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Vietnamese Cuisine Essay

This paper shall look into the characteristics of Vietnamese cuisine, taking into account the country’s unique historical and social influences that have shaped their thinking and attitude towards food. Being a former colonial country in the Southeast Asia, Vietnam has been the context of various cultural and historical fusions (Dung and Linh 2007). The development of its cuisine from the earliest times bears the marks of new influences from other countries and tastes, helping to make a truly rich and unique collection of dishes that reflect the country’s history.
As we have already noted, Vietnamese cuisine is unique for its cultural and historical influences. Vietnam is a long, narrow country on the lower portion of the Asian mainland, bordered by China, Cambodia, Laos and the Gulf of Thailand. The country’s geography has proven to be an important factor in shaping its cuisine and food production over the years. Because of the peculiar shape of their country, the natives tend to think of it as a bamboo pole with a basket of rice at each end.
Geography has also lent specialties of each region a different flavour, because climate plays a big role in the availability of ingredients for different dishes. The northern cuisine is reflective of the country’s Chinese cooking heritage by specializing in dishes with soy sauce, noodle-based soups and stir-fried foods. Northern dishes are less flavourful than those found in the south or the middle portion of the country because its climate is not suitable for a large number of spices.
Central Vietnam is abundant with fresh produce, and is characterized by its propensity to use extreme spices and to serve up colourful food that is reminiscent of the region’s past as the seat of royalty. A traditional meal involves several complex dishes in very small portions. Finally, Southern cooking has been most heavily influenced by Thai food, such that their dishes are sweet or spicy in taste because it boasts of a climate that is suitable to a bigger number of spices. Immigrants from across the Cambodian border have also helped define the style and flavour of Southern Vietnamese cooking. This part of the country is also where the vestiges of French colonial cooking are most apparent.
History, as we have already noted, plays an integral role in the development and fusion of Vietnamese food with other cultures. Almost ten centuries’ worth of Chinese domination in the country has left significant imprints in their cooking styles, as well as the particular dishes and the choice of ingredients. The French colonizers, on the other hand, influence the traditional Vietnamese menu by introducing various techniques of sautéing. Vietnamese soups are also part of their French heritage.
Other factors such as the socio-economic classes dictate on the availability of food products in the country, such that poorer people cannot afford to buy particular kinds of food because of higher prices. They are more likely to consume more rice and less meat and vegetable dishes, but this does not mean that they are enjoying their native cuisine less than the rich. The country’s dense population subsists mostly on carbohydrates in the form of rice, other grains and noodles.
Vietnamese food is most popular for combining an array of vegetables, herbs and meats to come up with different meals (Dung and Linh 2007). Vietnamese cuisine’s usage of some some ingredients such as coconut and coconut milk is a characteristic that it shares with its Asian neighbours, but an authentic Vietnamese meal also boasts of culinary contributions from other countries, particularly China and France. It is also cooked using unique traditional styles that have been passed from generation to generation.
Because of its propensity to use light ingredients and vegetables, Vietnamese food is one of the healthiest cuisines around the world today, which is a prime reason for why it is quickly becoming popular in a more health-conscious society. The diaspora of whole communities, coupled with the forces of globalization and capitalism, have also helped to propel Vietnamese cuisine to the forefront of the culinary world (Thomas 2004).
Like other Asian countries, rice is a staple in the Vietnamese diet. It is grown in water paddies all around the country, but the climatic conditions at the Red River delta in the north and the Mekong river delta in the south are most favourable for this crop. Rice is the main source of carbohydrates (in the form of starch) in the people’s diet, eaten three times a day with a vegetable and/or meat main dish. Rice is also made into a variety of cakes, noodles, and desserts.
Vietnam is currently the world’s third largest exporter of rice, and this commodity also holds a prime position in the country’s economy, apart from being a mainstay in the dining table. The country is still predominantly agriculture in nature, with a climate that can support a large variety of flora and fauna.
Rice is usually consumed jointly by all the family members. The typical Vietnamese meal would include several main dishes, a soup and a bowl of rice for everyone. These are laid out on a table where the family members sit around and take their food from the dish platters with chopsticks-this is the only country in the Pacific and the Southeast Asian regions where people traditionally eat their meals with chopsticks. This habit is clearly one of the Chinese influences in Vietnamese cooking.
The meal is usually not divided into courses and everything is served all at once. When the younger Vietnamese eat with their elders, they ask the latter to get their share of the food first as a sign of respect typical in the whole Asian region. Like the Chinese, traditional meals are also accompanied by a cup of tea, especially when there are guests around.
