I've noticed a common trend in the questions that students ask me here in Vietnam. Probably, the most popular question to ask a foreigner is: "How do you feel about Vietnam? or about DaLat?" However, I have also gotten the questions, "How do you feel about the weather? How do you feel about the food? How do you feel about the people? How do you feel about...?" At first it was awkward for me to answer these questions, because I don't usually word the "feel" for these situations... especially my food :)
However, I have come to notice that students' use of this word conveys so much about Vietnamese culture. There is a major emphasis on emotion here. For example, in my Speaking classes, I call on one student at the beginning of each class to teach me a Vietnamese word- kind of a mini ice breaker each day. The students love hearing me try to speak Vietnamese! It has been so fascinating- because the students can pick any word they want to teach me- yet the majority of the words they've chosen to teach me have been "emotive/feeling" words... such as:
It is also evident through their love for music. I am blown away by their love for singing. EVERYONE seems to love singing, even if they are horrible at singing. This has been a stretch for me, because anytime you are in a group setting, even standing in front of the classroom (how embarrassing), you are asked to sing a song. The more dramatic and emotional and romantic the song- the more popular it is. The band "Westlife" is SUPER big here, as is Karen Carpenter, and Celine Dion :)
I have found that I can use "emotion" to my advantage in the classroom. Since it is so important to the students, I will tell them that I FEEL very sad when they do not do their homework or follow my instructions. On the other hand, when I am proud of them and want to affirm them, I tell them I FEEL very happy about their work. That seems to work wonders. Acting out different vocabulary words as dramatically as possible in front of the classroom is also a big hit!Anyway, just a few thoughts on Vietnamese culture. I hope you feel joyful in Him today!