A Guide to Understand Vietnamese Culture

24, September, 2018

A Guide to Understand Vietnamese Culture

No doubt, Vietnamese' hospitality is fascinating, and certainly, that has motivated a few folks to make  visits to Vietnamese, in fact, it might have captured your attention too. But, there is something more than you need to know. What could that be you might  ask? It's Vietnamese Culture!    

Far from the hospitality, Vietnamese culture gives tourists another touch of life. There you will learn amazing things about beliefs, family values, and customs. There is a guide to let you know a few key things you need to know that I will highlight in this article. Just sit back and feel the serene ride.

Vietnamese is a country located in the cultural sphere of South Asia, and as a result, they take aesthetic resemblance with another Asian country. The Chinese culture has influenced the moral values in Vietnamese.
Presently, there are about 11 recognized religion in Vietnamese. They allow ancestors worship, and wedding ceremony can also be performed at the altar.

In the family circle, children could be found staying with their parents even if it is after high school graduation without the intention of leaving. Nevertheless, the new  youths are embracing global citizenship trend. Using their language, respecting elders is a requirement for children. For parents, priorities are on their children. They do not nurse kids that will lead an immoral lifestyle but to go to school and be a better citizen.  

Can we begin with the Dos and Dont's in the Vietnamese culture? Its a promise you will enjoy the highlight. 

guide to vietnamese culture

•    Just like all other well-mannered culture, it is mandatory to dress appropriately. But how can you do that? Allow me to give you a few examples. When you wear a sleeve, it should be long enough to cover your shoulder. If you'd need to wear a pant to a religious setting, it is required that it should be at least at knee length.

•    What should be done when approaching a house and you spot an older adult sitting, they required that you greet. But how? Use both hands. It depicts gratitude and respect to elders. 

•    Vietnamese takes hygiene so serious, and they consider it rude if you fail to ask if you can come in with your shoes on or not. Why? There are some houses that you will need to walk barefooted. And if at all you need to put on something, you will use their Slippers.

•    It's also a point of duty to come along with gifts when you are honored with an invitation to a party or house. But you may be wondering what sort of gift will melt the heart of these? Does it have to be expensive? Far be it! I'll mention the five best gifts that would undeniably win the heart of your host.

•    Fruits
•    Wine
•    flowers
•    beers
•    And other types of beverages.

Colors are also of grave concern when you are presenting your gifts. Take, for example, black and white should only be used for funerals and red are used for wishing good fortune.

vietnamese culture one pillar pagoda

•    When you and an older adult need to sit, offer the elder the sit first, then sit only where you are directed to sit.
•    You can't be in Vietnamese and not feel the urge to take pictures. But here is a caution! Before you take pictures, ask before taking pictures, most importantly when visiting sacred places.

•    When walking around, beware of the small shrines and altars they disallow people pointing legs or bottom to those places.

•    When its lunchtime, you should master this. Endeavor to cover your mouth when you are making use of the toothpick. And yes, while eating, hold your bowl

•    And finally, on this part, ensure you order for what you can finish. Don't leave food behind! Should you need to know the reason, I'll tell you one. Vietnamese is a developing country, at that, there are some areas with severe starvation. Finishing up your meal will earn you their respect, and it goes a long way to show that you have respect for the person who prepared the meal. 

Having run through the do's, you might want to get to know the don't's in Vietnamese's culture. I won't keep you in the dark.

Dos and Donts in vietnamese culture

•    You aren't permitted to display affection publicly. Handshaking, hands holding and hugs (matter of closeness to the person) are an acceptable form of physical gestures. However, there are restrictions, and they include cuddling and kissing! If you want to avoid stares, don't express affection publicly. Additionally, it is vital that you seek the consent of the opposite sex before making advances to give a hug.

•    Pointing the finger at someone is completely rude and disrespectful in Vietnamese. When there is a need to address someone, it is expected that you use your hand.

•    When you have a meal in your mouth, resist the urge to talk, and if you must speak, cover your mouth.

•    When wearing jewelry, it is expected to be in moderation. You will be seen as a show-off, and then you will be vulnerable to robbery attack. Valuable items should be kept off sight.

•    In Vietnamese, there is high face value, and when people are seen making scenes in public, it defaced them.

•    Chopsticks are expected to be placed vertically in the bowl. If there would be a need for you to put them down, put it on the table or horizontally on the bowl. But why does this matter? In Vietnamese, the sign of sticking chopsticks in the bowl is only meant for the dead, since it's believed to represent offering.

Having known this, it is reasonable that you don't toil with it, why? Regardless of Vietnamese's hospitality and friendliness, you have to do these to earn their respect. So, planning a trip, this highlight about the do's and don't's should be your guide, master it and you'll be thrilled at how enjoyable the visit will turn out to be.