The Culture

Ancestor Worship - Architecture - Arts Music Traditional - Cao Daism - Lifestyle - Literature - Media Cinema - Government & Economy - Lacquerware ceramics - Painting Sculpture Population - Religion - Sport - The National Psyche - Theatre Puppetry - The People Of Vietnam - Women In Vietnam


Vietnam is a paradox. It's a communist government with a capitalist economy. Telling it how it is, communism, socialism, call it what you will, is dead. This is a one-party capitalist bureaucracy that doesn't need to sweat about bothersome elections, and democratic rights. Officially, communism is still king , but there can be few party hacks that really believe Vietnam is a Marxist Utopia. Market - oriented socialism the new mantra, although socially-responsible capitalistic might be nearer the mark. My real love is painting and my work is quite popular. My living is stable, my family is happy, and we like to visit new areas of Vietnam for our holidays. I like to wander around the desolate and natural places that will soon disappear when life moves on.
How has tourism affected Vietnam?
As tourism grows, many people are Trying to study foreign languages. Tourists are coming not only to enjoy, but also to learn about the culture and tradition of our country. Tourism has invigorated our traditional culture as water puppets, hand-made silk and folk song. Nowadays the young Vietnamese like travelling. They are exploring the beauty of the country, the spirit of the Vietnamese nation. They are also learning about foreign cultures and traditions. It has opened their mind and reinforced their pride to be Vietnamese.
What about the north south divide?
The southerners are generous and free. They live for today, and don't worry about tomorrow. Southerners are not good at saving up for rainy days. They work hard by day but play hard by night. They are quick- learners. They are is sharp as a needle in business and dare to take risks. This means service in the South is of a higher standard than in the north Southerners respect northerners, because they see them as polite and courteous When so utherners meet Hanoi people for the first time, they often don't like them. Yet the more they get to know each other, the more The Saigon so really treasure their brothers from Hanoi.
Your favourite place in Vietnam?
I like Hoi An very much . Everybody is very kind. Hoi An has ancient streets, an old village at mosphere and a beautiful beach. It's full steam ahead, China style, with Vietnam becoming Asia's second-fastest growing economy in 2005, posting growth of 8.4%. Ho Chi Minh may be a hero, but it is Deng Xiaoping's school of economics that has prevailed, not the austere collectivism once espoused by Ho. And it's working well. Vietnam has become the new darling among international investors, challenging Thailand's ambition to become the 'Detroit' of Asia, churning out garments galore for. Western fashion houses and sucking in hi-tech investors such as Intel, with multimillion dollar plans for chip plants. Let the good times roll, Vietnam's economy is in top gear. It's not only the big ticket industries that are doing well; Vietnam recently overtook Thailand as the world's largest rice exporter, proving that the rural economy is roaring. Vietnam joined the World Trade Organizationin late 2006. It remains to be seen how this will impact on the economy, but even more interesting will be to see how the government deals with the issues of piracy and intellectual property rights. Vietnam, like China, has long been a nation where copy-catting is a national pastime. Not just software, music, books and the usual suspects , but even hotels, restaurants and travel agents. It will be interesting to see if the government has the te eth to tackle this issue.