Saturday, August 3, 2019
Vietnam War :: essays research papers
The very mention of the name Vietnam in the 1960s and '70s came to signify either a brutal jungle war or a spectacular failure of American power - or both. Thankfully, the combined legacies of French occupation, the Vietnam War and withdrawal of Soviet aid in 1990 have given way to the Vietnamese citizens' thriving entrepreneurial spirit, fueled by overseas investment and a relaxing of government control. And yet, the exotic chime of names and places still remains: Hue, Dien Bien Phu, the Perfumed River, the Plain of Reeds. The people are erudite and friendly, the food a delicious mixture of French and local cuisine's, and the scenery is sublime. Although Vietnam lies in the intertropical zone, local conditions vary from frosty winter in the far northern hills to the year-round subequatorial warmth of the Mekong Delta. At sea level, the mean annual temperature is about 27 degrees C in the south, falling to about 21 degrees C in the far north. Because of its wide range of latitudes and altitudes, there are no good or bad seasons for visiting Vietnam. When one region is wet, cold or steaming hot, there is always somewhere else that is pleasantly warm and sunny. Visitors should take into account the Vietnamese New Year celebration (Tet) which falls in late January or early February - flights and accommodation are often fully booked. Four great philosophies and religions have shaped the spiritual life of the Vietnamese people: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity. Over the centuries, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism have melded with popular Chinese beliefs and ancient Vietnamese animism to form what is known as Tam Giao (or `Triple Religion'). The Vietnamese language (kinh) is a hybrid of Mon-Khmer, Tai and Chinese elements with many of its basic words derived from the monotonic Mon-Khmer languages. The most widely spoken foreign languages in Vietnam are Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), English, French and Russian, more or less in that order. Popular artistic forms include: traditional painting produced on frame- mounted silk; an eclectic array of theaters, puppetry, music and dance; religious sculpture; and lacquerware. Vietnamese cuisine is especially varied - there are said to be nearly 500 different traditional dishes, ranging from exotic meats such as bat, cobra and pangolin to fantastic vegetarian creations (often prepared to replicate meat and fish dishes). However, the staple of Vietnamese cuisine is plain white rice dressed up with a plethora of vegetables, meat, fish, spices and sauces. Spring rolls and steamed rice pancakes are popular snacks, and the ubiquitous soups include eel and vermicelli, shredded chicken and bitter soups. Some of the more unusual fruits available include green dragon fruit, jujube, khaki, longan, mangosteen, pomelo, three-seed cherry and water apple.