Master’s Tea Club session #6: Meeting with students from Giessen University (Germany)

Monday - 16/10/2017 00:15
On September 28th, 2017, at the sixth session of USSH Master’s Tea Club (MTC), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Anh Tuan (USSH's Rector) and MTC students welcomed the participation of Prof. Detlef Briesen and 15 students from University of Giessen (Germany), and other international students from Japan and Thailand. The friendly atmosphere of MTC was imbued with students’ personal experiences, cultural differences and social issues of countries around the world. 

At the beginning of the meeting, USSH students gave a brief presentation on festivals that took place in autumn in Germany and Vietnam, notably the Mid-autumn Festival, which had received considerable attention from international students in Vietnam those days. Students from Germany expressed their interest in the meaning of the festival that the image of a full August moon represented completeness, family reunion and abundant harvests, as well as traditional activities to celebrate the festival like worshiping the God of Earth, parades of carp-shaped lanterns and lion dance. During the talk, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Anh Tuan shared some of his childhood memories celebrating mid-autumn festival, as well as the differences between the traditional and modern ways people celebrated the festival. A student from Japan went on with the story of Jugoya Festival of Japan, which was associated with the practice of observing the mid-autumn full moon called Otsuki-mi.

Following the presentation, MTC attendees were invited to taste baked moon cakes of both traditional and modern flavors. Students from Germany continued with their experiences at Oktoberfest – the biggest and most well-known beer festival in the world that took place in Munich, Germany in October. Prof. Detlef Briesen cheered up the discussion with his own experiences at the beer festival when he was young.

The latter part of the meeting focused on the traffic in Hanoi and other cities in the world. For students who had arrived in Vietnam for the first time, watching local people riding on their motorbikes or crossing the streets during rush hours could be an unforgettable experience. Most scholars and students at the meeting agreed that traffic in Vietnam, Germany, Japan or Thailand had its own features, depicting cultural and historical differences of each country.

Hanoi’s proposal to ban motorbikes in the near future was also mentioned. With his extensive research and experience on Hanoi for a long time, Prof. Detlef Briesen noted that motorbikes had become part of the Vietnamese culture that should not be eliminated. Instead, the authorities should come up with solutions for efficient management, as well as focus on changing people’s attitude and behaviors on the streets.

Author: Master's Tea Club Media Team

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