Southeast Asian Culture

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Beyond the accident of geography that immutably links the peoples of ASEAN together are enduring affinities drawn from shared cultural patterns and common historical experiences. Such cultural patterns and historical experiences mainly arose from colonialism. The advent of colonization also meant the beginning of cultural evolution for Southeast Asian countries. Cultural influences can be vastly seen through Southeast Asian countries’ cuisine, religion, language, education, architecture, infrastructure, transportation and even fashion. These cultural influences, I believe, had successfully enriched the indigenous practices, arts, traditions and culture of ASEAN countries. Similar to what I pointed out during the last forum, ASEAN peoples are…show more content…
Vietnamese cuisine has been greatly influenced by French colonialism. The Vietnamese Baguette was adapted from French Baguette, which is a popular French food. The Vietnamese created their own style of this bread by using rice flour compare to French wheat flour, with its distinct flavor and taste. The Bănh mi, a sandwich with meat and vegetables is an amalgam of Vietnamese and French Cuisine. The use of meat came from French while the Vietnamese had a penchant for using fresh vegetables and herbs. Another important French influence to Vietnamese cuisine is coffee, which became an integral part of their social culture. Today, coffee is not only part of their culture, but an important boost to their economy. Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee having a net export of US$3.1 billion…show more content…
The French placed special attention to education. Vietnam underwent major educational reforms as a French colony and Franco-Vietnamese schools were built, which played a crucial role in forming the new generation of Vietnamese intellectuals (Tran, T. 2009).  Architecture. The French colonialism built many architectural buildings from the late eighteenth until the early years of the twentieth century. In fact Saigon (Ho Chi Min City today) was known as the Little Paris in the east or jewel in the east. Some of the remarkable buildings which have European style (high arches, balconies and columns) are: 1) BuuDien (Post Office) built by France in 1860; 2) Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon built in 1863 and looks like Notre Dame in Paris; and 3) Saigon Opera House which was previously called French Opera House built in 1897.  Infrastructure. The French did leave behind modern infrastructure in Vietnam such as the well-known Reunification Express, the railway line between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This was built under French rule. Another infrastructure is the Long Bien Bridge, formerly Paul Dolumer Bridge, in Hanoi built in

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