Sunday, November 27, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Tôi tên là Svenja Đô Thới. Tên tiếng việt của tôi là Quỳnh Mai. Năm nay tôi hai mươi tuổi. Tôi là sinh viên năm thứ ba, học kinh doanh ở Đại học Quốc gia Singapo. Tôi là người Đức, nhưng bô mẹ tôi là người Việt. Tôi có một anh trai và một em trai. Tôi học tiếng Việt để tôi có thể nói chuyện với bà tôi. Khi rỗi, tôi thích đi chơi với bạn bè tôi. Tôi cũng rất thích đi du lịch, đặc biệt ở Việt Nam.
As mentioned before, my parents are both of Vietnamese origin. Both left Vietnam in their teenage years - my father to study and my mother fled from the war. They met in Germany, where I was born. I spent 5 years of my childhood living in Vietnam, but left when I was nine. I had not been back for 8 years before this year (I am currently on exchange in Singapore). I a lot of Vietnamese relatives and family friends in Germany and also Vietnam. Therefore, I do understand a lot of Vietnamese, but could never speak, which is why I decided to take Viet 1. This winter, I will be travelling Vietnam for a month. I love Vietnam, especially for its cuisine. My mother often cooks amazing pho bo. My favorite Vietnamese food though is com tam, especially with soda chanh. I really love being in Ho Chi Minh and can really see myself living and working there someday.
Before coming to Singapore I have very little knowledge about Vietnam. One of my first few Vietnamese friends that I met in Singapore is my roommate during Junior College days and I guess I got to know a bit more about Vietnam from him… (yeah he claims he is the descendent of Lê Lợi….-.-)
Anyway I kind of jumped into Vietnamese class without thinking about it too much but I have not regretted it. The classes are so fun, and I look forward to every class with cô Bích, cô Quỳnh, and cô Le. The classes are such a good break from the stressful Engineering modules and I have made a lot of new bạn bè too. From these classes and other activities like Chiều Việt Nam and South East Asian Night, I have had the opportunity to learn more about Viet Nam, their people and their culture. I hope I can continue learning Vietnamese next semester and I hope to see you all there too :)
Friday, November 4, 2011
Through this project, we learnt the various means of transportation that are available in Vietnam of which some are not found or largely used in Singapore. We also learnt how the Vietnamese people in this province survive on very little as compared to us and lead very simple lives. They are also dependent on the environment for survival as it is the main source of food and income for the people. As for conversational skills, we learnt how to bargain for cheaper prices and how to negotiate with our 'costumers' by coming up with new deals.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Mình tên là Rachel, tên tiếng Việt là Qùynh Tâm. Mình là sinh viên nam thứ nhầt, đình học ngành xã hội học.
I have never had any genuinely experienced Vietnamese culture, other than one Vietnamese friend I have, especially since I have never travelled to Vietnam before. This Vietnamese class has been my first real encounter with Vietnamese culture. I have come to appreciate many more aspects of Vietnam through learning this beautiful language. Also, the various topics we have covered gave me a glimpse of some cultural norms in Vietnam, that I otherwise would not know. I have yet to try any of the delicious looking food we learnt about in the last food chapter, but would love to someday! My desire to travel to Vietnam has increased in priority on my must-do list after taking this enjoyable module, I do wish I visit all three regions in the near future!
Mình tên là Josiah, tên tiếng Việt là Quang Thắng. Năm nay mình đang học ngành luật, là sinh viên năm thứ tư.
I’ve never been to Vietnam, but I have had exposure to Vietnamese culture from staying in hostels/halls ever since JC, since I am a foreign student. Right now I am a volunteer staff in the boarding school where I stayed during my JC years. One of the reasons I took up the language was to make communicate in Vietnamese with my Vietnamese friends. Our boarding school has an annual event called Celebration of Culture where boarders from every country get to show off their culture - food, dance, travel facts etc. It’s really exciting.
Mình tên là Pon Heng Wai, tên tiếng Việt là Quang Đạt. Mình là người Malaysia, và quê của mình là Ipoh, Perak. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ tư và mình đang học tin học.
Being a School of Computing student, I often meet with some of the Vietnamese friends in classes and projects. Most Vietnamese are very polite and they try to speak english when they are around with students from other nationalities. I always wonder what would it be like if I’m able to converse with them in Vietnamese. Also, one close friend of mine is a vietnamese. She exposes me to some of the Vietnamese food and culture when she’s in NUS as an exchange student. Together with her friends, I learnt how to make some of the vietnamese food, especially spring rolls. This December, I might go to Vietnam(Hanoi) to visit them, as they told me the winter is quite beautiful there.
