Friday, 11 November 2011

Three learning points for Day 4

Do a write-up on your individual learning points in the comments section. There should be 3 points and each of them must be in a PEEL format (Point, evidence, elaborate, link).


  1. Today I learnt more about the history of the Cu Chi Tunnels. I learnt that the tunnels were built to confuse and escape from the americans who were attacking them. There was a huge network of tunnels and exits that confuse whoever enters them and traveling in the tunnels is very hot and stuffy. This was very effective against the americans as they got lost and were unable to tolerate the conditions.

    I respect the vietnamese for being able to live such a hard life in the tunnels in order to protect their country. This has shown their loyalty towards their country. Their resilience has helped them win the war.

    I am amazed at how innovative the vietnamese were. They were able to think of many ways to trap the americans and conceal their locations. This included various bobby traps on the surface and special chimneys to hide the smoke produced from cooking. This caused a lot of trouble for the americans and eventually helped the americans win the war

  2. Cu Chi tunnel is a very complex tunnel, that are built by the innovative Vietnamese people. The Vietnamese built the tunnel in such a way that no grenade or water and smoke is able to flush the Vietnamese people out of the tunnel. Furthermore, with their complex system of air vents which allow them to live in the tunnels for a long time.

    This also shows how hardy the Vietnamese people are. They live in a dark tunnel in order to survive but they still survive on. To add on to them. They had little resources and are able survive for a long time. This shows how hardy they are.

    The Vietnamese people are also very smart. Just from the water puppet show, it is able to keep you guessing how they move the puppets. Not only that the traps for americans are very effective but are simple yet deadly.

  3. 1) At Cu CHi tunnel, I saw that the tunneling system was very complex. And the different traps are displays of the Vietnamese intelligence. Decoys such as smoke was used to help protect the Vietnamese from the Americans.

    2) At the Ben Thah market, there are a lot of stores. There are also people walking around trying to sell their product. There are also people offering help in the market but to me, it seems suspicious. Some tore owner are desperate to sell their product. So they can cut the price until it is very cheap. For example, i was buying a watch, they are selling it at 20000 dong so i agree to the price. but then i found out that i was short of 4000 dong so the store owner sold it to me at 16000 dongs.

    3) The water puppet show is entertaining and what puzzles me is the wiring of the puppets. They music and performance is synchronized. The culture is similar to the chinese culture: Dragon, Phoenix.

  4. Three main learning points:
    - Adaptability (Vietnamese in the tunnel)
    - Use actions to convey meanings (water puppet show)
    - Ability to use resources wisely (traps in Cu Chi)

    I learnt that the Vietnamese were very intelligent people who were able to adapt to their surroundings during war when they could no longer live on land. They dug a huge tunnel and lived there. They have won my admiration.

    The water puppet show impressed me because traditions of the Vietnamese are portrayed indirectly using actions rather than words. Thus, I found this an interesting way to teach history.

    As for the traps in Cu Chi “island” I was also shocked by the number of types of traps. I never knew that the Vietnamese would have thought of the ways that the Americans would land on their land. They are smart people.

  5. Today, I learnt about the bravery and the perseverance of the Vietnamese soldiers who fought against the Americans during the Vietnam/American War. Men and even women from all villages helped to build the 250 kilometre Chu Ci Tunnel and several other types of traps and weapons. Although with their technological disadvantage, they continued to persevere and won the war.

    During the climb through the tunnel, I realised that the tunnel was very very small and dark. I really admire how the Vietnamese soldiers managed to live in such a difficult condition for a long period of time. This shows that the Vietnamese are very hardy

    I also realised that despite their lack of technology, soldiers would hand-make their traps and weapons. They also built special chimneys to direct the smoke to another place when cooking food, and even built fake termite mounds to conceal their presence. This shows how smart and innovative the Vietnamese troops were.

  6. I learnt that the Vietnamese used the tunnels to ambush the American troops and built a vast and complicated network of tunnels leading to Saigon and have many different rooms, making an underground village. The Americans could not successfully take over the village and the villagers planted many traps and took many equipments from the Americans due to their expertise in jungle warfare.

    The water puppet show reflects on how the villages live and their religion and beliefs. It was ingenious of them to use the water to hide the mechanism and also to show how villagers plow the fields and show the lives of the villagers having to do work in the water.

    This also shows me how much willpower the vietnamese people have and the amount of pride they have. They did not give up and preserve on to win the Americans through their willpower and mind.

  7. Chu Chi tunnels shows of the adaptability of the Vietnamese people. They are able to navigate through the massive maze of tunnels which confused the Americans. They knew how to use their surroundings to their advantage. As the tunnels were hot and stuffy, the Americans who were not used to these kinds of conditions fared poorly in comparison to the Vietnamese who were adapted to these conditions.

