[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tables and hay bales littered The Quad, and yellow banners with Vietnamese characters hung from the tents while members of the Vietnamese Student Association served food, sold tickets and played music to spread awareness of Vietnamese culture.
VSA hosted its third annual Across Vietnam festival Sunday. This year’s theme was “The Journey Within,” to represent the differences in cultures of North, Central and South Vietnam through games, crafts, music and 15 different dishes available to try.
VSA President sophomore Quan Nguyen, who is from Vietnam, said he traveled through his home country last summer with some American friends. They went from Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city in the north, down through Ha Long Bay, to the mountains in central and southern Vietnam. Nguyen said after viewing the cultures throughout different regions of his homeland, he decided the festival’s theme.
Nguyen said he transferred to Truman last semester during the spring and wanted to improve VSA when he discovered the organization.
“I wanted to bring the image of the north, central and south to Truman. Vietnam is united right now,” Nguyen said. “It’s not as divided as it was 70 years ago. The main differences are just like in America. The south is one way, and the north is totally different in the food, accents and the way they dress. I wanted people to encounter every corner of Vietnam at this event.”
Sophomore Anh Bui, who cooked food for the festival, said he thought the hard work paid off because he helped bridge the gap between the Vietnamese and American students at Truman.
Bui said as part of his position, he and a group of about 40 students cooked enough food to feed 310 people, created their own decorations and drove to St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City to buy specific ingredients to give the Truman and Kirksville community a more authentic taste of Vietnamese culture.
“I decided to help with Across Vietnam because I can contribute my work, so the event can be successful and so we can promote our country more,” Bui said. “I think Across Vietnam has quite a reputation at Truman for what we have done over the last three years. It is something many of my American friends tell me they look forward to.”
With 70 students from Vietnam at Truman, Bui said he and the other members of VSA thought there was a need to display the beauty and quirks of their culture to the students and residents of Kirksville.
To learn more about Across Vietnam, read the rest on Issuu.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”5922,5920,5919″][/vc_column][/vc_row]