Our group chose Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) because it’s the largest city area in Vietnam. HCMC also has a lot of history behind it. One might think that HCMC, being a city, might be boring. But not so. Due to its size and historical background there are actually a lot of different places to visit!!
For historical sites, there are many pagodas, each built by different groups of people - Chinese or Vietnamese, Buddhist or Taoist and so on. There is also the famous Notre-Dame Basilica built by the French. The Reunification Palace was built in 1962 on the site of the former palace built by French colonists in 1868. The Hotel Majestic also dates back to the colonial era. Also of interest are the Cu Chi Tunnels from the Vietnam War, which lie on the outskirts of HCMC. There are also many museums, for example the War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City Museum, and the Museum of Southern Women.
Some other interesting places are the cultural parks which are like theme parks, only that these focus on the cultural aspects of Vietnam rather than, for example, cartoon characters in Disneyland.
We can shop at many places including Ben Thanh market, Cho Lon market and many other less prominent but interesting markets, one of which sells memorabilia from the Vietnam War. HCMC also is home to restaurants boasting many Vietnamese specialties. We found that since HCMC is the economic hub of Vietnam, we can find delicacies, clothes and other things from all three regions and not just southern Vietnam!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Chào các bạn! Mình tên là Quỳnh Duyên. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ tư, học ngành tin học. Mình rất thích du lịch và khiêu vũ.
I have been to Thành phố Hồ Chí minh, Nha Trang, Mũi Né and Vũng Tàu. However, i would like to explore more parts of Vietnam in the future, especially the North and Central parts. When i was in Vietnam the last time, i found out that English was not widely spoken. As a result, my friends and I encountered many difficulties as we could not communicate with the locals. I hope that by learning Vietnamese, I will be better prepared for my next trip. Also, I love Vietnamese food, espcially Gỏi Cuốn, Bánh Canh Cua, Bún Bò Huế and Bún Chả Giò.
Chào các bạn! Mình tên là Quỳnh Tiêng. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ tư, học ngành khoa học xã hội. Mình thích học tiếng Việt lắm vì giáo viên của lớp tiếng Việt thân thiện và tốt bụng.
I just went to Vietnam for nine days during the June holiday. My friend and I had joined the NUS Mountaineering club to climb Mount Fansipan which is located near Sapa. Other than that we also travelled to other regions of Vietnam such as Hanoi and Lao Cai. The scenery in Sapa and Halong Bay is magnificent. Also, I fall in love with their culture in Vietnam- Bamboo dance, traditional costume and the well-mannered behaviors of Vietnamese. It was my first time travelling to Vietnam and I had a very wonderful experience indeed. I definitely would want to go back Vietnam again and thus I hope learning Vietnamese can help me communicate better with the locals there.
Chào các bạn! Mình là Quang Sơn, mình học sinh học và tin học. Mình là người Thụy Sĩ (Switzerland), nhưng mình sống ở Singapore năm năm rồi. Mình nói tiếng Pháp và tiếng Anh, và mình đang học nói tiếng Việt.
I have been to Vietnam several times now. First, I went to Ho Chi Minh City. While there, I took a day trip to the Mekong delta, which was quite beautiful. I also travelled to Tay Ninh, to visit an interesting temple of the Cao Dai religion (a blend of Taoism, Buddhism, Christianism, and a few others). I also went to the Cu Chi tunnels, remnant of the Vietnam war. That was a good opportunity to see the other side of the war, along with some museums in Ho Chi Minh City, and to realize that my usual Western point of view of the “good” Americans fighting the "evil" communists was way too simplistic...
I've also been to Phu Quoc, an island south of Vietnam. It is a very beautiful place, with nice beaches, and still fairly undeveloped, so you don't get overrun by crowds of tourists... It is famous for its pearls (there are many oyster farms around the island), and its nước mắm (fish sauce). It is a bit tricky to bring back fish sauce, as Vietnam Airlines doesn't allow you to take any on its planes, but you can actually buy some from a stall outside the domestic terminal of the airport in Ho Chi Minh City (and from there, other companies do not seem to mind carrying your nước mắm in your luggage back to Singapore).
