In celebration of the diversity of our student body, we commemorate many of our student nationalities throughout the year. When we are on campus this celebration includes serving traditional food in both canteens.
This year we will be celebrating more countries than ever before!
Our first event is to celebrate the National Day of Vietnam on 2nd September.
At the end of WWII, Japan left Vietnam, and France remained to govern the country. The Viet Minh launched the ‘August Revolution’, seizing government offices across the country. Emperor Bao Dai abdicated on 28th August 1945, ending the Nguyen dynasty; and on 2nd September 1945, at Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi, President Ho Chi Minh (leader of the Viet Minh) declared Vietnam’s independence under the new name of the ‘Democratic Republic of Vietnam’ (North Vietnam).
It wasn’t until 1976 that the two halves of Vietnam were finally united as one country.
National Day is a very patriotic holiday with the Vietnam flag displayed and large posters of ‘Uncle Ho’ (Ho Chi Minh) adorning the city walls. There are speeches and parades, firework displays and a large march takes place in Ba Dinh Square.
Did you know?
- Despite being a tropical country, the climate is greatly impacted by the monsoon. At certain times of year (December to February) snow may be found in the northern mountainous town of Sa Pa, which sits along the border with China.
- Vietnam is a multiethnic country with 54 ethnic groups recognised by the Government ! Each group has its own language and culture
- Lotus is the national flower. An aquatic plant, growing in muddy ponds. The flowers rise above the surface for sunshine, bloom with beauty and emit a pleasant scent.
- Vietnam is the 2nd largest coffee exporter in the world today, after Brazil.
- In recent years, production has been more than 1 million tonnes per year.
- Weasel coffee is the most expensive, selling at US$150/Kg! It is also one of the top 10 most expensive coffees in the world. Weasels consume the coffee fruit. Perfectly protected by a thin silk membrane, coffee beans survive through the digestive system of the animals and are then collected from the animals' faeces!!!
- If you think Kuala Lumpur has a lot of motorbikes, visit Ho Chi Minh City. The roads are awash with them. Vietnam has a population of 92 million and it is estimated that there are 45 million bikes registered.
- Vegetarianism is habitually practiced to support prayers and wishes. For example, if someone is due to have surgery, a sincere prayer to Buddha followed by a week of vegetarianism is often carried out.
- The iconic conical hat. Legend says that once upon a time, during a torrential downpour which lasted weeks, flooding lands and homes and ruining rural life, a graceful goddess descended from the sky. She was wearing a giant hat made of 4 large leaves stitched together by bamboo sticks. It was so large, it guarded the people against the rain until the goddess dispelled the bad weather. This hat, the Non La has since become a daily item, worn to protect from both the rain and the scorching sun; and has been known to be used to carry vegetables from the market or become a bowl if passing by the water well!