Customs and traditions
There is a strong national feeling in Vietnam
that has been characterized by repeated attacks from
outside, from long-standing Chinese rule in history to
French colonialism and American warfare in modern times.
The foreign influences have left an impression but at
the same time strengthened the Vietnamese identity and
national pride. This applies primarily to the majority
people devoted. The minority people often have other
customs and customs.
Many old rituals are still alive, although society is
largely secular. Ancestors are shown reverence and there
are rituals for all stages of life: birth, marriage,
death, starting a new business or moving to a new
address. The Vietnamese language plays an important role
in one's own identity, as does the food. Vietnam has
long been a rice cultivator culture where village life
has been at the center. In the countryside many people
live in villages where the houses are often very close,
surrounded by rice fields. Pile houses are found in the
Overview of the capital city of Vietnam, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
The Vietnamese usually say that their country looks
like an "s" or a bamboo rod with a risk basket balancing
at each end. It can also be seen as a description of the
country's population breakdown: very densely populated
in the two deltas in the north and south, and
considerably sparse in the narrow mountain and coastal
region in between.
Since poverty has been widespread, consumer goods -
such as motorcycles and mobile phones - are often
important for social status. Anyone who can arrange big
To greet and talk
The family is central to the lives of Vietnamese and
anyone who wants to be polite and show interest in
another person is happy to ask questions about parents,
children or siblings. It can also be good to ask about
age - the age hierarchy is strong and it is good to know
if a person is older than oneself and should be
addressed with reverence, with anh (for men) or
chi (for women).
Politics and religion, on the other hand, are topics
of conversation that you should avoid with Vietnamese
you don't know. Talking about accidents or death is
considered unlucky and therefore not appropriate.
Vietnamese usually keep a certain distance when
talking to each other. It can be perceived as
unfavorable with too direct eye contact.
Both men and women greet by shaking hands, especially
in formal contexts or the first time they meet.
Otherwise, it is common to content yourself with
cheering. A common greeting word is chao,
which, just like the Swede's "hello" can also be used at
a farewell. Vietnamese only hug if they know each other
well or are close relatives, and usually only if they
have not been seen for a long time. Public tenderness is
Pointing at someone's face is considered very rude.
Calls are preferably in a muted tone; a raised voice
is easily interpreted as a sign of anger. Vietnamese
often express themselves indirectly. For an outsider, it
can be difficult to read the emotional state of a
Time and dress
Vietnamese like to talk about "rubber time", a
meeting does not necessarily start at the appointed time
but often half an hour or so later. In working life, it
is not uncommon for people to be absent for family
reasons. Working hours are often perceived as quite
flexible. The lunch is normally one hour long, but after
that many people also sleep for dinner. Personal
contacts are important, even in business contexts.
Typical clothing for Vietnamese are thin and airy
garments. They are often comprehensive, to protect the
sun. Tanning is not considered attractive. The
traditional clothing ao dai is considered a
national costume and consists of a long, tight tunic.
Rice is staple and is included in almost all meals.
It can be sticky rice (xoi), Chinese rice
noodles (pho), vermicells (mien), rice
noodles (bun). Most often you eat several small
dishes for the rice, which are placed on the table or on
a tray. Then everyone supplies themselves with their
chopsticks. Leaves and other vegetables have a central
place, but tofu, seafood, fish and pork or other meat
are also common. The accessories vary with social class:
the poor often eat only rice and leaves, the rich more
Many Vietnamese regard the noodle soup pho
as a national dish. Another specialty is moon cakes,
bŠnh trung thu. They can be round or square and
sweet or salty, with stuffing for example mung beans,
lotus seeds - or meat.
The special fish sauce nuoc mam gives
characteristic flavor to many dishes. Spring rolls are a
specialty - they are fresh and made with rice paper and
filling that consists of vegetables and maybe something
else, and dipped in chili, peanut or fish sauce.
Geographical variations in the kitchen occur:
generally the food is mild in the north and spicy in the
middle. Sweetness and bean sprouts are characteristic of
the food in the south.
Holidays and Holidays
The most important holiday is the Vietnamese New
Year, tÍt, which is ruled by the moon and falls
in January-February. TÍt, which is the same as the
Chinese New Year, is celebrated for several days. Then
the family gathers and you often visit temples and
graves. The homes are adorned and the children often
receive money. Special dishes belong, such as banh
chung or banhet, square rice cakes wrapped
in banana leaves and stuffed with, for example, mung
beans and pork.
A new holiday that was introduced in 2007 is the
mythical Hung kings' day which falls on the tenth day of
the third month, which means April.
The day of liberation or reunification is celebrated
on April 30, when it is particularly noted that Saigon
was inaugurated in 1975. Independence Day falls on
September 2, in memory of the proclamation of the
Republic of Vietnam in 1945.
International New Year's Day on January 1 is also a
holiday, as is Labor Day on May 1.