Thanks to The minority report by Freddie Quick, Julian Ajello, John Thornton , Tom Newcombe & also Call to prayer by Chris Mueller, we have collected some addresses to share so that you can catch up with your community or just to eat your favourite authentic food far away from home.

    1. For Jewish people

    Every Friday at sundown, many Jewish people in the city gather in downtown for Shabbat, the 7th day of the Jewish week and day of rest. The service which includes prayer and dinner is hosted by Chabad House, a Jewish organisation with 3300 centres in more 70 countries. The Chabad organisation offers Jewish people the opportunity to observe their religion by providing activities, gatherings and teachings in community centres all around the world. Among the most important services that Chabad offers is kosher food. It is very difficult to get kosher food in Việt Nam without a proper place to eat. Chabad House is open for food throughout the week, but is most frequented at dinner time with a menu that includes kosher fish, meats, vegetables and sides.

    The Jewish Experience

    Chabad House: 121/137 Lê Lợi Street , District 1, Sài Gòn

    Email: chabadvietnam@gmail.com

    2. From Russia with love

     Although there is a strong Russian presence in Vũng Tàu with the oil industry as well as wide scale Russian tourism in Mũi Né, where numerous restaurants, bar and even signs in Russian cater to citizens of the world’s largest country, this is far from the case in Sài Gòn. There is, however, one hangout where you can get a feel for the land of fur hats and chilled vodka. The Imperial offers borscht and dumplings alongside other Russian fare.

    The Russian experience

    Imperial: 6 Lê Văn Hưu Street , District 1, Sài Gòn

    Visit: internations.org/ho-chi-minh-city-expats/Russians

    Russian food such as smoked cheese and borscht can be bought at some of the supermarkets and places like Phuong Ha ( 58 Hàm Nghi Street , District 1, Sài Gòn)

    3. Little Havana

    A handful of Cubans living in Sài Gòn are proving that big things come in small packages. Cuba , the Caribbean nation of a little more than11 million people stirs the imagination like a perfectly blended mojito. Steeped in history, Cuba was Europe’s doorway into the New World . Its culture and customs are blended from the aboriginal Taino and Ciboney people, the Caribbean, Spain , Africa and the US . Nestled here in Sài Gòn is a small albeit vibrant, Cuban community. Of the 80 or so Cuban nationals living in the city many are civil engineers who work on building Sài Gòn’s bridges and high rise buildings as well as working in the oil industry. There is also a large group who work tirelessly entertaining the city’s multitudes.

    The Cuban Experience

    Catch the music, culture and dancing at these places:

    MZ Bar: 54 Bùi Thị Xuân Street , District 1. (Warapo plays every Sunday)

    Pacharan: 97D Hai Bà Trưng Street , District 1. (Warapo plays every Friday)

    Saigon Saigon Bar: Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Sơn Square , District 1 (Waparo plays every Tuesday while Luna Negra plays from Wednesday to Monday)

    Visit warapoband.com for more info

    4. From the kingdom of smiles

    Home life appears to play a large part in the lives of Sài Gòn’s Thai community with the majority preferring to cook, drink and socialise in groups within the confines of their own dwellings. Apart from the carefree singles who can be seen partying it up in District 1’s trendiest bars, the inherently reserved nature of Thai families and the emphasis placed on maintaining a strict reputation creates social inhibition. The love shown by Thais for Việt Nam is also evident in the opinions of some the community’s longest residing residents. And yet, the pride that excludes from being Thai remains especially when they say hello to each other “Sawasdee ka!” and “Sawasdee krub”.

    The Thai experience

    For more information on the Thai Business ( Việt Nam ) Associate, visit www.thaiassociation.org

    Traditional Thai clothing such as Chad Thai dresses can be borrowed for wedding, school performances and Thai national celebrations from the Royal Thai Consulate General ( 77 Trần Quốc Thảo Street , District 3)

    For authentic Thai cuisine, grab a bite at the Golden Elephan (34 Hai Bà Trưng Street, District 1), Sam Yam Seafood (102 Lê Lai Street, District 1), Baan Thai (55 Thảo Điền, District 2), Jasmine Thai (85 Quốc Hương, District 2) or Thai House (21B Hậu Giang, Tân Bình District).

    Ethophen Boutique (including fashion outlet, café, library, gourmet store & beauty salon): 89 Mạc Thị Bưởi Street , District 1 & another address at 221 Đề Thám Street .

    Authentic Thai curry paste can be purchased from import specialist stores Phuong Ha (58 Hàm Nghi Street, District 1) & Thai Ha (60 Hàm Nghi, District 1)

    5. A passage to India

    Vietnam has a long historical association with India . Some of the earliest empires in southern and central Việt Nam were Hindu, and their architecture can still be seen around the country. Community and family are aspects of Indian life that are prevalent and important to the Indian way of living. This has not been lost because they have moved to a different country. It can often be hard for Indians to replicate and practice their culture here. Therefore the celebration of festivals is important. It is also a credit to the Vietnamese and Indian community that these festivals are slowly beginning to be integrated into the local society and one of the biggest Hindu festivals in India that really promotes their culture is Durga Puja. In An Phú, where one of the largest populations of Indians resides, it has been celebrated for years. It has attracted hundreds of visitors from all over the country.

    The Indian Experience

    Visit the impressive Mariamman Temple (45 Trương Định Street, District 1, Sài Gòn). It is open from 7am to 7pm daily.

    Get yourself down to An Phú and celebrate Durga Puja held annually between Sep 24 and Sep 28. Experience excellent food, dancing and music as well as a welcoming community spirit.

    Published 19/01/2013 Viewed 2127 Category EXPAT
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