Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Vietnamese New Year

I believe its the Vietnamese New Year today - the year of the rooster. Chuc Mung Nam Muoy!

Dr. Flamm from the history department had come to our meeting, at our request, to talk to us about the Vietnam war. I felt that he is an excellent speaker because he didnt ramble like a lot of people do. He went straight to the point and covered both perspectives - the American and the Vietnamese. He hasnt been to Vietnam yet, but what he said about today's Vietnam echoed what I have read in books, heard from Thanh and Nga and some other news sources I read regularly. That showed me how meticulous he must be when he reads and talks to people to keep the truth and chaff out whats not. Overall, I was impressed with Dr. Flamm and his knowledge and learned a lot. Some facts I remember from the talk - US forces sprayed 19 Million Tons of the defoliant named Agent Orange. There are children still born today with deformities caused by Agent Orange coming in contact with their parents or grand-parents. More than 2 Million people were killled or severely injured in the war from the Vietnamese side - thats 10% of their total population. There are still unexploded mines and bombs in the country which kill hundreds of people in Vietnam even today. Mind-boggling!

2 Comments:

At 2/11/2005 1:29 AM, Blogger PT said...

Kumar, I agree with you. I really enjoyed Dr. Flamm's presentation. He is very impartial as well. I was not at all offended by anything he mentioned in his talk, in contrast with a lot of time I feel uncomfortable reading about Vietnam war. I think the talk is really good for our team as many of the members have no idea about the Vietnam war. It is history now.

And btw, it is Chuc Mung Nam Moi. Thanks for the wishes. I really wish I could be home right now.

 
At 2/14/2005 7:23 PM, Blogger Kumar said...

Chao em Thanh! Thanks for pointing out my mistake! I now can say it right! Chuc Mung Nam Moi! :)

I have had a hectic day today, but comign back to the blog and reading makes me feel a bit relaxed! Its amazing how much we have achieved just in the process of going there! And we havent even left yet! We've almost raised what looked like an impossible amount of money to raise at the beginning! And we've also formed so many new friendships and know each other so well now! Its amazing! I am looking forward to the trip. Its only 2 and a half weeks away now!

 

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