Vietnamese people have a very conservative dress code. For example:

  • It is considered inappropriate to dress in revealing clothes during daytime .
  • Educated people must tuck in their shirt. It is believed that they will be more respected if they do so and considered inappropriate.

Ao Dai:

  • Long wide legged pants worn under a high necked fitted tunic with slits on each side
  • It is considered an elegant yet modest piece of clothing
  • A traditional dress for women. The word and style is derived from the Chinese.
  • The word Ao Dai stems from a Chinese word meaning “padded coat”
  • In academic commentaries, they like to emphasize how the ao dai links feminine beauty to nationalism in Vietnam
  • The first Vietnamese ao dai is the northern 4 flap dress –> worn during the Tet Festival
  • By looking at the ao dais worn at an event, you can see the importace of the event. For example: When worshipping, the ao dai has little to no design. It is believed that temples and churches are simple, so there is no need to have flashy designs.

Non la (traditional Vietnam conical hat):

  • It is a simple conical hat
  • The hat is a symbol that represents the hard working spirit of Vietnam and its people
  • Also a symbol of feminine beauty
  • Many different designs have been incorporated into the hat




The food in Vietnam is a mixture of Malay, Indian, French and influences. It also incorporates baguettes and pate from Franc and curries and chilies from India.

The North: 

  • Pho, Vietnam’s chicken soup
  • Pho stalls can be found all over hanoi
  • A bowl can cost between 5,000 to 10,000 dong (2-4 HKD), depending on the location
  • The favourtie in Hanoi is “Bun Cha”. It is grilled meat is eaten at makeshift restaurants serving patrons on the street
  • Bia Hoi is a freshly brewed and served in plastic jugs. The word “Bia” is derived from the word beer in English
  • Exotic foods include: fried silk worms, cobra meat, dog meat. These are eaten to cure sickness, increase virility or when it is the right season

The Center:

  • Imperial Spring rolls and Bun Bo Hue, a spicy beef soup, are commonly eaten in the center of Vietnam
  • The Banh Koai is the most famous. It is a pancake like dish eaten with a very rich peanut sauce. It includes eggs, shrimps and bean sprouts
  • The Banh Beo is a popular snack. It is a tiny ceramic dish with boiled rice topped with bits of pork. It is eaten with a spoon.
  • A lot of seafood is eaten in this area, boiled crabs are a one of the area’s specialty
  • Exotic foods include: Com Hen (cold rice dish flavoring with clam juice including white vermicelli noodles, chili and shrimp sauce)

The South

  • Banh Xeo is on of the South’s most famous dish. It is similar to Banh Koai but much larger. The dish uses more green beans, shrimps and coconut milk. Eaten with fish sauce after being wrapped.
  • Cuon is a freshly cooked spring roll combining sliced shrimp, mint leaves, cold vermicelli noodles, and rice paper that is dipped in fish sauce
  • Exotic foods in this area include: Hot Vit Lon (a fertilized duck egg eaten with a spoon. Served in street stalls/markets)




  • Traditional thatched-roof homes on piles in a village outside Sapa. These homes are more common among poorer, rural families.
  • One or more rectangular-shaped houses made of brick and mortar
  • Villages plant dense stands of bamboo around their communities to define their boundaries and protect them from trespassers
  • In poor areas many families still live in these house
  • The main entrance to most homes is in the center of the long side, directly before the family ancestral altar
  • Highland minority groups often live in either thatched houses or in houses raised on stilts
  • Many of these houses maintain discrete spaces defined by age or gender


A – Character Analysis in Act 5

Posted: January 16, 2011 in Macbeth

In the final act of Macbeth, he becomes an cold, ruthless killer. He has no emotion and does not care anymore what happens to him. In scene 5 line 17, he says, “she should have died hereafter” when he hears about Lady Macbeth’s suicide. He feels no remorse when Lady Macbeth is dead, saying that she was going to die anyway. He also becomes a person who feels that life is unimportant, and everyday “creeps at[in] this petty pace” (scene 5, line 20); he sees no reason to live anymore and each persons impact on the world “signifies[ing] nothing”(scene 5, line 28). I wasn’t surprised with Macbeth’s personality change in the final act because anyone who is forced to kill a close friend will have become deeply affected by it. Plus Macbeth goes on to kill more people that are close to him (like Banquo), making him lose his sub-conscious thinking.

I feel empathy for Macbeth because his dramatic change in personality in scene 5, line 17-28 is mostly due to Lady Macbeth and the witches. However I feel that he also brought this upon himself. If the witches didn’t toy with him, maybe he would become king “naturally” instead of committing all the ludicrous murders of innocent people. Also, the fake apparations the witches and Hecate create give Macbeth too much confidence in his plans. By making him feel confident, Macbeth feels as if he is invincible. It is alos partly his fault because he is very submissive and gentle, making him a very easy target to control. His submissive personality makes his easy for Lady Macbeth to do whatever she pleases with him. The largest influence to his change in personality is Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is the more dominant partner who is able to control him and persuade him to do things he doesn’t want to. Since Macbeth is easy to control, he  Lady Macbeth forces Macbeth into killing Duncan in the beginning by questioning his manhood and by taunting him aggressively and Macbeth gives into his wife in the end. I think that Macbeth does deserve what he gets in the end because after he killed Duncan, he would not stop killing other people close to him. His paranoia takes over him and he becomes the cold-blooded killer at the end of the play. I think Macbeth deserves what he gets in the end (death) because if he was still alive he may kill more people, thinking that they will find out what he has done. Even when he has no need to kill anymore people, he goes on to kill many innocent people.

