外贸知识

【越南】Vietnamese Traditions 越南传统

GREETINGS

Toaddresspeopleformally,useMr.orMs.oratitleplusthefirstname.ThereareseveraltitlesofrespectinVietnamese,buttheyaren’tusedinEnglish.

“Thua”(meaningplease)isaddedinfrontofthefirstnametoshowrespect.

Womendonotshakehandswitheachotherorwithmen.Physicalcontactbetweengrown-uprelativesorfriends(bothmalesandfemales),orbetweenthesameoroppositesexes,isnotacommonsight.

Manymaygreetbybowingslightlytoeachother,theymayjoinhands.Usually,higherrankingpeoplearegreetedfirst(thefamilyhead).

LANGUAGE

Vietnameseisbasicallyamonosyllabiclanguagehavingsixtones,whichgivethelanguageasing-songeffect.Awordcanberepeatedwithanyoneofsixtonestoindicatesixdifferentmeanings.Forexample,thewordmahassixdifferentmeaningsaccordingtothetonewhichthewordcarries:phantom,ghost;cheek;but,which,who;tomb;horse;youngriceseedling.

Vietnamesehasthreebasicdialects,allaregenerallyunderstoodbymostVietnamesespeakers.ItisverydifferentfromEnglish;verbsdonotchangeforms,articlesarenotused,nounsdonothavepluralendings,therearenoprefixes,nosuffixes,nodefinitivesandnodistinctionamongpronouns.Itscomplexvocabularyreflectsbasicculturalvalues.

Manyrefugeesofthefirstwavearebilingual.OlderurbanpeoplemayspeaksomeFrench,andthosewhohadgovernmentjobsinSouthVietnamspeaksomeEnglish,orareevenfluent.

GENERALETIQUETTE

*Note:FortheVietnameselivingabroad,thetraditionaletiquettechangesslightlyadaptingtothewesternetiquette.

Vietnamesecultureisconcernedmorewithstatus(obtainedwithageandeducation)thanwithwealth.

Breakingapromisecanbeaseriousviolationofsocialexpectation.Itisverydifficulttore-establishalostconfidence.

Wheninvitingafriendonanouting,thebillispaidforbythepersonofferingtheinvitation.

Vietnamesemaynottakeappointmenttimesliterally,andwilloftenarrivelatesoasnottoappearoverlyenthusiastic.

Speakinginaloudtonewithexcessivegesturesisconsideredrude,especiallywhendonebywomen.

Summoningapersonwithahandorfingerintheuprightpositionisreservedonlyforanimalsorinferiorpeople.Betweentwoequalpeopleitisaprovocation.Tosummonaperson,theentirehandwiththefingersfacingdownistheonlyappropriatehandsignal.

Theelderlygrandparentsandparentsaretakencareofuntiltheydie.

Onlyafewurbanpeople,influencedbyWesterncustoms,celebratebirthdays,sincethatoccasionisnotaVietnamesecustomsNordoVietnamesesendChristmascards.Weddingandfuneralceremoniesareimportanteventsandareusuallyperformedwithsolemnandtraditionalrituals.

ModestyandhumilityareemphasizedinthecultureoftheVietnameseanddeeplyingrainedintotheirnaturalbehavior.Therefore,braggingisoftencriticizedandavoided.Whenbe-ingpraisedforsomething,aVietnameseoftendeclinestoacceptpraisebyhumblyclaimingthathedoesnotwarrantsuchesteem.TheVietnamesedonotcustomarilydemonstratetheirknowledge,skills,orpossessionswithoutbeingaskedtodoso.

ThemajorityofVietnamesewomenneversipalcoholandusuallyshyawaywhenalcoholicbeveragesareofferedtothem.Drinkingwomenaredespisedinoursociety.Drinkingproblemsarerareandpracticallynonexistentamongwomen.

Whilesmokinghasgainedwideacceptanceamongmen,veryfewVietnamesewomensmoke;thosewhodoaregenerallyolderwomen.Women’ssmoking,inpublichasbeentraditionallyconsideredsomething”unusual.”

