Why Lotus is chosen as Vietnam’s symbol?
Lotus is a special kind of flower that lives in mud, but it has a good smell and not stinky and muddy at all. It symbolises as a righteous man, who lives in a poor and difficult situation, but raises up and become successful and contribute for society without being influenced by bad environment.
Besides, lotus is a healthy and useful flower that brings many benefits for people. According to scientists, lotus can reduce cholesterol, control sugar level in blood, reduce fat level in blood, release tension, reduce blood pressure, good for skin and strengthen bone, prevent heart disease, anti-infection, reduce weight, strengthen immune system, etc. In Vietnam, we use Lotus for many purposes. From the root to the flower, we do not waste any part of this amazing plant. We use the lotus root for cooking a vegetarian soup, slow cook with meat to make a good combination stew or pickle with vinegar and sugar.
The purple part from the root to the flower is called stem. Lotus stems can be used in many delicious dishes such as prawn and pork lotus salad, hotpot, pickle, etc. because of its natural healthiness, fibre and neutral flavour. It can easily combined with other strong ingredients as a neutral background.
The leaves can be used as an eco-friendly wrap for foods. It has been used for many years in Vietnam before people invented plastic bags or paper. It is even more environment-friendly than paper because it is 100% natural and have a good smell that foods can absorb. We use lotus leaves for wrapping sticky rice – a very cheap popular breakfast for workers who need a qualified breakfast for a hard working day.
Hue’s ladies use lotus leave as an efficient tool for their famous lotus steamed rice that can conquer any picky foodies. They use lotus seeds, flower and leaves in their food and this dish can be number one in the menu for vegetarians.
Vietnam has a very popular tea that is produced by putting tea sleeping inside the lotus flowers for some nights and have enough time to absorb the lotus’s fragrant aroma. Tea producers normally boat to a lotus pond and put tea inside the flowers and harvest the lotus tea after a few nights. Lotus tea became a spirit characterized the Vietnam tea culture, bringing in that much philosophy, courtesy and respect. An ideal place to enjoy the traditional Lotus tea is under a porch. People who drink tea sit by on the demolition of the wood. The ideal landscape looks out to Lotus pond and can smell lotus aroma in the wind. Tea drinkers can spot scenes, make poetry, yoga or be quiet to be soaked himself in nature.
Inside the lotus seed, there is a green part that tastes bitter but has an amazing effect for those who cannot sleep or tension for a long time. People dry them and drink as a tea to cure sleepless.
In summary, Vietnamese are people who know to use natural products without wasting any parts. They always bear in their mind that it is guilty to waste gifts from Mother Nature.