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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Black and White

Student Name

June 12, 2018

ENGL 0900-402

Instructor: Professor’s Name

I am a violinist, I enjoy my life of playing music challenging, solving problems, feeling and creating the melodies of life. As far as playing musics, there is non-stop practicing for my whole life, not only to be true, but also to be never wrong.

On my first day to school, my father taught me a special thing that I will surely keep in my mind for the rest of my life about the big label on the school’s gate “study manners first then read and write”. This is also the special culture in my country Vietnam. The children will give parents, grandparents and older people great respect. And that is why the Lunar New Year in my country became special, which is the chance for the children to give meaningful wishes to the elders in their families and express their gratitude to them. I was born and grew up in a country unlike other capitalist countries. Our Government decides everything with the slogan: “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Citizens have been very pleased, since the first grade to the last day of high school, we have held the flag in the school yard every Monday morning with the pride of singing the national anthem. To me, I had a chance to learn about the music notes on the piano keys when I was a child. I realized the black and white are two separate things, uneven, uninterrupted things but always appear together.

That is what I think about life when I was a little kid with my little senses. That is why I care about fairness, truth and lies, right and wrong. I also learned by curiosity about the beautiful things around me, in my beautiful country. In the early morning, the women in our country go to outdoor markets to pick the freshest foods for the day. That is why Vietnamese noodles “Pho” are so delicious, to be traditional dish, because the main ingredient of it is the beef which is re-selected very fresh every day. Besides that, in our country, the role of men is to use the power and mind for great things, “Men make houses, Women make homes”. With this in mind, people in my country respect men more than women, which is reflected in the fact that family members are more satisfied when a baby boy is born than a baby girl. Because of the bad habits that have not changed, after marriage, the woman will have to live with her husband’s family and serve all of her husband’s family, she is not able to make her own decision on anything. Some families want to give their daughters to rich families for personal profit. That has led to the terrible family violence in my country nowaday. It is the state we trust that does not provide any legislation on the protection of women and children. That is the way that the culture of my country has made mistakes from the inherently beautiful things in the origins of it.

Heavier than that, for more details, I would like to write about what I feel, what I have heard, and the results I have seen, from the good words to the bad results, from the very beautiful culture to losing everything. I found that it can not be denied that there is the infinite love from the parents to their children in my country, it is not only a normal love, but they also put too much expectation on their children, pressure on both parents and kids. When the children do not grow in the direction that their parents wants, they worry that their parents will be dissatisfied, they try to deceive and cover up their wrong actions. Because “culture” that is imbibed through osmosis, since the Vietnam Communist regime began, they hold every power, they made our beautiful culture became bad. From a good culture, the government has made the act of turning itself into a selfish, dictatorial and undedeveloped education. Because of the expectations of parents, young people use bad tricks to become government workers in order to their parents to brag about them, not because they are competent, not because they have the desire to protect the country, they did it by dirty money.

The next thing that happened, by incompetent workers, government could not come up with fair laws and no standardized education system. The results are clearly shown that my country is still poor and nations are still poorly educated. Citizens developed a lack of self-confidence, when Vietnam lost South island to China, when Vietnam’s ocean area was heavily polluted by Formosa, there was no response from Vietnam Government. Until, the pressure was so great and the truth exposed, when those inadequate government officials planned to turn Vietnam into a Chinese province by special economic zones (SEZs) that will be dominated by Chinese investors for their own money and their own profits.

To face this reality, I can not deny that Vietnamese people have a culture to love the country that has been proved throughout history against foreign invaders. It is in the spirit of indomitable patience, despite all the suffering. At present, the protests in my country are taking place everywhere and everyday to oppose China’s 99-year exclusive economic zone lease, for cybersecurity laws means no future social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and so on. Taking advantage of that, my country’s government has detained hundreds of protesters and prosecuted them for violating the law and disrupting street order, including a young Vietnamese American named William Nguyen who had a long flight to Vietnam to help protect the country and people there. To the government of our country, the main protesters are reactionaries, which are protesting the party and the nation. Because young people have a poor awareness, most men are accustomed to simple everyday life, which is to go to work every morning, noon and drink a lot of beer in the evening, they can not afford, and do not have enough courage to fight. To put it more succinctly, our communist party took advantage of the culture of the Vietnamese people to “sell our country to China”. “Why did that happen? Who is at fault? Of course, there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be responsible. But once again, the truth is, if you look for the guilty, look in the mirror.” – V for Vendetta, 2005.

I hope that what I write above is like a piece of music that begins with beautiful notes and ends with a gloom. But that is my country, where I owned a culture where I was proud of being a Vietnamese woman and dressed in a traditional dress “Ao Dai”. But I believe, like the piano keys, the black notes are just flat notes or sharp notes, they can not bring the sound of its own right.

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