned to clean the whole school in the morning and afternoon. They don't get report cards, they get ranked on who's the best. The judicial system's pretty fair. The defendants get a chance to be there, have an attorney, and cross-examine witnesses. But sometimes, they don't get a trial and get sent straight to jail. So please, come and visit them. They need a friend. Voting is pretty much the same, except for the one name on the ballot scene. You have to be 18 or older and be sane. But, you can run for the position at 21. You must have a Vietnamese citizenship for both.

Economy

The Vietnamese economy isn't that great, but neither is the U.S's. They have been doing really well in heavy machinery manufacturing, growing their machine tools industry by almost 70%. The economy is running into difficulties right now, but is a good long term investment if it can get past these.
Vietnam has a lot of deposits for crude oil and coal, so it exports a lot of it. It imports mostly machinery, refined oil, food, medicine, and other military stuff. It exports more than it imports, exporting Japan and Austraila seafood, the U.S garments and texiles, and many other things.