This fortnight in Cultural Studies, we explored the fascinating and ever inspiring topic of food in Vietnam!
As always, our students were engaged and excited to learn about the variety and richness in Vietnamese foods and the regional differences throughout the country.
These are some of the facts we have learnt:
- Vietnamese food has two main ingredients- Rice, (which is not only steamed and fried, but also used in flour form to make rice flour rolls, rice cakes and noodles) and fresh vegetables and herbs.
- The students were surprised to learn that vietnamese food was also influenced by the French and such dishes as Banh Mi (Vitenamese sandwich) Banh Xeo (sizzling pancake) and snails- escargot are common meals in Vietnam.
- We then were able to discuss as a class the similarities and differences between our foods in Australia and Vietnam. One of the points of interest in the discussions was that many of our students with Asian influences, whether that be from their family’s culture, travelling or life experiences shared by their families: found many foods in Vietnam are familiar and cooked and eaten by their families.
Like Australians, Vietnamese food is fried, steamed, barbecued and boiled, but unlike western food, Vietnamese food is usually not baked or roasted, as small open air fires are more common than ovens.
It was lovely to see so many of our students wanting to go to more Vietnamese restaurants, with families emailing pictures of the children’s( and their own!) experiences trying Vietnamese food for the first time through the encouragement of their children!
We also viewed You-Tube clips of Luke Nguyen cooking snails on the Mekong River and saw the hilarious comedian Anh Do eating some exotic foods in Vietnam. ( this caused quite a few giggles!) But more importantly, the children are understanding that because a food is different or unusual, it is important to reserve judgement until they themselves have had a chance to try it. They are becoming more culturally sensitive and are learning that respecting a persons culture, their beliefs and their way of life is important.