Today is the last day of the national high-school graduating examinations. Not only in Vietnam, it’s one of the most important milestone of a person, mark that person has finally 18 and be an adult. But things aren’t stop at that. In Vietnam, if someone in a family have examinations, the whole family will have to take part in his study as those are their examinations.
Parents await for their children in front of a random examination site
To Vietnamese, fame is the most important thing of a person. And it’s can only be proved by degrees, certificates and stuffs like that. It’s in our blood, as a tradition. Back in centuries earlier, when Vietnam was still having an agricultural economy, and the dynasties, there were three classes in the society. The royal family, the authorities and the farmers. Business weren’t strong and appreciated much. So farmers is the lowest class of the society, in order to work in the authorities, they have to take examinations (of course!) to prove their knowledge, mostly about literature and history in two languages, Hán (Mandarin Chinese) and Nôm (Ancient Vietnamese). It’s a great honor of a person if he pass exams, their are four main levels, the higher he achieve, the more honor and wealthy he is. And not only for the person, it’s the honor of the whole village. Get attractive by those, some people just keep taking exams every three years until the end of his life.
And it’s in our blood till today, and probably forever. Since the amount of knowledge in high-school books is actually increased by the department of education, today students have to study lots more, under lots more pressure. That’s why you can easily see centers like this, they providing educating and training services to help students pass exams. But obviously, they don’t help much.
Not only under the pressure of graduating high-school, 12th grade students have to live under another pressure, to get into universities. It’s somehow be understood as the only way to go out there and make a good living. And for boys who can’t get a seat in university lecture hall, they have to serve in the army for almost two years as a waste of time. Opposite to Western universities, it’s extremely difficult to get into Vietnamese universities but very easy to graduate with an average degree.
Anyway, to students: No hard feeling because who’s not taking those exams at least once in his/her life. Wish you lots of luck!!!
SaigonStay – All the best a local friend can give you!