Blewog-nam #8

Teacher’s Day Celebrations

As some of you may know, Sibyl’s placement in Vietnam actually involves her doing some work. She is teaching English to a select number of privileged Vietnamese children. She teaches at a place called ‘The Children’s Palace’ and yes, it really is as exciting as it sounds.

Even though the playground is great fun for the kids, some actual learning does take place. It serves as a sort of after school club. The kids that go to the school either pay a large amount of money or earn a scholarship funded by the government.

On the 20th of November it was Teacher’s Day. What on earth is teacher’s day? Apparently:

“This holiday allows students to express their respect to their teacher. Students begin preparing a week in advance, and many classes usually prepare literature and art to welcome teacher’s day, while other student prepare foods and flowers for the parties held at their schools. Students usually visit their teachers at their homes to offer flowers and small gifts, or organize trips with their teachers and classmates. Former students also pay respect to their former teachers on this day. The holiday has its origins in a meeting between educators in communist bloc nations in Warsaw in 1957. It was first celebrated in 1958 as the Day of the International Manifest of Educators; in 1982 the day is renamed Vietnamese Educators’ Day.”

Sibyl and her fellow gappers all received many exciting gifts. Some presents received:

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All these gifts were topped by a ceremony on the 18th. Apparently it is a great honour to be asked to sing in Vietnam, or in Sibyl and Emily’s case in Vietnamese. They had no choice in the matter, during the big concert on Tuesday they were to sing a traditional Vietnamese song, in front of hundreds of people and an array of video cameras. I have put together a selection of highlights from the evening. Listen out for the chorus, ‘VIETNAM, HO CHI MINH!’

Enjoy.

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