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Essay/Term paper: Vietnam war

Essay, term paper, research paper:  American History

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on American History: Vietnam War, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

The very mention of the name Vietnam in the 1960s and '70s

came to signify either a brutal jungle war or a spectacular

failure of American power - or both. Thankfully, the

combined legacies of French occupation, the Vietnam War

and withdrawal of Soviet aid in 1990 have given way to the

Vietnamese citizens' thriving entrepreneurial spirit, fueled by

overseas investment and a relaxing of government control.

And yet, the exotic chime of names and places still remains:

Hue, Dien Bien Phu, the Perfumed River, the Plain of Reeds.

The people are erudite and friendly, the food a delicious

mixture of French and local cuisine's, and the scenery is

sublime. Although Vietnam lies in the intertropical zone, local

conditions vary from frosty winter in the far northern hills to

the year-round subequatorial warmth of the Mekong Delta.

At sea level, the mean annual temperature is about 27

degrees C in the south, falling to about 21 degrees C in the

far north. Because of its wide range of latitudes and altitudes,

there are no good or bad seasons for visiting Vietnam. When

one region is wet, cold or steaming hot, there is always

somewhere else that is pleasantly warm and sunny. Visitors

should take into account the Vietnamese New Year

celebration (Tet) which falls in late January or early February

- flights and accommodation are often fully booked. Four

great philosophies and religions have shaped the spiritual life

of the Vietnamese people: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism

and Christianity. Over the centuries, Confucianism, Taoism

and Buddhism have melded with popular Chinese beliefs and

ancient Vietnamese animism to form what is known as Tam

Giao (or `Triple Religion'). The Vietnamese language (kinh)

is a hybrid of Mon-Khmer, Tai and Chinese elements with

many of its basic words derived from the monotonic

Mon-Khmer languages. The most widely spoken foreign

languages in Vietnam are Chinese (Cantonese and

Mandarin), English, French and Russian, more or less in that

order. Popular artistic forms include: traditional painting

produced on frame- mounted silk; an eclectic array of

theaters, puppetry, music and dance; religious sculpture; and

lacquerware. Vietnamese cuisine is especially varied - there

are said to be nearly 500 different traditional dishes, ranging

from exotic meats such as bat, cobra and pangolin to

fantastic vegetarian creations (often prepared to replicate

meat and fish dishes). However, the staple of Vietnamese

cuisine is plain white rice dressed up with a plethora of

vegetables, meat, fish, spices and sauces. Spring rolls and

steamed rice pancakes are popular snacks, and the

ubiquitous soups include eel and vermicelli, shredded

chicken and bitter soups. Some of the more unusual fruits

available include green dragon fruit, jujube, khaki, longan,

mangosteen, pomelo, three-seed cherry and water apple.

Vietnamese coffee is excellent. Special prayers are held at

Vietnamese and Chinese pagodas on days when the moon is

either full or the merest sliver. Many Buddhists eat only

vegetarian food on these days. Some of the major religious

festivals follow a lunar calendar. They include: Tet (late

Jan-early Feb), the most important festival of the year,

marking the new lunar year as well as the advent of spring;

Wandering Souls Day (August), the second-largest festival

of the year, when offerings of food and gifts are given to the

wandering souls of the forgotten dead; and Holiday of the

Dead (April), which commemorates deceased relatives. Ho

Chi Minh City is the heart and soul of Vietnam. It's a

bustling, dynamic and industrious center, the largest city (3.5

million), the economic capital and the cultural trendsetter.

The streets, where much of the city's life takes place, is a

myriad of shops, stalls, stands-on-wheels and vendors selling

wares spread out on sidewalks. The city churns, ferments,

bubbles and fumes. Yet within the teeming metropolis are the

timeless traditions and beauty of an ancient culture. Sights

include the Giac Lam Pagoda, the neo-Romanesque Notre

Dame Cathedral, Reunification Hall, Cholon market and the

former US embassy, scene of such havoc during the 1975

evacuations. Central Ho Chi Minh City is the place to be on

Sunday and holiday nights. The streets are jam-packed with

young locals cruising the town on bicycles and motorbikes,

out to see and be seen. The Municipal Theater area is the

hub for young hipsters. Entertainment ranges from disco and

karaoke in the larger hotels, loud Western music in bars such

as the Hard Rock Cafe, dancing at the Rex Hotel or

experiencing traditional Vietnamese music at the

Conservatory of Music. Most forms of entertainment can be

found in downtown Ho Chi Minh City along Mac Thi Buoi

Street. .  

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