American Culture Versus Vietnamese Culture

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Final Draft-Interview with Ken Luu

Today there will be an interview with a Vietnamese student regarding what Vietnamese society does with its spare time based on the perspective of a young, adult, Vietnamese male. The interviewer will be from an American cultured background and the interviewee will be from a Vietnamese cultured background. The interviewer is a Hillsborough Community College student by the name of John M. Robles. John is a twenty nine year old Puerto Rican student originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut.  The interviewee is a Hillsborough Community College student by the name of Ken Luu. Ken is a twenty five year old Vietnamese student from Saigon, Vietnam. The American and Vietnamese cultures are far more similar than most people think; in the areas of Entertainment, Arts, and Sports.

According to Ken, Saigon, Vietnam is a beautiful place. The word Saigon is a word more commonly used for the city of Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam.com, Ho Chi Minh City, first paragraph). Saigon also uses the abbreviation of HCMC (Vietnam.com, Ho Chi Minh City, first paragraph). Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam with a population of 10 million people (Vietnam.com, Getting to Know Ho Chi Minh City, people, first paragraph). The city of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) is situated by the Saigon River in the centre of the Cuu Long delta and the Southeastern part of South Vietnam(Vietnamembassy-usa.org, Geography and Climate, bottom of page). The city is located 1725 km south of Hanoi and 50 km west of the Eastern Sea. Ho Chi Minh City has 12 km of coastline (Vietnamembassy-usa.org, Geography and Climate, bottom of page).

Saigon has a very muggy, tropical climate with an average 75% humidity and also is just 63 feet above sea level(Vietnam.com, Getting to Know Ho Chi Minh City, Geography and Climate, second paragraph). Rainy seasons are usually from May to late November, December through April is the driest and the coolest months(Vietnam.com, Getting to Know Ho Chi Minh City, Geography and Climate, second paragraph). Most of the residents of the Vietnamese city of Saigon are Buddhist or practice ancestor worship, but about 13% are Roman Catholic or Protestant (Vietnam.com, Getting to Know Ho Chi Minh City, people, third paragraph). There are also other religions practiced in Saigon, including Islam and Hinduism, but are found in smaller numbers (Vietnam.com, Getting to Know Ho Chi Minh City, people, third paragraph). Vietnam was the first independent republic in Southeast Asia.

The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was established on September 2, 1945, with the Declaration of Independence (Vietnamembassy-usa.org, Political system in Vietnam, first paragraph). Ken was asked questions on the areas of entertainment, Arts, and sports.

The interviewer begins by asking Ken, “What types of things are there to do for teenagers between the ages of thirteen through nineteen after school or work?” Ken answered, “over there basically it is a poor country, after school most of the kids help their parents out.” He also said after school, kids like to play soccer in the fields; the community has large soccer field where kids come to play when their chores are done and when they finished all their work. Ken continued on to mention that the kids in Vietnam do go to the movie theatres or stay home and watch movies like the American culture. In the area where ken lived there were no American video games. There were such things as Sony, Sony Playstation, the systems themselves, but the games that were sold to everyone in the city were games that were not in America and created in Vietnam.

The interviewer asked Ken, “What type of things are there to do for adults ages twenty through sixty after school or work?” He goes on to say, “After eight or nine o’clock they can go to a club, or some bar where they can go get drunk.” Ken stresses, “There is a lot of alcohol involved in that age range.” Ken also states, “After work they can hang out with their friends, and drink a lot of alcohol. They do it on the weekends just like American cultures would.” Then Ken was asked, “ Are there video games that adults that age range would play?” He stated, “most adults in Saigon do not play video games, the younger people aged ten to eighteen would be the ones mainly playing video games.” They only have Japanese games in Saigon, Vietnam. None of the game titles that are made in America are sold there.

The interviewer asked Ken, “What about older adults, in United States seniors play bingo, go to the casino, what do older adults do with their spare time?” He plainly said, “ Where I lived people who are older like my uncle, who is forty years old, would just go to the bar after work to drink with their friends, or go home and spend time at home.” The Vietnamese culture has very similar interests as Americans involving television shows. The Vietnamese culture actually has its own version of American Idol, which is called Vietnamese Idol. The Vietnamese culture also has other game shows where Vietnamese Entertainers are the people who host the game show. The interviewer curiously asks, “Are there any unique Vietnamese television program?” Ken replies, “Most of the TV programs, game shows, and soaps in the American culture are usually turned into their own Vietnamese version.” He was asked if there are any unique game shows or programs like jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, or The Price is Right, again he said “no most of the things on TV are things that are seen in America except they turn it into their own version.”

Ken was also asked, “ What types of museums or exhibit are there to see in Saigon.” For example in the United States we have MOSI the Museum Of Science and Industry. He said lots of the art exhibits are oil painting made with Black China Ink with no color just black and white. Most are of them are about our ancestors, our village, or the countryside. They also have many exhibits on Buda, dragons (dragons have significant religious value), and water buffalo. Ken did not remember too many other details about the exhibits as he had only been to an exhibit one time.

The interviewer continues on with the interview casually changing the subject to Sports. Ken was asked, “What sports are popular in Saigon Vietnam?” He responded with an excited “Soccer!” The most favorite sport in Vietnam is soccer, as explained by Ken. Out of curiosity the interviewer asked Ken, “Does the Vietnamese culture have their own type of sports?” At first Ken did not understand what the interviewer was asking. Then he mentioned “ Boat Show” “Boat Show”.  What he meant to say was Canoe Races. After explaining more in detail he mention there would be between ten or more players on each team. He was also asked if there were other leagues or team he remembered, but he unfortunately did not remember. “How about the women?” “Do the women have separate league and teams in Vietnam?” the interviewer proceeds to ask.  “Yes the women have separate leagues and teams in Vietnam,” answered Ken. He stated again “yea soccer, soccer is very popular in Saigon.” The interviewer goes on to the next question, “What types of American Sports are popular now in Saigon?” “Rite now Basketball, people over in Vietnam are really into basketball.” “People love basketball, people are always talking about basket ball.”

