Published: November 20th 2007November 20th 2007 National Teachers' Day Vietnam
So this is how the kids see me
It’s a sign of a good school if they look after you well on Teachers’ Day. Today my school proved this by having a half day and treating us to a staff lunch!
On my way to school I saw almost every child and every family on their motorbikes with baskets of flowers and bags full of gifts. Vietnamese culture prescribes a high level of respect towards teachers and the education system, and unlike at home, when you tell people you are a teacher they are really delighted for you. In a lot of the local schools here the children put on a concert for their teachers to say thank you. The parents tend to show their appreciation with the kind of gesture you can fold up and put in your pocket! [The more cynical amongst us would suspect that parents buy good grades and treatment for their children].
The children in my class are all 5 years old going on 6 years old, and they did a good job of spoiling me with the usual chocolates, flowers, drawings and other thoughtful gifts. My Vietnamese parents tend to be most generous as it is
Chup Mung Ngay Nha Giao VN
Congratulations on Vietnamese Teachers' Day
part of their culture, but my families from France, Korea, Japan and Canada all joined in to show their appreciation.
At lunchtime we all sat down together for a feast which was a treat from my boss. There was a lovely selection of Vietnamese dishes - hot pot, fresh spring rolls, grilled shrimp, tofu, coconut curry, rice noodles and sticky rice... we all had a 'Friday feeling' at the end of the meal.
Afterwards we all struggled out the school gate with bags full of gifts and when I got to my motorbike I wondered how on earth I would be able to ride with all the extra weight..?
There are more photos below