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Featured Culture: Shining the Spotlight the Diversity of Southeast Center
Here at Featured Culture we want to shine the light on all of the wonderful diversity of Southeast Center. Check back bi-weekly for a new interview. All interviews are done by our International Advocate, Naomi Barbos. Come and check out the interviews with students from Asia, the Middle East, The Americans and many other countries!
Can you say a few things about yourself?
Hi, my name is Thai Nguyen. I’m an international student from Vietnam. I havebeen studying in the US for two years. Thisis my third term in PCC. I enjoy listening to music, and getting involved in activities. I would love to make more friends.
What is traditional food item from your home country?
The most popular traditional food item in Vietnam is Phở. I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard about it once or twice. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing one of the best noodle soup in your life.
What language(s) does the country typically speak?
Vietnamese is the typical language in my country. Besides, in Ho Chi Minh City or Capital Ha Noi, people also can speak English very well.
Are there any cultural clothing?
Yes, Áo Dài is a Vietnamese national costume.
What famous landmarks does your country have?
We have many beautiful landmarks such as
Ha Long Bay
Mekong River (Mekong Delta)
What is something awesome about your culture/ country that many don’t know about?
- Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashews in the world, and the second largest exporter of rice.
- Among all developing countries, Vietnam has one of the lowest unemployment rates.
- Every day, in Vietnam, there are about ten million motor bikes travel on the roads.
- Every family has 2 or more motorbikes and they are parked on the ground floor. The living room is a garage at the same time.
- Nguyen is the most common surname in Vietnam.
- Vietnamese is difficult to learn because it has six different tones, and a change in tone changes the meaning of the word.
What is the biggest difference between your culture/ country and American culture?
In my opinion, I think the biggest difference between my culture and American culture is in every meal. We always eat rice and use chopsticks. Also, we have the exact time for every meal, and all the members in family eat together.
N: Can you say a few things about yourself?
Abdullah: My name is Abdullah, my religion is Muslim and I am from Iraq. I moved here with my family in 2009
N: What is a traditional food item from your home country?
Abdullah: The best time to eat in my country is in the morning, breakfast being very popular. For lunch and dinner we usually eat rice and chicken. That’s a traditional food in my country. We also eat lamb or beef, but lamb is the most popular. We cannot eat pork. Another traditional food is kebab.
Usually all the family members sit together in the kitchen area and before they start, they have to say the name of the God, “bismil lah”.
If at the table are just family members, you can finish your food and leave but if there are guests, the guests need to finish first and afterwards you can leave. Usually people are preparing the food at home.
N: What language(s) does the country typically speak?
Abdullah: In my country, the first language for Christian is Kurdish ashorian. Arabic is the most popular language spoke though.
In the north, people speak Arabic and Kurdish.
N: Are there any cultural clothing?
Abdullah: Men have to wear Deshdasha som in their free time. When they are working, they cannot wear those clothes.
Women need to cover their head after the age of 12 or 13. Due to the religion, they have to cover their head but sometimes depends on their parents, if they are allowing them to keep their head cover or not.
N: What famous landmarks does your country have?
Abdullah: Some famous landmarks are Babylon, Assyria, and the city of Nineveh. There are also the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
N: What is something awesome about your culture that many don't know about?
Abdulla: When foreign people come to Iraq, the locals see them walking and usually they ask the tourists or foreign people how they are and the locals are inviting them to eat and sleep at their house without them having to pay. In this way the locals are making foreign people feel safe and welcome.
N: What is the biggest difference between your culture and American culture?
Abdullah: When I was in Iraq, I didn’t have too much freedom like I have now. In Iraq you don’t have the right to say what you think or what you want because the countries that are around Iraq are in control and those countries don’t want Iraq to have the power.
The countries around Iraq want to make Muslims and Christians fighting, in order to create problems in Iraq. The people are afraid to practice their religion.