Cross-Cultural English and Vietnamese
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Nowadays, nature plays an importance role in maintaining human’s life and balancing ecosystem over the world. Both Vietnamese and British are aware of the importance of nature in their life. However, people of each country have different attitude towards nature. As a lover of nature, I find it very interesting to contrast the British and Vietnamese cultures in love for nature. Hopefully, my short contrastive analysis in this assignment will be useful for everybody to understand more differences between British and Vietnamese culture. II. Discussion:
First of all, British people have an idealistic vision of the countryside . Because Britain is developed industrial country, almost people must live in towns and cities without nature surroundings. Thus, they always desire to live close nature and to resident in a village like “green village” that would be a pond with ducks on it. This love shows a highlight character of British people. According to Jame O’Driscoll asserted in his book name Britain that all the British want to move countryside village if they could find the way to earn the living there. Thus they try to earn much money to get a beautiful house with a garden and pond in countryside. This partly explains why a detached house, usually with garden, is always more desirable than a flat in Britain. Furthermore, after long hardworking in animated cities, a lot of British people tend to spend their holidays and retirement time in harmony with nature. At weekends, British often go for a walk in parks or go to the countryside where many rich people have a second home for their days off. In general, to British people, living close nature or living in countryside mean peace, quiet, beauty, good healthy and no crime.
Meanwhile Vietnamese have a quietly contrastive vision of countryside. To Vietnamese, countryside has poor facilities , lack of good medical facilities, educational opportunities, unemployment and poverty . As a result, more and more Vietnamese ,especially adults , have poured in big cities because of desiring to get a better life with modern conditions. British love of nature is also showed clearly through Gardening hobby. Gardening is one of the most popular entertainment for many British people. To British people, gardening is both way to entertain and take physical exercise. The British considered gardening as a life pleasure, so they can spend all weekend to take care of their small garden with family. Some of people grow vegetables, others specialize in growing a certain kind of plant or flower, still others take pride in their well-kept lawns. Even those unlucky people who couldn’t afford for private garden also rent a small parcel cheaply from each local authority. Those small parcels are called “allotments” are built on the top floor of building in big cities.
Plenty kind of vegetables are grown in those allotments depend on what they like. On holidays or weekends, they often visit their allotments and do gardening together. Renting small parcels are becoming a fashionable trend in Britain. In addition, each town often has a garden centre where people can buy necessities for gardening. This activity is a type of “ Do-If-Yourself” (DIY) in Britain. In Vietnam, gardening is also a favorite hobby of some people, especially old ones, or who are living or used to live in countryside, and work as a farmer. However, in Vietnam, we do not have public gardens -“allotments” like in Britain. The majority of Vietnamese citizens do not want to spend all their free time on gardening together. In urban, if families own a small garden in their house, the host only like growing flower or bonsai. Many people do gardening, grow vegetables just to keep alive but not for entertainment. Nowadays, many Vietnamese people specially Youth generation living in big cities never have thought about doing gardening or renting a small piece of land to plant vegetables. They like enjoying themselves in modern entertainments.
The British government also more concerned about nature as well as environmental life of citizens. For example, to help British people get closer nature, authority has built large national park where almost building is not allowed such as Pembroke Coast, Exmoor. In Vietnam, we do not have many greening plant parks in cities. Because of the increasing of population in cities, local government have to expand the living area , building more blocks of flat. Then the greening spaces in cities are reducing day by day. In addition, British people is deeply conscious of protecting nature. The idea of protecting nature for nature’s sake began to gain more recognition in UK as well as over the world. British people believes nature is vital for the human spirit and creativity. For many years ago, many organizations and associations were established to protect nature and wildlife such as British naturalist’s Association, Natural Trust, The society for the protection of Birds….A lot of British people volunteers spend their whole life on working in these organizations just because they love natural and desire to protect them. To British people, they always aware of the important role of nature in lifetime.
Besides, government and authorities also released many Acts to protect nature and wildlife. Many policies and activities are brought out aim at encouraging and enhance the British‘s awareness. For example, local authorities celebrated a competition name “gardening competition” annually in each area of Britain. Love of nature and awareness to protect nature were focus to teach in school for children in Britain, there are many eco-tours and biological programs for British students have chance to discover and aware of nature values. In Vietnam, there is also a special interesting in education of protecting nature in particular and protecting environment in general . More and more people aware of the importance of nature . However, attitudes of protecting nature is not really common in young people. There are still so many young people have bad actions such as pick flowers or young leaves which are grown in public parks. British concern for animals is a part of the British love of nature. So in this assignment I would like to write some lines to compare British culture with Vietnamese culture in love of animal. The British are well known for their love of animals.
According to statistics, nearly half of households in Britain keep domestic pets. The favorite pets are dogs and cats. This habit is considered another source of entertainment for them. The Britain tends to have a sentimental attitude to animals. For example, In Britain, pets can send Christmas cards to their friends, birthday cards to “husbands, wives, boy or girl friends”; there are even cards available for birds, fish and reptiles. Owners can buy for their pets jewelled nylon velvet collars; lambswool coats , pyjamas, swim suits…Owners often take care of their pets carefully. The Sunday Mirror has estimated that Britain spends six times as much on pet foods as on baby foods. In Britain, there are so many pet hospitals in which your pets are provided the best care. Moreover, many owners are prepared to pay quite large sums of money to give their pets a decent burial.
There are even animal graveyard in Britain such as Rossendale Pet Cemetery in Lancashire. Another example of British love of animals is that it is illegal to run over a dog in your car and then keep on driving. You have to stop and inform the owner. These examples show that British love animals and treat their animals as if they were people. In Vietnam, although a lot of families raise animals, especially cat and dog, only few of owners have a really sentimental attitude to their pets. Most families raise a dog to keep their house or raise cat to catch rat. They do not see them like pets. On contrary British, we do not have any laws to protect pets. A typical example for this problem is that although many Vietnamese now have dogs as pets, dog meat is still a favorite meal, especially among the older generations. The notion that dogs are raised and killed for meat has long horrified dog lovers. III. Conclusion:
In sum up, different from Vietnamese who do not like living in countryside and pay much attention on protecting nature, most of British people would like to live in countryside more than live in towns or cities. Never mind on business, British people and communities want to preserve peace and quiet of the place where they live in. As a result, the British have highly awareness of protecting nature and animals; they appreciate and ready to participate in natural protection associations and organization. Obviously, love of nature is a remarkable feature culture of British people. According to me, the main reason for these differences in attitude towards nature between two nations is that the difference of economic background – industrial economic in Britain and agricultural economic in Vietnam. Through this contrastive analysis of this topic, we have understood more about British culture, differences between British and Vietnamese culture as well. Thank to that we can avoid cultural shock when we live in Britain or contact British. .
1. James O’Driscoll, Britain, The country and Its people : An introduction for learners of English. Attitudes, The love of nature and The love of animal, 60-62 2. Dương Lâm Anh, Thái Thị Ngọc Liên, British cultute. 2002. Entertainment and leisure, 97-98 3. Gardening in Britain. Retrived from http://habitsandways.com/gardening-in-great-britain.html 4. Pets in Great Britain. Retrived from