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Traditions and Custom

Vietnam, a country in South East Asia, is a very simple place with a simple lifestyle. People here known as the Vietnamese are very down to earth, nice and warm. The Vietnamese customs and traditions strongly uplifts the general good nature of these people and the culture of the country. People here love making friends and welcome visitors from all over with open arms.

Vietnamese Greetings:

- For official purposes, customs in Vietnam dictate that people generally use the English Mr. or Ms. before the title or the title and the first name. They also use the Vietnamese word ‘Thua’, which stands for ‘please’, to add a note of reverence.
- They give more importance to their family name and put it first, then their middle name and finally their first name.
- True to the conservative traditions in Vietnam, the Vietnamese are absolutely averse to any kind of physical contact in public, especially among the opposite sex. Hence they do not generally shake hands but bow down a little to greet each other. At times they also join there hands and sometimes an elderly person touches a child’s head.

Language of Vietnam:

The language of Vietnam is ‘Vietnamese’ which is extremely different from English, not only in its pronunciations but also in grammar. However, their language is very melodious as they have monosyllabic words only, each with six different tones. The tone of the word can entirely change its connotation. The Vietnamese have three fundamental dialects, all very similar to one another and hence can be comprehended by most Vietnamese. The second most popular language in Vietnam is English.

Social Behavior in Vietnam:

The Vietnamese are very modest and courteous people. These are reflected in the Vietnamese customs and traditions. They have an extremely simple lifestyle and that reflects in their social communication and in their manners of interaction with each other.
- Talking loudly or using too much of body movement, especially when interacting with women is considered impolite.
- They do not beckon anyone with their hand or fingers pointed vertically. If they have to use their hand then they use their entire hand with fingers placed downward.
- Traditionally they generally do not observe birthdays, but influence from the west has changed this custom a bit. Marriages and funerals are their chief rituals that too performed in a very formal manner.
- Since they are very humble they hate boasting and if they are commended for anything then they simply smile modestly.
- They take promises very seriously.
- On a social outing with friends, the bill is paid by the host.
- They do not drink in public as it is considered a social shame, but drinking is quite common among the men. Equally prevalent is smoking, even women smoke at times but it is considered to be vulgar if they smoke in public.
- They are very sentimental about their ancestors and an insult to them is a serious disrespect.


Vietnamese Marriage:

The bond of marriage is considered sacred among the Vietnamese and they strongly believe in the play of fate where choosing a mate for marriage is concerned.
- The traditional age for marriage is between 18 to 25 for girls and 20 to 39 for boys.
- They usually have arranged marriages, that is mates chosen by the family but the bride and groom is also given the right to voice their opinion.
- After marriage the wife lives in the husband’s family and there she is supposed to do all the household chores as instructed by the mother-in-law.

Vietnamese Family Structure:

Vietnamese customs and traditions give the highest importance to the familial structure. The family is considered a social unit in Vietnam.
- They live in large patriarchal joint families, with four generations residing together.
- The man in the family takes care of the external world while the women are responsible for the matters of the house.
- Children live with their parents till the time of their marriage.
- Children also look after their aged parents until death.

Vietnam lives by its people and their simplicity and the Vietnamese customs and traditions are a reflection of their straightforwardness.

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