The interviewer completed the interview and proceeded to review notes and prepare an analysis. One of the first things the interviewer noticed as something different between the American culture and the Vietnamese culture was that Vietnamese kids would first help their families before anything else. The American culture is usually more interested in enjoying themselves and having fun. One of the ways the Vietnamese culture is similar to the American culture is the openness of consumption of alcohol. Both cultures have similar issues with alcohol.         

The second way the two cultures are different is the style when it comes to Art. From what Ken said the Vietnamese culture create many of their paintings with Black China Ink and do not have much color in many of them.  The second way that the two cultures are similar is that the Vietnamese culture has their own soccer team and the American culture also have their own soccer team. Another way the two cultures are the same is that both cultures enjoy playing video games, going to the movie theatre, or staying home and watching a movie. Another thing makes the American culture and the Vietnamese culture different, is that older people in the senior citizen age range in Vietnam, from what Ken mentioned, hang out at bars mostly versus Americans who would probably be at the casino or the bingo hall or place other than a bar. From the analysis of the interviewer, he comes to the conclusion, “The American culture and Vietnamese culture have many things that make them similar, and many things that make them different”. No matter what, each is its own version of the human species. The way that different cultures learn from each other is by sharing information on what they’ve learn and what they’ve experienced. Future generations of Vietnamese and Americans will learn plenty from the mistakes of their past generations.

Formal Outline with Thesis Statement

The theme of my interview will be “ How most Vietnamese people use their leisure tine in Vietnam.”

Thesis Statement: “The American culture and Vietnamese culture have many things that make them similar, and many things that make them different”.

I. The interviewer will provide an interview with a Vietnamese person explaining how                                           

    most Vietnamese people use their leisure time in Vietnam.

A.  The interviewer will provide a brief overview of the culture and interviewee.

(Culture’s population, geography, religion, economic/political system)

1. The interviewer will research and explain the population of Vietnam.

2. The interviewer will research and explain the geography of Vietnam.

3. The interviewer will research and explain the main religion of Vietnam.

4. The interviewer will research and explain the economic/political system used              

                        by Vietnam.

                    B. The interviewer will ask questions to the interviewee about Entertainment in     

                         Vietnam.

                    C. The interviewer will ask questions to the interviewee about the Arts in Vietnam.

                    D. The interviewer will ask questions to the interviewee about Sports in Vietnam.

                    E. The interviewer will explain the differences between the American Culture and

                         Vietnamese Culture in the areas of Entertainment, Arts, and Sports.

             II.  The interviewee will answer questions concerning Entertainment in Vietnam.

                    A. The interviewee will answer questions about the different types of entertainment         

                         for teenagers ages 13 to 19 years old.

                    B. The interviewee will answer questions about the different types of entertainment    

                        for adults ages 20 to 65 years old.

                    C. The interviewee will answer questions about the different types of entertainment

                        for seniors who are 65 years of age and older.

                    D. The interviewee will answer questions about the different types of Vietnamese

                        T.V. shows.

                    E. The interviewee will answer questions about the different types of American T.V.

                        Shows that are popular in Vietnam.          

              III. The interviewee will answer questions about the Arts in Vietnam.

                    A. The interviewee will answer questions about the different types of Art Museums

                        or Exhibits in Vietnam.

                    B. The interviewee will answer questions about the types of Vietnamese Art that are

                         popular in Vietnamese culture.

                    C. The interviewee will answer questions about the type of American Arts that are

                        popular in Vietnam culture.

              IV.  The interviewee will answer questions about Sports in Vietnam.

                     A. The interviewee will explain what are some of the different types of sports

                     B. The interviewee will explain what Vietnamese Teams or Leagues are popular in

                         Vietnam.

                     C. The interviewee will explain whether there are separate teams or leagues for

                         women who play in sports Vietnam.

                     D. The interviewee will explain what American Sports are popular in Vietnam.

               V.  The interviewer will summarize the interview. (Conclusion)

                     A. The interviewer will summarize how Vietnamese and American Entertainment

                         are similar and different.

                     B. The interviewer will summarize how Vietnamese and American Arts are similar

                         and different.

                     C. The interviewer will summarize how Vietnamese and American Sports are

                         similar and different.

                     D. The interviewer will give a brief summary of what was learned from the overall                        

                         Interview.

Final Draft-Interview with Ken Luu

Works Cited

Guide to Grammar and Writing. “Quotation Marks”. Capital Community College

<http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/GRAMMAR/marks/quotation.htm>

Harper,Tara K. “Writer’s Workshop First Person or Third?”1996 – 2005.16 November 2005

<http://www.tarakharper.com/k_frstpr.htm>

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Vietnam.com, 2008

<http://www.vietnam.com/travel/2/Ho-Chi-Minh-City-Saigon>

Research Essay. Step Four: The outline, Strategies of Rhetoric , fifth edition, by A.M. 

Tibbetts and Charlene Tibbetts, and The Little, Brown Handbook, eighth edition.

<http://www.uni.uiuc.edu/~srayburn/research_essay Step Four.htm>

The Rice Online Writing Lab. “Documenting Sources.” 2004, Rice University

<http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~riceowl/documenting_sources.htm>

The Writing Center. “Hand outs and links”. wcweb 1998 – 2007,                                                               University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

<http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/mla.html>

Vietnam – US relations. Learn about Vietnam<http://www.vietnamembassy-usa.org/learn_about_vietnam/geography/ho_chi_minh_city>

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