Xin chào! (Hello!)
After the mid-semester break it was fantastic to see everyone to celebrate a night of everything Vietnamese! There were colourful lanterns hanging from the beams of the roof, beautiful pictures of Vietnam, and people dressed in beautifully crafted traditional Vietnamese dress. We were humbled to have the Adelaide University Student Vietnamese Association to help with the organisation.
Mr. Giang and Mr. Vinh gave an informative presentation about Vietnam, which included many interesting facts about the country and culture. Following this, the organisers persuaded some of the audience to join them in a traditional dance. For those who were brave enough to join in, it was a good opportunity to learn something new. For those who were not brave enough, it was amusing to watch the people who did give it a go.
Ms. Quan explained the significance of the clothing that some of our volunteers and some of the Vietnamese students were wearing. The ao dai (similar to a runway) gave an insight into Vietnamese fashion, and it was great when the audience cheered and clapped for the models as they showed off the clothing. Next, Mr. Hieu led a demonstration of a bamboo dance, which originated in farming fields at the end of a harvest as a way to celebrate the hard work done. Apparently it is also a popular activity for children to play in schools and there are competitions for it as well. Everyone was in awe of the demonstrators’ nimble movements as they darted over the bamboo sticks.
Dinner consisted of stir-fried noodles, green curry, and cold rolls. The chitter-chatter of voices recounted stories from the recent holiday break while munching away on the food provided. After dinner, it was time for our participants to try the bamboo game themselves. After seeing our demonstrators perform it so flawlessly, the rest of us were a little wary that we might get our feet caught between the bamboo sticks if we were not careful!
We also tried a different game called đá cầu where you had to keep a shuttlecock up in the air for as long as possible. It definitely tested the coordination of those who tried it, but it resulted in a lot of laughs and the spread of grins on happy faces when the shuttlecock was kept in the air for a lengthy period.
The last game that we attempted was one where a person stood blindfolded in the middle of a circle as the ‘hunter’, and everyone stood around him/her. Then everyone in the circle moved around, clapping their hands until we stopped. The hunter had to ‘catch’ someone. To avoid capture, the people on the outside could duck and weave but not move their feet. If caught, the person would have to talk in their native language and the hunter guessed the language. If right, they were no longer the hunter. If wrong, the game continued.
It was a magnificent to see those from a Vietnamese background teaching others about their own culture. We would like to give a heart-felt thanks (cám ơn rất nhiều) to the Adelaide University Student Vietnamese Association. In particular our thanks extend to Mr Hiu, Ms Quan, Mr Vinh, Ms Hu’o’ng, and Mr Giang. We also appreciate everyone who comes along to our events each week as well as to our marvellous volunteers.
Next week we have Pasar Malam to give you a taste of Malaysian and Singaporean culture!
If you are interested in coming along to our LCE events, head to this link for more information: https://international.adelaide.edu.au/life/connecting/lce/