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How Vietnam, has made huge environmental improvements. Remarkable change. Westerners do not get survival yet!

Updated on February 24, 2013

Just think about your car. Huge. A buffalo is much more.

about a mile and a half away, the village loudspeakers are extolling the virtues of conservation.
about a mile and a half away, the village loudspeakers are extolling the virtues of conservation. | Source

Strange but it would seem that the less hope the less beauty

I have had the pleasure of working and living in Southeast Asia. My work kept me in and about Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. (or as some joke, Saigon, currently known as Ho Chi Minh City) When I first got there well over a decade ago, there was a certain sadness to the place. A sadness that seemed to have been made worse by the recent Asia market crash and an odd thing – garbage. I have had the pleasure of being on most continents and I have seen my fair share of litter but this was different it was omnipresent. I often spent energy and time to get out of major population areas and I did there. But I was chagrined to see just as much garbage in the “outback” as in the cities.

Is cleanliness the result of earnest pride, or is eanest pride the result of cleanliness

I once took a small boat ride down a tributary of the Sai Gon River. It was extremely interesting but we spent much time negotiating away from or around floating hills of garbage. A strange thing happened during my work there, full UN membership, WTO membership, Free Trade Agreements and establishing an Embassy in something like 20 countries including the USA. The economy went into a Doi Moi period (like USSR’s perestroika). And like no country but a socialist country can do, they mobilized to preserve and protect the environment.

Streets are generally clean now. The following week nearly all those utility lines were gone.

I suppose one thing is certain taking care of our environment is never encding
I suppose one thing is certain taking care of our environment is never encding | Source

Hope springs eternal

Now as my wife, son and I visit her home country we are amazed at the cleanliness and reversal of damage. Where once there was a palpable stench there is now a breeze of fresh air. Where you once would cover your mouth now the place brings a smile instead. They have done this remarkable turn around, using the most inexpensive tools to be found. They did it by reinvigorating patriotism in South Vietnam. And they did that inclusion and acceptance of the defeated South. The sadness has left and the garbage is gone.

No litter or debris

"Progress" continues like this sky scraper, but it also is evident in this small nearby river leg.
"Progress" continues like this sky scraper, but it also is evident in this small nearby river leg. | Source

Beauty is not marred by man anymore.

It seems to me that the connection is synergistic. When a youngster or oldster washes their car or clean their home, there is a sense of pride once lost. South Vietnam is still not what it can be in the area of the environment but it is growing in beauty not diminishing and that is a wonderful thing for the spirit of any country.

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    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Very interesting. I had no idea of the turnaround that had taken place in Vietnam. And I agree with you that pride and patriotism can be powerful motivators. Sometimes neighborhood renewal starts with that one house on the corner and its owners serious efforts. Improvement is in its own way - contagious. Good hub. Sharing.

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