Vietnam is located in marine center. This is one of main reason making Viet Nam affiliate with other countries easily. However, the differences still last. Understanding them is a very important thing. It helps us avoid cultural shocks. Following is the list of basic differences between Western culture and eastern culture as well as Vietnamese culture.
1. How to show love?
The Western: Males and females can hold hands or kiss each other in public places. This is very ordinary for surrounding people and nobody notices that. Close friends can kiss on cheeks or kiss slightly on lips. A couple can also kiss in front of their children.
The Vietnamese: People rarely see male and female kiss each other in public places. If they did so, they would face surrounding people’s looks. For male and female, touching bodies each other is limited, even closest friends. People think that it results both of friends love each other.
Parents do not also kiss each other in front of their children. They do not also kiss their old children. However, they love and are faithful to each other.
2.How to celebrate parties and festivals?
The Western: Christmas and the lunar new year are the most important celebrations in a year. Families usually go on a holiday far from home or only gather around together to eat and drink.
For the Western people, birthday and wedding are the most important occasions in a life. On these days, connected people gather to sing, dance, offer gifts and have a snack party. On wedding days, the Western people usually organize a snack party. They seldom receive lucky money.
The Vietnamese: The lunar new year holiday or Tet is the most important festival in a year. This is time for families to clean and decorate their houses, and enjoy special foods for Tet such as square sticky rice cakes, dried fruits. Family members who live apart gather and celebrate Tet together.
In Viet Nam death anniversary is bigger than birthday. This is time when relatives gather and enjoy meals together. They review memories of the dead, their good qualities. The wedding ceremony is very finical, including many sections. There are usually two main ceremonies: engaging and wedding. Engaging day is time when the groom’s family brings the gold and trays of fruits, cakes, wine, tea to the bride’s family to ask for wedding. Wedding day is a time when the groom’s family go to the bride’s family to receive the bride. The people participating in the wedding party have to offer congratulation money.
3.How to eat and drink?
The Western : The Western people, especially, don’t spend too much time for cooking. They are usually buy some foods for the week because earning for living is hurry and busy. Most of them are Christians, so they usually pray before eating.
The food doesn’t have a lot of condiments. Knives, spoons, forks are things which are usually on the table. Most of foods are dry and cool. Soup is eaten using a plate and spoon. American only have a main meal which is dinner when family gather around dining table . Foods are divided equally to every family member. And they don’t cause rustles while eating.
Popular foods show south eastern Asia’s cuisine culture.
The Vietnamese: Vietnamese people usually buy products at traditional markets or supermarkets daily. Therefore, they always eat fresh foods. Cooks have to spend so much time for processing because the food has a lot of condiments. It is usually acrid and hot. This is common characteristic of South Eastern Asia and North Eastern Asia.
Vietnamese people usually eat with chopsticks. Spoons and food are put in plates and large bowls and the same a tray. This shows the community culture of vietnamese people having thousands years before. Before eating, the young have to invite the old. The young aren’t eat until the old do. When eating people usually cause rustles because the foods are acrid and hot.
4.How to greet?
The Western: Western people usually greet somebody with joined hands. Female can also do, too. This shows equality between male and female. Close friends can kiss on cheeks or kiss on lips slightly.
They wave hands to greet the others even the older. And clapping on the back slightly to connected people is normal.
The Vietnamese: Male and female are rarely seen join hands each other. The young don’t active in joining hands the old but wait this action from them. When joining hands they only hold rather enough and not too long, using both hands and bend the head slightly. Women don’t usually join hands each other.
Friends never give kisses to each other. The old can kiss young children. They can wave hands to call young children And friends can also do so. Clapping on the back slightly is only agreed for close friends. When go into the house of Vietnamese family, you have to greet the oldest first, then greet from the old to the young.
Those are only some of the most basic differences in the spirit , feeling, eating and drinking, greeting between Vietnamese and the Western people. Besides there are many other differences. Understanding much about differences between the Western culture and the Vietnamese culture helps us have many friends.