You Got Some Guts

The countdown begins, in less than 10 days I will be departing from New York City, and arriving in Saigon, Vietnam. According to an older colleague, I  “got some guts.” Many people were surprised by my decision to study abroad in Vietnam and not a super touristy European country. But that’s just it, I’m not a tourist. I am a sponge, seeking to soak up the ways of life that still exists outside of the western capitalist mind. Studying anthropology has helped me realize my true passion, culture. So, when I encounter a confused, even terrified reaction from people… I smile. I smile at them because I want my words to enter their thoughts in a positive light, and hopefully induce a new way of thinking. When I am asked “why Vietnam?”, I respond with “why not Vietnam?” Of course the most popular response is the war. According to Webster, war is defined as a period of conflict between nations or states. What is a nation? What is a state? A nation is a group of people united through common decent, history, culture, or language. A state is a governed entity; people who may not consider themselves as part of the same nation are sometimes bordered into the same state. However, at the core of both entities is none other than the human species. If all human beings recognized each other as such- and were treated equally to one another- our planet would be a step closer to sustainability and peace. So, why Vietnam? Because there are groups of people with a common history, culture, and language that I am interested in learning about.  Maybe I do have some guts, or maybe its not necessarily a surplus of guts, but just the right amount. Enough guts to live amongst my fellow homo sapiens, and learn to respect their way of life- even if we [America] was once at war with them.

  • Tatianna Jasmine {TJ}