Sunday, April 7, 2013

Liz Shigetoshi - Week 1

In the article “Vietnam before the Mid-nineteenth Century”, Sucheng Chan briefly discusses the presence of gender equality amongst Vietnamese culture. Also in class, we discussed how Vietnamese women aren't expected to change their last name when they get married, and sometimes they even hyphenate their name with their spouse's. Gender equality really intrigued me because I was unaware of this existing concept and how it's been present throughout Vietnam's history. For example, Chan mentions the Trung sisters, and how they are looked upon as national heroines of Vietnam (as they successfully led a rebellion against the Chinese around 40 AD). This made me wonder the following: how have they been celebrated as heroines? If so, were they celebrated like how we celebrate figures like Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States (i.e. holidays, statues, temples, etc)? Was there a general consensus to celebrate the sisters or did only certain regions of Vietnam care to take part in the celebrations?

A statue of the Trung sisters located in Ho Chi Minh City

A parade with a fighting elephant statue carrying offerings from Ha Loi Communal House to the Hai Ba Trung Temple.

Everything in this class has been new information to me so far. I'm Vietnamese, but since I'm adopted and I've been raised in a Japanese American household, I don't have any background in my biological roots. I actually wasn't exposed to Vietnamese culture until I was nearly 18 and was equipped to drive around other parts of Sacramento, CA where Vietnamese people/culture are clearly prominent. There's a lot to learn, but I look forward to understanding a culture that is just as much a part of me as Japanese and American culture.

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