I was over reading Dawn's blog this morning and ran across her post about different people's perspectives on Vietnam. Reading it reminded me of my trip to the bookstore the other day.
My family and I love to walk in the beautiful, historic downtown area and browse a cool used bookstore that all the cool college kids go to. So, while we were there I noticed that they had lots of books on various other countries and they were all shelved and labeled according to country. They had oodles on China: culture, history, people, travel, even cookbooks. So, I decided to look for books on Vietnam. I was a mite disappointed. The only subject the two full shelves of books on Vietnam covered was the Vietnam War. Not even any novels based in Vietnam :(
I'm not sure if maybe it's because we have a war going on right now that some people feel is similar in some ways, or because it is so near the college and that is what the kids come looking for, or if the war is just all we associate with Vietnam when we think of the country. I hope it's not the latter for the sake of the children that we are adopting and those who have come here seeking a new life. I think that if this is the case we are missing out.
I don't mean to invalidate the experience of the veterans of the Vietnam War, I know that it had to be a horrible time. I just hope that we can see the country and it's people as separate from the War that took place there. I have met some Vietnamese people living here in the States and they are wonderful people and from all that I have heard and pictures and video of others' trips that I've seen, the country is beautiful. I can't wait for my turn mainly to finally meet my daughter but also to get the chance to personally experience Vietnam itself.