The luggage I brought to Germany
… has littlest things but considerable cultural experiences. Because this time I know, I will go far.
The only way to go far is to carry things that are most essential: some clothes, some pairs of shoes, one kindle with all books on the shelf but in digital files, passport, and the home culture I have been soaking in for my whole life – the most important element that makes up my soul.
As a student and a minimalist, I am less fond of the idea of giving gifts and souvenirs to people. Instead, I am much more into the idea of telling them stories about me and my country. By doing so, I sometimes make friends, usually receive a piece of culture back, and always bring my home spirit a bit further.
Vietnam to the Western world is maybe just a country somewhere in Asia that share same appearance and type of state with China. A country that was once under France’s colonial rule, later on was an important part of the proxy war between two most powerful nations.
However, Vietnam to me is home. It has soul, culture, custom and tradition. Vietnam may have a lot of differences with Germany, but not many people know that we have almost same size of area with similar topography that made up of rivers, mountains, jungles, plains and sea. We also have same latin alphabet, same way to celebrate the biggest traditional festivals: Christmas and Tết (Vietnamese lunar new year) and same love for our countries.
It’s easy to highlight differences, but let us consider the similarity between the people, culturally and humanly. It’s evident to discriminate, but let us find out the resemblance between two nations, respectfully and diplomatically.
Exactly with that motto, I am going to present about my country to german secondary students, regarding the project “Europa macht Schule” by DAAD. Used to be a German student in Vietnam, I had endless talks with fellow students and teachers about Germany. However, the first time representing my home land with German students sparks in me the pride to be a Vietnamese, the pride to be the connection between two countries, and the pride to be able to take part in the anti-discrimination movement of our generation nowadays. In the end, we are all human,
“And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put out differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all”
In order to go far, we need less thing to lighten up our steps. In order to go depth, we need more sharing cultural experiences to enrich our soul.