We had both our fifth and sixth meeting yesterday because we couldn’t meet last week as planned due to illness. Our fifth meeting was about Vietnamese history.
Nghi told that the history of Vietnam dates back about 4000 years. The early inhabitants established villages close to waterways. There are two main rivers in Vietnam, one in the north and the other in the south part of the country. The rivers are called Hong or The Red River and Cuu long or The Nine Dragons River. As we assumed, The Red River has got its name from the rich soil that colors its water.
Nghi told us that there have been several dynasties in Vietnam and that the country was under Chinese rule for about a thousand years. The country has been in war quite a lot in the past and Nghi believes that it is one reason for the country still being a developing country.
Vietnam was a colony of France for about a hundred years and it gained independence from France in 1945. The country was divided into two parts at that time: the north was under the rule of the Communist party, whereas the capitalist south was controlled by the USA. After decades of war, the country finally became independent in 1975. Reconstruction of the country started after the war ended in the 1970s, and everything belonged to the communist government.
I was surprised to learn that written Vietnamese was actually created by a French missionary, which is why the alphabet is Latin-based instead of resembling the Chinese writing system.
All in all, it seems that regardless of the colorful history of the country with many conquerors, wars, and influence from the outside, I would say that it seems that the Vietnamese people still have been able to maintain their own cultural characteristics as well.