NAMES,NAMING

Traditionally,Vietnamesepeoplelisttheirfamilynamefirst,thentheirmiddlename,withtheirfirst(given)namelistedaslast.Familymembersusedifferentgivennames(firstnamesaren’tpasseddown),andthenamereflectssomemeaning.Mostnamescanbeusedforeithergender.ManyintheUShaveadoptedwesterncustomsofnaming.

DISPLAYSOFRESPECT

Toavoidconfrontationordisrespect,manywillnotvocalizedisagreement.Insteadofrelayingnegativecommunication,peoplemaynotansweraquestion.

Itisdisrespectfultotouchanotherperson’shead.Onlyaneldercantouchtheheadofachild.

Whengettingapraise,peopleusuallysmileinsteadofsaying”thankyou”.Asmileislikeasilent”thankyou”.Mostpeopleareverymodestanddeflectpraise.

Insultstoeldersorancestorsareveryseriousandoftenleadtoseveredsocialties.

INTERPERSONALRELATIONSHIPS

ManycustomsarerootedinboththeConfucianrespectforeducation,familyandelders,andtheTaoistdesiretoavoidconflict.Vietnamesetendtobeverypoliteandguarded.Sparingone’sfeelingsisconsideredmoreimportantthanfactualtruth.ManyalterthesepracticesintheUS,especiallywhendealingwithnon-Asianpeople.

FAMLILYSTRUCTURE

ThefamilyinVietnamisanextendedone,unlikethetypicalfamilyintheUnitedStates,whichnormallyconsistsoftehfather,mother,andunmarriedchildren.TheVietnamesefamilyiscomposedoftheparents,allchildren,andtheirin-laws,thegradparents,thegreat-grandparents,andalsoinsomecircumstances,unclesandauntsandtheirspouses,cousins,grandchildren,great-grandchildren,andallin-laws.Inotherwords,itmightembraceuptosixgenerations,witheverybodywhoisrelatedeitherbybloodormarriage.Thereisalwaysastrongfeelingofattachmentbetweenthemembersofthesamefamilyinspiteofthegenerationgap,whichcanbelargeorsmall.

Thecenterforthefamilyisahousewhichdoesnotnecessarilyaccommodateeverybody.Theavailabilityoflivingspacedeterminesthesizeofthefamilylivingtogether.Buttypically,onefindsgrandparents,father,mother,children,andgrandchildrenlivingunderthesameroof.Althoughnotallmembersoftheextendedfamilyarehousedtogether,theytendtoclusteraroundacertainareasuchasavillage,smalltown,orplacesofeasyaccessinlargecities.

MARRIAGE

InfluencedbyBuddhisttheologyandConfucianphilosophy,Vietnamesebelievedthatfateinmarriage,aswellaswealthandposition,werepreordained,thoughchoicecouldplaysomeroleinactivatingapositiveornegativefate.Traditionally,childrenlivedwiththeirparentsuntilmarriage,thenthecouplemovedtothehusband’sfather’shousehold.Theextendedfamilyarrangedmarriage,butindividualswereusuallyconsultedonthechoiceoftheirmate.Thetypicalengagementlastedsixmonths,withlittlecontactbetweenthebrideandgroompriortothemarriage.Traditionallythemarriagewasatoneofthecouples’homes.Menusuallymarriedbetween20and30years,andwomenat18to25years.Womenkepttheirmaidennameslegallybutusedtheirhusband’snameformally.

AswesterninfluenceincreasedinVietnamduringthiscentury,parentsbegantotakemoreofanadvisoryroleinthechoiceoftheirchild’smate,andarrangedmarriagesarestartingtodecline.IntheUS,mostyoungVietnamesedateinthesamewayasAmericanyouth.Thoughrarelygivenabsolutechoice,familystillbearsheavyinfluenceoverthedecisiontomarry.Thereareavarietyofdifferentweddingpractices,mostcommoninSeattleareBuddhistandChristianceremonies.Divorceisuncommon,evenintheUS,andisconsideredshameful.InVietnam,amanisresponsibleforhisspouseuntildeath

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