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    Friday, June 02, 2006

    Vietnamese Blogs

    I'm sure I'm not alone in my frustration at the lack of Vietnamese-themed blogs and blogs by Vietnamese people in the blogosphere.

    When I can get political blogs and law blogs and econ blogs just like in America...that will be a great day.

    Vietnam is such an amazing place and the people are so .... real that blogging would be perfect for them. By "real," I mean everyone I know in Vietnam has so many facets, good and bad, foibles and talents, that I just love talking to them, listening to them, learning about their lives, their wants, their likes and dislikes ... what makes them tick.

    Growing up in America, I'm used to the open-ness of the culture. Well, and I grew up in Texas, where "bigger is better," and big mouths seem to follow in that vein. So even though Vietnamese culture says almost as much through not speaking as through speaking, and the general xung ho questions--"hello, how are you?" "what's your name?" "how old are you?" "how many children do you have?" etc.--are ok, the average person on the street won't just sit down and tell you how they persevered through the loss of their mother when they were 11. That being said, once you do know someone, the strength of Vietnamese relationships allows those stories to really blossom.

    "Enough ranting!" you say. Ok, Ok. The reason I bring it all up is because blogs act as that window to the soul. Blogs in Vietnam would do many things:

    1. they would shed light on what the desires of Vietnam's older and, especially, the younger generations have
    2. the vietnamese press is opening up, especially with the latitude give the Tuoi Tre to cover bribery scandals, and oh... I'd love to hear what press bloggers say about their jobs.
    3. along with the press, the economy is burgeoning, and I know many educated men and women working in banks and companies that could blog in english or viet and shed light on life "on the inside" as Vietnam opens.
    4. of course, I'd love to see some political pundritry, law blogging, doctor's blogging
    5. but mostly, what I have the least chance of seeing is what I'd want to see most--blogs by street vendors, xich lo drivers, and women who sell fruit at the cho

    I want them in english if they want, but Vietnamese for sure, so they can express themselves in their native tongue.

    When I can get political blogs and law blogs and econ blogs just like in America...that will be a great day.

    Which makes it interesting, that of all the blogs I do stumble across by native Viets (not Viet kieu--overseas Vietnamese--) most seem to come from Hanoi and are in English. This surprises me, because Ho Chi Minh City is more open internet-wise (blogspot is blocked in most of Hanoi) and thinking-wise (hence the Tuoi Tre is leading the bribery charge), yet it's in Hanoi that the blogs are popping up--blogspot blogs, no less.

    I wonder how this is happening? And why are most bloggers I find blogging in English? Is there something vital that I am just missing?

    Here are some new blogs steered my way by Noodlepie. Gotta give him props. They're new blogs, a couple months old max, but they look to be good, real, and well...tuoi("fresh") if I can use that word.

    Check them out:
    Elmoooh's
    I am Moony
    Rose's Blog (although I have a sneaking suspicion that she's Viet kieu, and therefore disqualified for the narrow category I'm taking about, she does do humanitarian work and live in the north, which gives her high props from my wife and me if you know what we do)


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    6 comments:

    Gaby de Wilde said...

    I think Engerish is great for blogging.

    I do understand but I don't think I would be able to make much sense from your posts in any other language.

    Just make more fun of Americans, I just know you want to. :-)

    Gaby de Wilde said...

    oh, I kind of missed the "read the rest of this post" link in your post footer.

    sorry about that.

    layered said...

    Triet, I am an American living in HCMC. I have an older Vietnamese friend here that speaks and writes (in English) very well, and I have encouraged him to start at blog, either in English or Vietnamese. Like a lot of Vietnamese, he is very comfortable with email, online chat, video, etc., but refuses to put down in his thoughts in a public setting like a blog. He feels it would bring unwanted attention from the government, no matter what the topics are. Younger Vietnamese seem to be warming up to the idea though -- here is a pointer to a blog by a Hue university teacher:
    http://spaces.msn.com/lebaotuan/

    Triet said...

    That's an interesting thought, layered, that I hadn't entertained. I also know many people in HCMC that are incredibly interesting people to talk to, very bright, very opinionated...made up of everything an American blogger is made of...except they don't want the government looking their way.

    Thanks for the link to Le Bao Tuan. If I am not mistaken, is he the friend of Virtual Doug?

    layered said...

    Yes, Mr. Tuan is Virtual-Doug's good friend. Here is another Vietnamese blog that seems to be suffering from blockage by his ISP:
    http://vietbloom.blogspot.com/
    -- Mel

    VietPundit said...

    "When I can get political blogs and law blogs and econ blogs just like in America...that will be a great day."

    Yeah, that will be a great day!