The meal is not complete without vegetables on the side and a variety of small bowls filled with salty sauces in which the people dip their food. Vegetables are usually served as salads tossed in with beef or shrimp, in order to complement the strong flavour of the meaty main dish. The classic dip in these traditional family meals is a kind of salty fish sauce called nuoc mam.
Apart from the land-grown rice, the country’s coastal and river areas provide another staple of the Vietnamese diet-fish and other aquatic species. The country’s two major rivers are an important source of seafood that help to balance the carbohydrate-rich diet of the locals. The rivers also serve as a way of transporting the goods to the local water markets, where fresh produce from the coastal villages are sold. In fact, seafood occupies a bigger portion in the Vietnamese diet than other meats such as pork, chicken or beef, which are usually consumed in smaller quantities.
The Vietnamese cook their food in many ways, but unlike the Chinese, they prefer to keep the dish light by using as little oil as possible. While some viands are deep fried or stir fried, there are also a great number that are cooked by only boiling, tossing or steaming them. Vietnamese cooking is also not as rich or heavy as the curry-based dishes of Thailand, for example.
The distinctive light and fresh flavour of the Vietnamese locals can be achieved by using a variety of spices and ingredients such as mint leaves, lemon grass, shrimp, native fish sauces, basi, garlic, and ginger. Cooking styles also vary from region to region, with the north preferring a lot of dishes that are slow-cooked or stir fried, whereas dishes in the south are mostly grilled or simply eaten raw.
The Vietnamese are popular for being keen snackers, and they are rather fond of eating at street-side stalls or small shops specializing in a single dish, instead of the modern restaurants lining the streets in the cities. Their tradition of eating out is very strong even if most meals are cooked and eaten at home. The streets are filled with t sweet aroma of delicious snacks being cooked everywhere, because the Vietnamese are likely to stop anywhere and grab a bite whenever they feel hungry.
Some of these roadside attractions are actually prestigious family restaurants that have been serving customers for many, many years. Tourists in Vietnam should, however, be a little wary of what they eat because of the presence of so many herbs and spices. People with allergies are especially susceptible because they may not know that the food they are eating contain an ingredient that they may be allergic to.

Sikh Culture and Community in New Zealand

Davinder Kumar
The title of my analytical report is Sikhism. It related with the whole Punjabi’s people which lives in the New Zealand. Sikhism community provides some basic needs of Punjabi community like social help, health related help and employment services.
The main purpose of my analytical report is making our community better and make some changes in our community, create new plans which is more helpful to our Sikhism community. With the help of this report we try to find out some problems which related to health, economic, social and culture, education of Punjabi’s. Also, find the good solutions for solve these types of problems. Because it’s all about the good development of our Punjabi community.
I take some youngsters, old Punjabi people, children, other culture people’s whose interested within the Punjabi culture as an audience. After taking the audience our Sikhism community shared with the visions and values with them and told them about our community’s policies, government policies with all rules and regulation and asked the audience give us to your feedback about our Sikhism community. The scope of our analytical report is providing all kind help to all people who’s interested in Punjabi’s culture. Our main scopes are providing Punjabi languages classes for interested people, solving jobs problems for international students and solved the economic and social problems.
Sikhism planning some goals to achieve with this report:
Give knowledge to Punjabi’s about Sikh culture.
Making good relationship between New Zealand government and Punjabi’s with giving information about how to live in New Zealand, Follow the all rules and regulations etc.
Leading the importance of Punjabi education and providing the best skills to our Punjabi people. The Punjabi people will be able to benefit support services such as fitness programs, music classes and health clinic.
We want to involve youth membership for knowing about how to get in touch with our Punjabi community and how we provide social and economic services to find their purpose in life.
Information to collect
Methods intended to use
Via email and phone
Information related to organisation
Public opinion
According to my collected information and the method intended to use for collecting the information. The all information related with my organization. I have search a lot how we can provide better services to people and impact of the influences on the internet and external influence. I am also getting information about the Punjabi’s social, economic, health and culture. This information is collected from the Sikhism’s website and some information get from another internet websites.
Sikhism makes a plan with the help of the analytical report for solving the big problems which related with Punjabi’s education, culture, economic, social and health factors. Sikhism community wants to leading and following the all rules and regulation which made by New Zealand government, it will help to manage the good relationship between government and Punjabi’s. we are also wants to provide a good education to our Punjabi people, as well as opportunities, after getting the better education they will know about the Punjabi’s history and after getting the opportunities the Punjabi’s will be able to get health facilities, also social and economic facilities.
