Vietnam is arguably one of the most intriguing South East Asia nations that is widely noted for its stubborn adherence to its ancient culture and traditions. Naturally, this has for decades on end effectually limited western influence in the lives of many Vietnamese. And should you be planning to spend some considerable time living in this country the following are crucial tips that can make your stay fairly stress-free and enchanting.
To begin with the Vietnamese have rigid etiquette as well decorum that both locals and foreigners are required to abide by. This is especially true when it comes to relationships between the same sex which is often considered ‘social evil’. Holding hands in public is usually ok but you will not see locals hugging often, especially men hugging women which is seen as offensive.
Shaking of hands is common in Vietnam, but should you wish to greet anyone you can bow your head slightly and place your hand at your chest, which is a sign of great respect. Unlike western culture which commemorates birthdays, the Vietnamese do the exact opposite and have lavish celebrations whenever a loved one dies. Don’t be offended when you witness such occurrences.
The Vietnamese culture lays a strong emphasis on hierarchy most especially when it comes to age. To which end, elders are usually the first to eat, and afterwards the younger generation can partake of their meals. Don’t be offended or surprised to have to wait for those older than you to eat before your turn comes.
While still on the issue of food, the Vietnamese have some rather singular eating habits. For one they utilize chopsticks while eating and usually do so while seated on a mat laid on the floor. Furthermore, these intriguing people consume their food rather loudly. You will undoubtedly have to persevere the guttural slurping, chomping and sucking that is unseemly in the west.
However, in Vietnam such table noises are not considered inappropriate, but rather a heartfelt expression of just how people are enjoying their food. You should also get used to eating rice, which happens to be a Vietnamese staple food, in virtually all meals you partake even for breakfast.
With these critical tips you will definitely be in an excellent position to avoid any misunderstandings with the locals you will integrate with. As well as make your stay much more memorable and also form new friendships that may last for a long time. Hope your visit to Vietnam will be as satisfactory as you wish. Cheers!