Like a lotus blossom, a country arises with much beauty and splendor from the muddy state it was in.

13 Jul

A vast swamp full of lotus blossoms and a photo shoot with a newly wed couple taking advantage of its scenic beauty.

I was reminded of how beautiful a country Vietnam was from celebrating Helen Keller International (HKI) day with my colleagues this past Saturday.  We decided to celebrate HKI day at a place called Kinder Park (a mini theme park for children).  Since all my colleagues have children, we thought it was a suitable place with nice AC and fun set ups for children to play in, allowing adults to talk in an environment of organized chaos, while cooling off from the hot humid weather.  I have included a video of the Kinder park for your enjoyment.

The highlight of Kinderpark was getting to know my colleagues better in addition to getting a glimpse of the symbolic flower Vietnam has identified itself to resemble-the lotus blossom.  Just outside of Kinderpark lies a muddy swamp full of lotus blossoms.

A farmers collection of 10 lotus blossoms per request of HKI-Vietnam colleagues as a welcome present to me

The lotus blossom is the national flower of Vietnam and India.  It represents Vietnam due to its history of struggle with colonialism and wars, in its midst of adversity, Vietnam has been able to grow above it, resilient in its developing economy known as “doi moi” -renovation.  Like the lotus blossom, it grows from the muddy depths of a swamp, and is unstained, untarnished and blooms with vibrant colors.  In many Asian religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, the lotus flower represents purity in the body, speech and mind, as it floats above the muddy waters of attachment and desire.

My two HKI-colleagues and my new bouquet of fresh lotus blossoms

As I had the opportunity to share with my co-workers about myself, I also was blessed with the chance to talk about my mother and the significance the lotus blossoms were to me.   I was reminded by my mother that this was her favorite flower, in addition my mother’s name is Lotus flower.  In Vietnamese it is  “Hong sen” and I recollect her telling me stories of the beauty and deity power of the flower.  According to legend, when the Buddha was born, where ever he walked, lotus flowers appeared and bloomed at each step.  This reminiscent memory brought feelings of sentiment and youth as my recollections of such a folktale helped me understand the lovely representation of how symbolic this national flower has attributed to Vietnam as a whole.

While I was distracted playing with my colleagues children, both my co-workers went off to surprise me with a bouquet of hong-sen.  I ran out to pay for it, and rather than allowing me, they insisted in gifting it to me.  I was thoroughly touched by their kindness and hospitality.

A shy kiss is representative of Vietnam's conservative culture where PDA is not looked highly upon, even though you're newlyweds, that is still not allowed.




Vietnam, is a country of much lush and beauty, and all that has been produced from it is symbolic of growth within a place that has undergone so much adversity.


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