Spreading Vietnamese Culture All Through West High

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Art/Photo by Vanessa Le( 11)

Because of the pandemic, Vietnamese Association Club had to hold their meetings over Zoom. Even so, many of the members were able to gain memorable experiences, as well as the VSA board members. Victoriana Le (12) said that she “enjoyed being able to meet other people through our events.”

Rebecca Yan, Social Media/Business Editor

   Pho, Vietnamese coffee, and straw hats. That may be what you think of when you hear of Vietnamese culture. But Vietnamese Student Alliance (VSA) is showing that there is more to their culture than what meets the eye.

   Started in early February of last year, VSA was created in order to educate and generate a friendly and safe environment for members to learn more about the culture of Vietnam. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual meetings have posed a problem for this club. 

   Vanessa Le (11), Publicist of VSA, noted how “it was hard to adapt at first, because I and the VSA board aren’t used to talking in front of a screen.” But as time passed and VSA held meeting after meeting, she soon learned how to adapt to this new virtual world. “But now for every meeting that we hold, the board members and I run through a rehearsal meeting to practice.” Through practice and perseverance, the VSA board learned that they could accomplish anything, even through a global pandemic.

  To make meetings more engaging, board members try their best to sound enthusiastic and eager. In addition, to help loosen the atmosphere and educate members, games such as Pictonary and Kahoot! are played. 

   VSA goes over many different aspects of their culture. One specific tradition they recently discussed during their February meeting was about festivals. Le said that “we talked about how during the Lunar New Year Festival, elders would give little children money in red envelopes and people would dress up in Vietnamese dresses to celebrate the New Year.”

   In addition to educating others on the culture, VSA is also a friendly and comforting environment for those who are curious about their own culture. Member Jessica Nguyen (10) explained how being in VSA has been both a fun and memorable experience for her. “Since I don’t really know much about my own culture, I was hoping to join VSA to learn new things about Vietnam.” 

   And if you’re still having doubts if you should join VSA, take some advice from Vice President Victoriana Le (12). “You don’t have to be Vietnamese to enjoy the club, it’s all about learning, experiencing, and enjoying the culture.” No matter who you are or what culture you celebrate, VSA welcomes any student with open arms! It’s not only about the culture, but the learning and fun that VSA can provide.

   VSA provides both education and fun, as it helps students learn more about their own cultures. Vietnamese culture is not just about the food or the activities, but it’s also about sharing a common activity with the people around you.