Vietnam is rich in culture, history andtradition. You will feel amazed as you start seeing the temples and other tourist destinations. You will also feel welcomed by the locals as they love receiving foreigners.
Since Vietnamese people have strong connections to their religion and culture, they observe proper etiquette and customs that you also need to follow. You might not understand why they are doing it, but you need to do it anyway.
Public display of affection
Vietnam remains a conservative country, and public display of affection is something you need to avoid. You do not even want to hold hands with your partner when you are in public, let alone kiss each other. If you do not wish to receive angry stares, you need to keep your affection behind closed doors.
Touching someone’s head
It is an insult to touch another person’s head. It is like belittling that person. You need to ask permission if you want to touch another person on any part of the body, to be polite. You might even be in trouble if you touch someone’s head or hair without consent.
Pointing at an item
When you point at a thing you want to buy, do not use your finger. Instead, use your entire hand. When passing an object, you need to use both hands. You might find these traditions weird, but it is how the Vietnamese people maintain politeness in their community.
You need to avoid wearing skimpy shorts when you are in public places. You reserve those shorts for when you are at home or at the beaches. Again, you do not want people to stare at you like you killed someone when wearing sexy outfits. If you plan to visit temples, you need to wear an outfit that covers your entire body. Otherwise, you will not receive permission to enter.
Wait until someone asks you to sit
When you are dining with a group, you cannot find a place where you want to sit right away. You need to wait until someone shows you where you are going to sit. At parties and other formal events, there is a proper seating arrangement you need to follow. The oldest person in the room also needs to sit first before everyone else. When passing dishes, you need to use both hands. Finish everything on your plate. Try to limit the amount of food that you put on the plate to avoid feeling pressure to finish it.
Always be punctual
When you make an appointment with another person, you need to show up on time. It is disrespectful if you decide to show up late. You also need to make arrangements in advance as a sign of respect to the schedule of the other person.
Greet someone politely
The usual greeting is a handshake. However, it is usually only among members of the same sex. You shake hands when you first meet each other and when departing. When you want to disagree with another person, you need to hold your mouth and stay silent for a while to avoid causing tension.
You might find all these rules stringent, but they are exciting. You do not always encounter a country that observes all these rules as a sign of courtesy and respect. You can find out more about the country through Not in the Guide Books – Vietnam.
You will learn a lot before you head back home, so you need to make the best of this experience.