A successful field trip to Đồng Nai took place on Jan 23rd, 2016. Joining Vietnamese Language Studies on that day were more than 34 students, teachers and staff, who are learning Vietnamese at VLS and wanted to learn more about the lifestyle of local Vietnamese people during Tết Occasion. On this field trip, we had an opportunity to enhance our knowledge and experience about the life of Southest Vietnam, and also immerse in the bustling atmosphere of Tết. This trip also gave us a better understanding about Đồng Nai and its specialties. Here are some recaps of our field trip.
Everyone introduced themselves on the bus
...And we also had a little liveshow of these two little cuties while heading to Đồng Nai.
We arrived at One-Pillar Temple in Biên Hoà, Đồng Nai at around 8:30. This temple is a replica of the infamous temple in Ha Noi. The temple is one of the most unique temples in Asia with different architecture. Its history and building process also attract many tourists when travel in Ha Noi or HCMC.
Bửu Phong Temple (Chùa Bửu Phong) is a historic 17th century Buddhist temple in Đồng Nai Province in southern Vietnam, north of Ho Chi Minh City. The temple is located on Bửu Long mountain in Bình Điện, Tân Bửu, about 4 km from the city of Biên Hòa. Due to its location, it is also known as Bình Điện Temple. The temple was built by Thích Bửu Phong in the 17th century, at which point it was only a small shrine. In 1829, the temple was rebuilt and expanded due to large donations made by Nguyễn Văn Hiệp and Nguyễn Văn Tâm. The temple was later refurbished further in the late 19th century and also in the 20th century.
We stopped at Tân Triều Pamelo village at around 11:30 to have lunch and also the rest of the day with various activities such as cruising on Đồng Nai River and listening to đờn ca tài tử.
Visit Pamelo Garden at Tân Triều
Crusing on Đồng Nai River
One of the most important activities of this field trip was helping our participants to get closer and know more about Tết Holiday. So we invited them to make Bánh Tét, a traditional Vietnamese cake, can often be seen in Southern Vietnam. Bánh Tét: it is produced by the interaction of different cultures in the South. In particular, it is decisive of Cham culture with religious beliefs "erotic". Bánh Tét shape is iconic Linga. It is not just the new year dishes, but also contains Yin Yang theory, marble with five colors: green leaf cake (pineapple leaves, leaves dong or banana leaves), yellow of green bean cake, two red, white of bacon and black pepper mixed in green beans or marinated meat bread. Because this cake is made and consumed during Tết (the Vietnamese new year), therefore it is called "bánh Tết". After a long time, the name of this cake is pronounced slightly different into "bánh tét". However, there is one more way to explain the name for this cake, the "tét" in the food's name literally means "sliced" or "split", possibly referring to the fact that it is served in slices.
Introducing Bánh Tét and our instructor.
This is the filling of the cake. It includes: shelled green beans, pork and some spices. A layer of sticky rice will be added later to increase the flavor and thicken the cake.
The cake then wrapped using 4 layers of Dong leaves, a special type of leave that are commonly used to wrap bánh chưng and bánh tét.
Our final product