Vietnam Heritage was born out of a desire to share our incredible passion for all things 'Vietnam'! We need not tell you that Vietnam has an incredibly rich culture and history, incredible cuisine, warm friendly folk and a bright promising future - that much is a given fact that nobody can deny. What we can tell you is that our own experiences in Vietnam have shaped our own lives and somehow infused through our psyche to create the people we here at VNH are today. As we continue to explore and grow through our experiences in Vietnam we invite you to share the journey, explore and learn with us as we post on travel, history and modern events in Vietnam!
Both of our families had members that served with the Australian military during the 'Second Indochina War', aka the Viet Nam War to most in the west. My own father was a conscripted National Serviceman that saw heavy fighting during the Year of the Monkey, 1968 - best known for the Tet Offensive and Battles of Coral-Balmoral. The war had a long-lasting impact on his well-being and ultimately resulted in much long-term post-war suffering. I found myself forever drawn to try and understand what had happened all those years ago and miles away to leave such an otherwise incredible, resilient man, so deeply wounded. The journey took me from a small, bush town on the outskirts of a major Australian city, through years of intense research, on to the former battlefields themselves, and ultimately assimilating into modern Vietnamese lifestyle and culture!
I trawled military records, field radio logs, after action reports and maps, until I had developed my own firm picture of Dad's war time experiences. Through it we shared many discussions - sometimes humorous, other times emotional, that eventually opened the possibility of truly healing through history. My experiences in the very places that Dad had fought had the polar opposite effect on me - they were all positive, friendly and warm. The people occupying the sites today forgive and forget the past and are looking towards a better future. They allowed me to scour their back yards for relics of past battles, offered me cups of tea, meals, rice wine and even a room to stay! Naturally when Dad heard of these things it dramatically altered his perception of the very places from which his lifelong nightmares had emerged.
Having grasped the language, thousands of years of history and diverse geography, peoples, cuisine, arts and every day life, I feel more at home in Vietnam among the Vietnamese than anywhere else on the globe. I hope you'll thoroughly enjoy the coming posts in which I'll share insights into the amazing people, places, history and culture of Vietnam!