Engaging with Vietnam: A life changing journey
Prepared by : Jimlea Nadezhda A. Mendoza
K44 Advanced Education Program
A brave heart with full of hopes, dreams and aspirations can overpower the fear of leaving your own country including all the important people in your life. It was August 25, 2013, it was first time for me to ride an airplane and go to Vietnam. Tears fell down on my cheeks when I bid farewell to my family, with mixed emotions deep inside myself –mostly excitement, happiness that cannot be explained and fear as well , thinking that someday I am going to give them a better life.
There are many things about Vietnam that I like most. The country itself, its culture together with majestic natural beauties which were among the world’s heritage and most especially the people who inspire you to be a best version of yourself no matter where you come from. Whenever I am asked about the difference if being compared to the culture in the Philippines- I must say that there are no big differences with regards to beautiful places, the way people live are almost the same, I believe so because we come from an agricultural country. perhaps because we come from the same continent and we indeed share most of the culture like we are influenced by Chinese, Americans and other countries that really define the culture among countries like Philippines and Vietnam. One of the slight difference between two countries is about religion, many Filipinos are Christians while according to Huynh Dinh The in the article Religion of the Vietnamese that the lives of Vietnamese people are deeply influenced by Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism while as we have experienced they also worship their ancestors to ask them guidance in their everyday lives.
Likewise, the country offers different cuisine – the people who engage with Vietnam never miss the opportunity to try out the traditional food such as many types of pho, bun (rice noodles), banh chung, spring rolls and many other dishes from pork, beef, chicken and fish as well. In fact according to the website vietnamesefood.com that Vietnamese food is the best in Asia and on the world. As explained in Wikipedia.com each Vietnamese dish has a unique flavor. The most commonly used ingredients include fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, rice, different fresh herbs, and fruits and vegetables. Vietnamese food always use ingredients such as follows ; lemongrass, ginger, mint, basil leaves that makes the dish carry its distinctive taste and feel. Traditional Vietnamese food is admired for its very much fresh components, minimal use of oil and preferably always boiled– very healthy dishes and the food will not be complete without servings of herbs and vegetables. Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide – a truth that we all really support on. It is included now in our list of favorite food and definitely a must try!
In Addition to, Vietnam properties inscribed on the World Heritage List from the website of UNESCO, among the Cultural heritages are Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi , Complex of Hué Monuments , Hoi An Ancient Town My Son Sanctuary. You can witness natural beauty in some places like Ha Long Bay , Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and Trang An Landscape Complex ( Mixed heritage ). Each places has a lot to offer, all waiting for the people to experience and discover.
On top of all these reasons is the because of the Vietnamese people whom we engaged with, people who inspires you and brings out the best in you most especially when foreign people get to experience living with them, actual engaging with their diverse culture and traditions, how they work hard in order to achieve your dreams no matter where you come from. This motivates me to do my best at all times, in spite of all the hardships and difficulties.
Prior to the dreams I had and still have up to this moment, I wrote this honest essay of mine not to self-pity but to tell the whole world what I have become. I asked myself many times if I am capable and worthy enough of the different chances and opportunities that Vietnam is offering and looking back on my humble achievements, I can proudly say that I am.
With the hardships and difficulties attached on these big responsibilities, to resolve challenges, Vietnamese has taught me to always keep positive, motivated and never let troubles, failures and challenges get into our way in order for us to keep on achieving excellence and success. That’s what Vietnam and its people has influenced to me. For I have entered one of the biggest universities in Vietnam, I believe that this program I am involved in which is the Advanced Education Program of Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry will help in developing approaches that improves entry to quality and inclusive education to strengthen positive sustainable development provided that this offers solution in developing the world and making it a better place thru its wide range of programs that develop the students to become competitive global citizen as well.
Acquiring knowledge from the Advanced Education Program and I firmly think that this studying in Vietnam will affect the future ahead of me. Like many students who joined the program I am gaining leadership and professional skills as well because students are not only engage in studying but also in many activities which enhance their abilities. I would like to obtain more experiences by making use of our abilities in becoming a global citizen, get skills, deeper awareness and knowledge for improving our society in many fields – a very positive motivation I acquired from Vietnamese people.
Like many other people, I never let poverty or anything out there stop me from chasing all my dreams. And when I have engaged in Vietnam and its good people, with all those hardships I have learned to dream bigger not only for myself but also for the environmental protection in fully support to the achievement of Sustainable Development. I understand that the education program and the university I belong to now is giving thousands of individuals great foundation to support good quality education through academic exchanges and be able to bring home positive changes when we come back to our home communities. Aside from this, I want to attain more hands on experiences in serving local communities while exploring the host community to become aware and engage in global issues happening in the communities and to take an active role in making changes among other future leaders.
Engaging with Vietnam affects my future in many ways like how it changes lives of thousands of people who come here to travel, work and study like myself who are experiencing precious moments upon visiting the world heritage sites and scenic spots which are among the best in the world. Considering all the knowledge and skills I am getting from Vietnam I can contribute in improving the communities by putting into practice all the education obtained by soon participating in some projects. Finally now that I’m engaging with Vietnam, my dreams are coming true, I continue to live my life in its fullest with so much passion and positivity.