Vietnam is a country with a long history and varied culture. The combination of influences from places such as China, India, and France – as seen in its architecture, churches, way of eating, and lifestyle – create the very essence of Vietnam itself.

I have had the opportunity to visit Vietnam several times and have been most impressed, and surprised, by its ceremonies and rituals which reflect the varied and distinct influences on Vietnam. Due to their beliefs and faiths that venerate deities, prophets, and ancestors alike,  the Vietnamese pay homage to the shrines of the dead who have been deified to pray for blessings, purge themselves of bad luck, and realize their horoscopes. In these customs lies the beauty of the mysterious culture of Vietnam that I find so intriguing.

Although today's world has become a scientific one, Vietnam still holds tight to its beliefs and rituals which have been passed down through the generations to preserve and instill confidence, a sense of protection, and unconditional faith. These beliefs are a kind of culture for humans that can give us the power to persevere in life and strengthen our spirits so that we may move forward into each new day.

Translator: Jessica Ferruzzi