In Macbeth, there are many different conflicts, both external and internal. There is man vs. man, man vs. self, man vs. self, man vs. society and man vs. supernatural. However, I think that the central conflict in Macbeth’s plot is man vs. self, an internal conflict. His ambition and conscience are constantly battling each other throughout the play, but his ambition finally takes over in act 4.

In act 4, we can truly see that his ambition ultimately takes over, and there is no turning back. He says this himself in act 3 scene 4 lines 135-138. He says, “By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good all causes shall give away: I am in blood stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more returning were as tedious as go o’er.” This is where his conscience finally gives in to his ambition.

In act 4, scene 2, we can see evidence that his ambition has taken over his conscience. He orders the murderers to kill Macduff. When the murderers are at Macduff’s castle, only the son is seen being killed, and the murderers chase after Lady Macduff at the end of the scene. This is only a small portion of the murder that is shown. In scene 3, Rosse tells Macduff about the murder. Rosse tells Macduff that his castle was attacked and that his children and wife are murdered, and that no one was spared their life.

Rosse says, “Were, on the quarry of these murdered deer to add the death of you” – Act 4, scene 3, lines 205-206. He says if he were to tell Macduff of how they were murdered, it would be like adding salt to an already open wound made from the news of his family being murdered. This shows that Macbeth has now changed into someone completely different from act 2. In act 2, his soliloquy shows that he does not want to kill Duncan, and has a difficult deciding whether to kill him. In this act, his conscience does not seem to exist, and does not even think before he slaughters everyone in Macduff’s castle. Rosse also says, “Wife, children, servants, all that could be found” (act 4, scene 3, line 212-213) were killed off. Here we can see that Macbeth has shown no mercy to anyone. His paranoia has driven him to kill anyone who he thinks will eventually know he is the mastermind behind all the murders.

In Act 3 scene 4, there is rhyming in a monologue, and this occurs in Hecate’s lines (act 3, scene 4, lines 2-35). We do not know anything about Hecate, but we know that she is associated with the witches since witch 1 talks to her like a friend or acquaintance. Shakespeare uses rhymes to tell the reader that that Hecate is a witch through her monologue. Also, the fact that she was given a name and not named witch 4 makes her character more significant than the other witches. Without looking at the side notes in the book, we can see that she is the head of the witches by looking at what she says.

When a person says a spell or chant, the chant/spell would have rhymes. In the previous acts (act 1), witch 1 speaks in rhyme (act 1, scene 3, line 14-26). So by this we can deduce that Hecate is a witch, and the way she chides them tells us that she is the leader or head of the witches. Hecate’s monologue is written in the form of rhyming couplets, which gives us the effect of a chant, spell or curse.

The choice of words also gives us the impression that Hecate is a witch. Charms, harms, destiny, illusions are some of the words that Hecate uses in her monologue. In act 1, the witches tell Macbeth his “destiny” or fate. In this monologue, charms are also mentioned. Charms are associated with witches most of the time, we reinforces the fact that Hecate is a witch. So by Shakespeare’s choice of words we can see that she is a witch. This monologue is also very different from other characters in the book. Characters such as Macbeth, Macduff, Duncan hardly every speak in rhyme in this play, making it more evident that Hecate is a witch.

In Act 2, there is one soliloquy that I think is very important. It is the monologue after Macbeth kills Duncan, and starts to regret what he has done. This can be seen when Macbeth says, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean form my hand?…” in scene 2, line 59-62. This is also one of the very famous lines written by Shakespeare. Neptune is the Roman God of the Sea, and the ocean is made up of 326 million trillion gallons of water, which is around 1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000 liters. By saying he wants Neptune’s whole ocean to wash the little blood shed on his hands, we can see a very deep regret in Macbeth. We can further see his regret in scene 2, line 61-62. Macbeth says, “The multitudinous seas incardine, making the green one red.” Here he says that even when the whole ocean cleans his hands, it is very hard to clean off, and it also will stain the ocean water from a green color to a red. Macbeth is trying to say that even if the ocean’s water cleans his hand of the blood, he will still be scarred for life because of this incident.

From this monologue we learn more about Macbeth’s character. It shows that dwells on a matter for a long period of time. For example, in scene 1 he decides whether or not to murder Duncan for the throne by expressing his feelings in a long soliloquy. Also throughout scene 2, he complains about how he regrets murdering Duncan. There is also a contrast between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s dialogue. Macbeth says, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean form my hand?” While Lady Macbeth says, “A little water will clear us of this deed”. This shows how Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are sort of a FOIL towards each other. Lady Macbeth can brush matters off really quickly, while Macbeth takes a longer time to move on.

Milk is one of the many motifs used in Act 1. Lady Macbeth uses this to describe a woman and women are depicted as tender, loving, soft etc. In act 1, scene 5, line 15, Lady Macbeth says, “ It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness”. She says this to insult Macbeth, and she insults him by calling him a woman. Back then society was very sexist, and considers women as weaklings.

Shakespeare uses this in Macbeth in act 1, scene 5, line 15 and line 46 to refer to women. Shakespeare would use milk as a reference to women because only women can produce milk. Women only produce milk when they have a baby and are mothers. This reinforces why Shakespeare would use milk to represent a woman.

In scene 5, line 46, she says, “Come to my woman’s breasts, and take my milk for gall”. In this line she says to the spirits to take away her milk and replace it with gall (represents bitterness). However, figuratively she is saying to take her female traits and replace them with a male’s, so she can carry out the murder of Duncan.

This motif is significant because it shows how society looked down on females, and it also shows how Lady Macbeth is very tough. She is willing to do anything to help Macbeth become king. Compared to Macbeth, she is crueler because she does not have any worries about killing Duncan.


Posted: October 8, 2010 in Macbeth

a war was going on