Are you living in a house or a ﬂat?
Currently I’m living in a rented ﬂat on Phao Dai Lang Street. It’s not so far from my workplace, only about 2 kilometers.
How long have you been living there?
Less than a year. Before I moved to this ﬂat, I had been living with my parents but it’s too far from my workplace and the traffic there was always terrible. It took me a long while to find this place but I’m pretty happy with it now.
What do you want to change about your neighborhood?
Hmm… That’s an interesting question. Actually I’ve never thought of this before. My neighborhood is pretty good I think. It’s quite civilized, and the location is convenient for me to travel to work. I don’t think I want to change any of these.
Are there a lot of holidays in Vietnam?
Let me see…quite a lot. I mean, there’re holidays almost every month, and sometimes these holidays are to celebrate the most ridiculous things. But I’m fine with that, you know, I have more days oﬀ from work!
What do Vietnamese people like to do during holidays?
I think most Vietnamese people want to stay at home and relax to recover after hard days at work and school. I also notice that families in the city often go on a picnic during these days.
Describe an important historical event
• What event it is
• When it happened
• Who or what was involved in it
And explain why you think it is an important historical event.
I would like to tell you about one of the most important past events to me. That is the time when President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence, establishing the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
History lessons at school in Vietnam might be boring, and not so many students pay attention to their teachers’ words in history classes, but I’m sure there’s one thing about history that all students in Vietnam remember. That is the date of the day marking our freedom. September 2nd 1945 was a glorious day. Thousands of people gathered at the Ba Dinh Square to listen to the Declaration of Independence.
You know, in the past, our country was invaded and colonized for a very long time by diﬀerent nations, but we never forgot our traditions and customs, and always tried to fight the enemies to reclaim our independence. Our biggest enemy might be China, but the hardest one to fight was France. They colonized us for almost 100 years, feasted on our people’s blood and sweat. Most Vietnamese people back then were farmers. They were uneducated and had to bow to their inhumane land lords. Despite the great disadvantages, they were still able to unite and keep fighting bravely. Millions of them died, but their heroic actions live forever. And as you can guess, we finally took back our freedom.
From that day up until now, every Vietnamese person has the right to proudly say that he or she is free. I mean, I’m truly grateful to all the soldiers who overcame great hardships and fought with their lives so that I can enjoy a better life now.
How is history taught in Vietnam?
It’s just terrible. I mean, most students are given a history book full of text and unnecessary details of some wars, written in a way that attract little interest. During all my years at school, my history teachers’ job was to read the whole text out loud and make sure that their students write everything down in their notebook. It’s really boring and tiresome!
Is there any diﬀerence between teaching history through books and movies?
I feel lucky you mentioned that. I’ve always dreamed of one day when history in my country are taught via movies and video documentaries. That way students might feel more excited and finally be able to pay attention to the knowledge they are learning in class. By presenting history in the form of images and videos, I believe history classes can achieve their original purpose – to teach history instead of lulling students to sleep.
Why are there many children who do not like to learn history?
There are two reasons in my opinion. The first reason is that most of them are not mature enough to feel interested in battles and wars that happened in the past. I mean, they are too young and are more keen on animated movies and video games. The second reason is the way that history is taught in most countries nowadays. I hold a strong belief that if schools change the way they teach history, things will be a lot diﬀerent.