    The tunnels also show how prepared the Vietnamese were. The tour guide mentioned that they took clothes from the Americans to confuse the sniffer dogs as they put it at the air vents making the dogs only smell the Americans' scent.

    As for the water puppet show, it show clearly the innovativeness of the Vietnamese. It kept me guessing on how they managed to move the water puppets. I could not be certain on the methods they used to move the puppets as they managed to move them so skillfully.

  8. We have learnt more about the history of the Vietnamese who used to live in the Cu Chi Village, now Cu Chi Tunnel. We learnt about that by watching the video at the starting hut, and also listening to the tour guide along the way. This is important since this war had a lot of creative and innovative strategies used in order to survive and live through the war, so the critical thinking and fast thinking skills of the Vietnamese in Cu Chi Village are very well honed and are very admirable, along with a skill that should be learned from.

    Also, we have learnt more about how innovative and creative they were in defending their own country, and how dedicated they were. They had the critical thinking and fast thinking skills to defend themselves and their country against the invading Americans by using their homemade weapons and traps, which used inexpensive materials which were abundant in that time period. We had taken a look at their crafting skills via the traps on display, which used innovative ideas to trap and not kill the Americans, which made the Americans slow down and help their comrades, and not abandon them since they were not dead.

    We learnt and partially experienced the lives of the Vietnamese during that time period, so we got a glimpse and a feel of their experiences, though not fully, but still had the chance to understand how they survived and made that area hard for the invading Americans to pass through. We did this by going through little huts which had examples of parts of their lives, along with going through a tunnel that leaded to their underground village. This is so that we can get a feel for what the Vietnamese had lived through every day while surviving, and still thinking of better ways to defend themselves and better ways to survive.

  9. Today, I learnt the ways how the Vietnamese managed to win the war. Even though they had primitive weapons, they used their own wits to come up with clever traps and fake kitchens, ventilation holes and the like in the area of Cu Chi. They also used scarves which could double up as a towel or disguise. Therefore, since they built the Cu Chi tunnels and laid traps, as well as being familiar with the area, they had an advantage over the Americans.

    The Vietnamese were also extremely resilient people, because no matter how many times the Americans bombed Cu Chi, they would always find a way to fight back, through traps and the fighting area of the Cu Chi tunnels. Since the Americans’ relentless attacks could demoralize the Vietnamese, they did not give up and fought back.

    For the water puppet show, I learnt that vietnamese culture was heavily influenced by the chinese. The architecture of the palace in the show looked like China pagodas, and the activities in the show, such as farming and the king on his horse riding out of the palace, is seen much in chinese shows. Furthermore, the mystical creatures at the ending, were mostly the mystical creatures in chinese history. Therefore, I can conclude that vietnamese culture was heavily influenced by the chinese.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I've learnt today about more about how the Vietnamese people adapt to their environment how they adapt to the jungle and still avoid the bombs by the US while living and able to fight the war. I learnt that with the right amount of determination, you can do anything.

    I've also learnt a lot about how make use of the minimal resources, like how the Vietnamese used those bamboo shoots and leaves to make houses and traps to win the war .I've learnt that when one learnt how to appreciate minimal resources, and work efficiently with them.

    I've also learnt the skills of observation, example in the water puppet show, we observed the puppets to try and understand the story of the puppets and what they are trying to tell us. Which is why we should always pay attention to our surroundings, which gives evidence to unsuspecting problems.

  12. I have learnt that the Vietnamese fighters were very determined to win the war, as both men and women volunteered to go to war. Their powerful perseverance helped them win the guerilla warfare.

    They also made use of primitive weapons that were used in the older times to fight against the Americans. They set up booby traps, fake termite homes to harm and delay the American attacks, while the Americans were more modernised and used much better artillery weapons. Despite Vietnam being technologically handicapped, they could win the Americans.

    Overall, I have learnt more about the Cu Chi tunnel in Vietnam and how they made full use of the wide complicated connections around Vietnam to confuse the Americans combined with their strong mindset. Thus leading them to victory.

    The water puppet clearly shows how creative they were in entertainment. They made use of water probably to change a bit of the way other people try to move the puppets traditionally, and to hide the people's shadows in the background. I find that the reasons behind the scenes was due to traditional culture believes. As the background picture, the music instruments were also used in the Chinese context.

  13. I learnt that the Vietnamese people were innovative and enterprising.This is evident as they used what they could find in the forest like using bamboo to create traps and using the American uniforms as a decoy to prevent dogs from detecting the Vietnamese scent.

    I learnt that the Vietnamese people were very determined to fend off the Americans.this is evident as they continued fighting despite being poorly

    Lastly I learnt that the Vietnamese are very creative and inventive people.This is evident as the water puppets were nicely designed and the way they are controlled it was very interesting,by standing behind a split-bamboo screen, decorated to resemble a temple facade, and control the puppets using long bamboo rods and string mechanism hidden beneath the water surface.