Exploring a new country often means introducing yourself to certain customs and traditions that you may not have been used to. If you come from the Western side of the world, you may probably find these little details of Vietnam culture pretty interesting. Vietnam Interesting Customs and Vietnam Traditions.
Surely you would not want to offend the Vietnamese locals with your way so it is always best to have an idea of what their customs and traditions are:
Superstitions in Vietnam
Vietnamese people are a superstitious lot with some traditions confusing a lot of foreign visitors. For example, some older people would provide a necklace charm to a younger person to help ward off evil spirits and thus protect the person. Some would also believe in the significance of the date or of a dream in the situations that they would get themselves into. The Vietnam tour about spiritual very attracts foreign tourists.
There are quite a huge number of fortune tellers, palm readers, astrologers who earn their living from Vietnamese superstitions. Many people, in fact, would put aside some money just to get their fortunes read – no matter how poor they may be.
The Vietnamese highly believe that the presence of their dead ancestors combined with the behavior of the living can greatly affect the future. This ancestor worship has been passed by Chinese influence long before and has been a big part of the Vietnamese’s way of life. If you are a foreigner, you should not be surprised to see houses, offices and other places of business having a small altar dedicated to their ancestors. It is here that offerings of food Vietnam, sweet and other gifts are being made by the living. Replica of material items such as money, vehicles or houses may also be given as gifts through the altar.
Very few people, usually those who live in urban areas and have been influenced by Western culture, actually celebrate birthdays. These events are not part of Vietnamese customs and so are sending Christmas cards. Wedding and funeral ceremonies are often considered huge events but are usually celebrated through a solemn and traditional ritual.
When visiting Vietnam, here are a few important public etiquette reminders you should remember:
- Do not touch another person’s head.
- Do not pass anything over someone’s head.
- Do not cross your arms on the chest.
- Always pass items with both hands.
- Only wear your shorts at the beach. Dress conservatively as much as possible.
- Vietnamese people are far more concerned with status than with wealth.
- Gifting is a tradition if you are invited for dinner into a Vietnamese home. Wrap your gifts of fruit, sweets, incense or flowers in colorful paper. Avoid giving out handkerchiefs, yellow flowers or anything black.
- Breaking a promise is a serious violation and when this has been broken, reestablishing trust is often very difficult.
- Vietnamese may not take appointment times very seriously and would usually arrive late so as not to appear overly excited and enthusiastic.
- Wait for a woman to extend her hand during business meetings. If she does not, bow your head slightly instead.