Monday, November 25, 2013

Bank and Shoal of Time, Vung Tau

Photo taken by US serviceman. "Vungers Beach" Vung Tau 1967

A 'friendly' Douglas A-1 Skyraider makes a high-speed, low
pass directly over US servicemen while they enjoy the
waves along Vung Tau Beach, South Vietnam.

Welcome to the readers from the Phillipines - Kumusta

Bank and Shoal of Time

Vietnamese Fortune Cookie


If Love is the Answer You're Home

Vung Tau Beach

The local beach resort from Sai Gon. Nha Trang it is not but people were once again super friendly.

See Nha Trang below:

Nha trang is still the most visited of my posts on GuerrillaZ. The most relaxing place I have ever visited.

But this is Vung Tau.

Super shy son, proud father

Father had to chase son around for fully five minutes to get this shot.

Vung Tau had something of the English seaside; deck chairs, mucky sand and a general scruffiness.

The hydrofoil that took you to Vung Tau was fabulous and the jungle by the Sai Gon river estuary, resplendent. Somehow it opened up vistas of an imaginary; reckless, Utopian, atavistic. The river, chocolate milk. The Nypa palms, sustaining herbs. In palette of apple Granny Smith.

This is Daft Punk featuring Sebastian Tellier (from my post on France). The violent storms round Sai Gon in the rainy season rendered the ride back to the city atmospheric and with this music, magical.

'Motherboard' with Seb Tellier by Daft Punk‎ 

A tiny tributary off the Saigon River

Nypa palms off the Saigon river.

Vietnamese Family and its Values II (continued from the Cu Chi post):

Principles and values
The Vietnamese culture is based on four fundamental principles or values:
  1. allegiance to the family
  2. development of a “good” name
  3. love of learning
  4. respect for other people.
Allegiance to the family is seen as the most important factor. The family is the centre of the individual's existence and the foundation of Vietnamese society.

The collective nature of society and the family has important ramifications for all of its members. The misbehaviour of an individual reflects badly on all of the family members. Likewise, the success of an individual will bring honour and pride to all family members. It is not uncommon for family members to “blur the lines” of who has actually achieved an important job or position. This is not done out of selfishness, but because the family as a whole is seen as a single unit. The individual has not achieved that honour, but the family has.

Filial piety
Traditionally the family has been the foremost institution for the education of children. The children are taught from a very young age that they are to forgo their interests for those of their family. Central to this theme is the concept of filial piety (hieu thao). This is considered to be the most essential virtue in Vietnamese society. Children are taught that they must be thankful to their parents for the debt of birth, their upbringing and education. They are to think of their parents and family first, to make sacrifices for them and to love and care for their parents in their old age. A Vietnamese person who neglects this responsibility is ostracised by both their family and the community.

This love and respect for the family also transcends to the village. The village is not only a place to grow up and live but where their ancestors are buried. In rural areas of Vietnam many people never leave the village where they were born.

Entwined in these ideas is the concept of respect for elders. Vietnamese are taught that at home they are to show respect to their parents, older siblings and older relatives. This concept also transcends into the broader community.

After a long negotiation these children came forward and posed on the beach at Vung Tau

Family structure

“The daughter-in-law is one of the family
The son-in-law is a stranger”

The structure of the basic Vietnamese family unit is much more complicated than the traditional western nuclear family. There is a clear distinction between the immediate and extended families in Vietnamese society, but their concepts of each of these are different to a western interpretation. The immediate family is not just the mother, father and children, but also includes the husband’s parents and the son’s wives and children. The extended family includes the close relatives who share the family name and the ancestors who live in the same community.

 The local testosterone is extremely gentle by western standards

Roles and position
The role and position of each family member is reflected in the very complex forms of address associated with its different members. For example, sons are referred to by their relative birth position with the number one son holding the position of most power and prestige. However, this form of address can be further complicated by regional differences. Historically, the first son of Vietnamese families in the north was sent to settle the lands in the south. This means that the form of address for the sons of a family in the north is different to those present in the southern portion of the country.

Behaviour patterns are directed to family as opposed to personal wellbeing. Respect is granted to the head of the family and advice is often sought from older members of the family. The father is seen as the head and as the “pillar” of the family. Grandparents also traditionally wield large amounts of power, due the their age, wisdom and status. However, for siblings it is the eldest son that is deemed as the most important. This is a direct consequence of his role in carrying the duty of honouring the ancestors.

Family relationships

“A wife without a husband is like a boat without a rudder”
Despite recent changes the family remains a patriarchal institution. Women are traditionally subservient to men and are taught that they have to obey three men in their life. Firstly their father, secondly their husband and finally their oldest son. However, events in Vietnamese history have meant that, on many occasions, women have been used to being alone and taking over the family. They are well regarded and traditional sayings reinforce their endurance, suffering and sacrifice.

“The father is to the child as the roof is to the house”

Vung Tau - seaside resort

Pyjamas that can only be found in Viet Nam. This family were great and wondered why I swam so far out to sea instead of relaxing. More deck chairs.

Another thing you can use a beach for:

How beaches can affect you.

The piano played in my mind today.

The Beach Scene and Nyman's 'The Heart Asks Pleasure First' from The Piano by Jane Campion.

Beaches are quite nice for kissing too.

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