The first Sikhism community developed in year 1964 in New Zealand, in Hamilton. Then the second community developed in Otahuhu in 1986. This report shows about some problems facing by the Punjabi peoples related with the social, economic, health, study, occupation and culturally and some demonstrates how some Punjabi business can be placed through our services. needs of Punjabi community. Nowadays, our company is also considered as a role model for other companies. Our company also provide shelter to the homeless people. Our main aim is to fulfill the basic needs of Punjabi community. Because from recent years we have seen many skills and interest. To explore their skills our company is doing many efforts we are providing many facilities to them for example education like Sikhism community is providing the Punjabi languages classes to those people who interested to learn Punjabi language. On the other hand, Sikhism community provide jobs for Punjabi people who live in the New Zealand. The Sikhism community available in the all Sikh temples which is in the New Zealand. So, every person can have connected with the Sikhism community easily.
Sikhism community is one of the best community for Punjabi people. Our community serve the people by providing them free food and shelter. Our company also arrange many camps and welfare programs to solve their problems our company not only solve the problem of Sikh people we also welcome every people from any religion. Our company provide all information to people related to health, culture, social and economic. We also conduct many surveys to know the roots of problem which they are facing. Our staff also help the people to get job they train them. Everyone can ask freely their problems to the Sikhism community’s people and they will help to solve the problem. Sikhism provides the free food for all people at the Sikh temples and at any time people can go to Sikh temples and eat food. There are many people in New Zealand who cannot buy food for them self so they can go to Sikh temples for eating food. There are many community partners who help for running the community services with money and other useful things. Sikhism community collaboration with many community partners, shares a vision, history, roots of Punjabi culture and interaction of values and protocols in Punjabi culture. We have many Punjabi’s family who work in our community and there are many other people like kiwi’s, Fiji Indians and from another religion.
In this report, we find some issues and problems of Punjabi people regarding with the health, economic, culture and jobs. We also find those people who interested for learning the Punjabi language.
In this modern era, New Zealand is developing fast day by day with the technology and other different methods. So, there are many changes occurring in the life style of Punjabis according to their regular basics needs related to the Punjabi culture, health, social and economic issues and education also. As we find some other problems like some Punjabi people are very poor they cannot manage their children’ school fees with their salary. So, we provide a free education for those children.
Some Punjabi people are week from their economically condition, while some have a not job for earning money for buy their daily basics needs. They were struggling due to the school fees are very expensive and their income is very low. So, how they can afford the medical and educational cots including cost of the daily food and travelling. We also find out there are not whole Punjabi people stuck in these type of problems, but there are many homeless Punjabi’s in the Auckland. So, Sikhism community provide the residence for those homeless people in the Sikh temple and food as well. Our community arrange meetings every week for discuss about how to helps the poor and homeless people. Sikhism community also provide jobs for jobless people in this way those people can afford school fees for their children, money for buy daily basics. Punjabi people can get some social helps from our company to make their economically strong. We planning for making the new site for people where they can meet Sikhism community members and they share their every problem with the members and experience. Also, making some health center for those people.
There is some external factor which effects form outside the organization and our Sikhism community work according with these external factors-
Rules and regulation– Our community members work according to the company rules and regulation and also follow the rule and regulation which is set by the New Zealand government. We didn’t share with anyone the people’s personal information and problems.
Public opinion- firstly, we taking public opinion then we discuss about those ideas and at the end we will take set regarding their problems.
Technology- we have a good and updated technology which help to keeps the all records about the people and we also provide new technology to those children which are learning in Sikhism community.
Sikhism community work according some internal factors-
Employees Strength: The employees are very important part for every company. If employee are goods in one company so the company running good and better otherwise if the members are bad so those company can’t growth properly.
Financial System: Financial system is also important in every community if any community have good financial supporter they will give good services to the people. And Sikhism community have a many Punjabi financial supporters which gives the money for running the community.
At the end, In my opinion say Punjabi’s have many problems related to the social, economic, homeless and education. Sikhism community provide good services for these people it is good. They provide lots of the services like education, health clinic, homes, foods and jobs also. The good thing is every people can go to the Sikh temple and get these facilities.
I want to suggest some things like Sikhism community should make more good relationship with the New Zealand government to getting the economic help for running the community and in this way the government can understand the all Punjabi people’s problems. They should more better services and training to their staff members for solving the other people problems easily and in better way.
They should share the all reports with their staff members and with those people who give financial support to the community in the meeting because in this way the community system running better.
Sikhism community should also keep ready to solve every problem and get up to date with new technology.