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“I want Vietnam to be known as a beautiful country with fascinating culture”

“Whenever someone talks about Vietnam to me, sometimes they will just talk a lot about the war. But I want Vietnam to be known as a beautiful country with fascinating culture and a really nice landscape and friendly and welcoming people,” Viet An says. “It's very tropical, and there are mountains and caves and beaches and rice fields, which is very pretty. There are a lot of famous nature destinations for tourists.” “The beaches are very tropical and they have a lot of sand and are quite hot,” her brother Huy Anh adds. 

Are there any things you're missing you probably haven't been back for a while?
“The food! In my opinion, it is very delicious because it has a good balance of sweetness and sourness and everything. One very popular dish, which is also my favourite, is pho, which is rice noodles with beef, broth and herbs. Whenever I go back to Vietnam, I eat street food and I think that's the best experience you can get rather than going to some fancy restaurant. Almost everyone in Vietnam eats street food all the time. But my mom cooks a lot of Vietnamese food which reminds me of home.”

“Another thing I'm proud of about Vietnam is our values. In Vietnam, we value working hard and respecting others, it's very emphasized in our culture. I'm also very proud that Vietnam was growing at a very high rate of 7 percent in previous years, but because of the Coronavirus outbreak, the growth rate has gone down to 2.7 percent. And I am proud that the coronavirus outbreak was managed really well, considering we aren't a wealthy country.”

Before the interview you told me something interesting about Vietnamese names.
“Yes, we connect our middle names and our first names. My middle name is Viet and my first name is An, so people in Vietnam call me Viet An. But here they just call me An.”

But it's really Viet An?
“Yes”

And what’s your real name, Anh?
“Huy An”

Do you want me to write the full names when I write the article? 
“Yes”

The photo shows Viet An and Huy Anh at the Hoàn Kiếm Lake in Hanoi. Huy Anh is pronounced Hwee En and Viet An rhymes with “fan”.