Get to know Vietnam

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Personal Deets

Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam)
Nickname: Vietnam (Việt Nam)
Hometown: Hanoi
Birthday:  April 30
I speak: Vietnamese
Relationship Status: Socialist One Party State (Which is a polite way of saying communist)
Number of fb friends: 96,160,163 (July 2017 est.)
Ethnicity: Kinh (Viet) 85.7%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.8%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer 1.5%, Mong 1.2%, Nung 1.1%, Hoa 1%, other 4.3% (54 ethnic groups are recognized by the government)
Religious affiliation: Buddhist 7.9%, Catholic 6.6%, Hoa Hao 1.7%, Cao Dai 0.9%, Protestant 0.9%, Muslim 0.1%, none 81.8% (2009 est.)
Does size really matter?   331,210 sq. km slightly larger than New Mexico
I drive on the: Right- but that’s merely a suggestion. I am the reason people say Asians can’t drive.
If we go Dutch, I’m paying in: Vietnamese Dong (And no, the joke never gets old) $1= 22,715 dong
Drinking Habits: I love social drinking! I can usually be seen sitting around on plastic chairs in the afternoon sipping beer or happy water (rice wine) having a grand ol time.

My Life Abridged

In my early days- think 3 digit years- I had a thing with the boy next door. Or- the Imperial ruler next door? I broke free from Imperial China in AD 939 and really started to come into my own until- per usual- the French butt in. They shaped a large part of what I am today. Mr. Communist- Ho Chi Mihn came along- getting sick of Japanese occupation (WWII) and the French and said, “Enough’s enough,”  resulting in an eight year war known as the IndoChina war that eventually made the Frenchies leave and divided me in two. Most of you know what happens next.

The battle for my heart between the North and the South went on from 1954-1975. You know, you try to keep your private life private. But Uncle Sam is kind of scared to death of communism. He tried, but it didn’t go well. The North eventually won out and I became communist. The whole thing left me broken and bruised. I’ve been trying to rebuild myself since. In the years following there was huge economic and social insanity. This came with inflation and even more death.

Did you hear about my neighbor Cambodia?  Pol Pot had ideas of moving in so I had to go shut him down.  I put a stop to the Khmer Rouge and had a government presence there  until 1989. Today I still find myself battling between tradition and modernization. I’m an up and comer on the world stage and hope to make my mark in a positive way. I have a ton to offer and am excited for you to get to know more about me!

I would also like to point out that if you actually think about it I’m a better driver than everyone since we all drive like insane people and avoid accidents when most wouldn’t. Just sayin’ man.

FAVES

Movies:

Not surprisingly, they are all about the War. Not all are known for their historical accuracy, but more for their depiction of what it was like and what went wrong. 

Full Metal Jacket, Good Morning Vietnam, Apocalypse Now

Five Things I Can't Live Without

  1. Cashews and black pepper. I’m the world’s largest exporter of both those things! Who knew?!
  2. Mint: I put mint in EVERYTHING. Like, probably too much stuff.
  3. Water puppet shows. Creepy or quirky?
  4. Motorbikes. Despite the fact that there is a 200% tax on them- they’re everywhere. Literally everywhere.
  5. Dog. I eat dog. Is that a deal-breaker?

Ice Breakers Fun facts

  •  Slinkys were used in the Vietnam War as mobile radio antennas. They would sling the Slinky over branches and extend the range of their radios.
  • In 2013, there were 37 million registered motorbikes, compared to just two million registered cars.
  • In 2011, police in Vietnam were banned from chatting, smoking, putting their hands in their pockets or wearing black sunglasses on duty.

Deal Breakers Just No....

** Please make sure to practice responsible tourism while traveling! I don’t mean to get all righteous here, but I think it’s extremely important. There are many new and exciting experiences to try abroad- but make sure you do your research!!  Many developing countries rely heavily on tourism and there are some activities that are solely for tourists. They are there to make money and conditions can be terrible. Many times we are unaware of what we are contributing to, but that is exactly why it is so crucial to stay informed!**
  • This is the same ol stuff folks. Be smart! No riding elephants, playing with animals that are supposed to be wild, buying things from kids on the street, volunteering at orphanages (or at least do extensive research before)- all the good ol SE Asia “Watch Outs” apply.

How can I help?

Don’t support these things! Boycott them! Make sure you do research on everything you do.  By no means are these the only things to look out for.

Get to know Vietnam

Like what you see? Interested in going on a date? All you’ve gotta do is ask! Click here for all the info I have on heading to Vietnam!

Get to know Vietnam

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/vm.html 

Photo Credits: Photo credit: patrikmloeff via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND