Vietnam for my generation and the one before

When I went to Vietnam a few years ago, my travelling partner at the time was always interested in war museums, and that’s the only reason I have these pictures. So disinterested in the war museum was I that its name didn’t feature in my travel diary, but I now suspect it was the War Remnants Museum (I know it was in Ho Chi Minh City!). (Any corrections welcome!)
In any case, I didn’t take much notice of it then, and I just realised recently that being a pacifist doesn’t mean mean I should ignore war museums and wars that I don’t  know much about. After reading this great travel essay on (mostly) Vietnam, I realised that my ignorance on what happened in Vietnam is really not good enough. Yes, I was born too late to know anything from experience and didn’t really know anyone personally involved – well, at least nobody who ever talked about it – but since I did decide to take a three-week holiday there, I should know more.

Obviously younger generations of Vietnamese know plenty more, as this picture – from a collection of children’s artwork on display at the museum when I went there – certainly shows. I liken this problem of mine to, say, if Iraq became a trendy (and peaceful) tourist destination in twenty years’ time and my children visited it without any care or knowledge of what went on shortly before their life began. Time for me to go and educate myself a bit more.


  1. I know what you mean! I feel like I should have a better understanding of what the country went through before I head over there! Do you think watching “Good Morning Vietnam” would count?

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