Nhut Hong Le
Professor Jawed Zouari
THE INDOCHINA WAR AND THE FRENCH CULTURE
Like many cities in Viet Nam, Saigon did not escape the wrath of war. In the mid-nineteenth centuries, with the aids from the Spanish, the French started to invade the port and destroyed the fort, which was the beginning of the struggle between the people of Vietnam and France leading to the historical defeat of the French in 1954. When the French came to Vietnam, many Vietnamese people were killed, several cities were destroyed; however, the modern Vietnamese nation was created from French colonialism at the same time. The French, actually, wanted not only just exploit the colony but also use Viet Nam as a springboard to attack China and the whole East Asia. In result, they converted Saigon into the new-type colony, changed its face completely, especially the culture such as infrastructures, education, script, clothes, culinary and perception. First, about the architectural development, the French left behind an impressive legacy of their colonial architecture. When they came, they forced the Vietnamese people to build several main infrastructures, such as railway networks, modern port facilities, hospitals. Many of these structures still serve as a government offices or residents private until now. Second, the French also made a new system education in Vietnam. At the beginning, they kept the the old education and examination, which was affected by “Confucianism” culture. Because of the need in high-educated workers, translators, secretaries for their organs, companies or factories, they abandoned “Confucianism” and built the new education system in Vietnam, which consists of elementary school, high school and university. Next, they opened two international schools in 1860s in order to change the cognition of young people and propagate the France’s culture. In 1990, there were approximately 2500 students studied the new education...