I have also been several times to Đà Nẵng, which is often overlooked by tourists, who just know the city for its airport with its good local and international connections, and go straight to Hội An or Huế. It is a nice city, with the best infrastructure and urban planning I have seen so far in Vietnam: large roads, tall bridges, cosy neighbourhoods... From there, you can go to the marble mountains, climb (or take the cable car up) Bà Nà Mountains, a former retreat of French colonists, who wanted to get away from the heat at sea level. The touristy town of Hội An is only a hour away. Huế is also close, especially since the Hải Vân tunnel was opened, but I recommend taking the long way up the Hải Vân pass, as it is quite scenic. Huế is definitely worth a few days, with many tombs of formers emperors of Vietnam, and the main palace in Huế itself.
I still need to visit the North, including Ha Noi, Halong bay, and particularly Sapa after doing this presentation!
Why our group choose to do Sapa?
Our group choose to do Sapa because the scenery and landscape of the place is very beautiful, and also because Quỳnh Tiêng has been there, so that we could get some first hand information on the place. The area is very mountainous, with vast areas of paddy field covering it. Sapa is also full of tradition and culture. It is interesting to see the people dressed in their ethnic costume and leading a very different life compared to the city. We hope that by presenting on Sapa, we will be able to share the beauty of Sapa with our classmates and encourage them to go there one day too.
It was also a good opportunity to work on our Vietnamese, and practise our speaking and pronunciation. When preparing the script, we learnt to work around the relatively limited vocabulary available to us to say what we wanted to say, which is an essential skill when learning a foreign language, and hopefully will be useful when we go back to Vietnam.
Finally, we had quite a lot of fun preparing the script, as we decided to present our project as a skit, so that we could improve on our acting skills ;-)
|Locals in Sapa, Quỳnh Duyên being one of them in our skit|
|Hilly area around Sapa|
|Khách san nghìn sao!|
|Quỳnh Tiêng on top of Fan Si Pan mountain|
|Market in Sapa|
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I visited Vietnam in 2008 because I heard that it is a country rich in culture and the people are very friendly. Together with a friend, we backpacked from Hồ Chí Minh City to Hanoi for nine days.
I remember the bustling city of Hồ Chí Minh and how there were remnants of American culture present, as the Americans had occupied the South of Vietnam during the war. In particular, I had my first bowl of phở bò at a restaurant that George Bush had apparently dined in when he visited Vietnam.
At the outskirts of Hồ Chí Minh city was the Củ Chi tunnels. What striked me was how narrow the tunnels were and how the Vietnamese soldiers in the past were agile enough to navigate through them. Even I had trouble entering them!
I loved the beaches in Nha Trang and enjoyed parasailing over the blue sea and pristine, white sand. I recall the labyrinth of small shophouses in Hội An with rows of quaint tailor shops and coffee houses. I made a top and a skirt in one of the tailors and it was very cheap!
I went to see the water puppets in Hà Nội and walked around the park in the city. Somehow, the culture of Hà Nội seemed quite different from Hồ Chí Minh. I thought Ha Long Bay was beautiful but overly mentioned in guidebooks. Besides, its beauty was tainted by the number of noisy tourists visiting it.
I really enjoyed my trip to Vietnam and intend to return soon to visit Sapa.
|Night view of the famous Japanese bridge|
|The charming beauty of Hoi An|
Mình tên là Quỳnh Thu . Tên tiếng Anh của mình là Jia Yen. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ hai trường ở Đại Học Quốc Gia Singapo. Mình học ngành sinh học. Sau khi tốt nghiệp, mình muốn đi học thêm ở Mỹ hoặc Đức Hiện nay, mình mười chín tưổi.
Till present, I have yet travelled to Vietnam. However, I do have some knowledge about the Vietnamese cuisine thanks to Duyên; the only Vietnamese friend that I have since secondary school. We share a common hobby: to source for good Vietnamese cuisines. As a result, I do know a lot of the places in Singapore that sell authentic and delicious Vietnamese delicacies, with a range of prices. Recently, Duyên and I had just found a place that sells Vietnamese dishes at an affordable price. The restaurant is called ‘ Ythu Wendy’s Vietnam Restaurant’ that is located near town area. If you have the time, do drop by and try out the food (especially Khoai Mì Hấp với Nước Dứa- Steam tapioca with Coconut sauce- it is fingers licking good)
The photo below is Duyên.