Vietnam is a tourist destination in Southeast Asia with beautiful nature, unique Vietnamese culture and friendly people. There are probably many things that you may not know, such as culture such as places and religions, and the personality and temperament of Vietnamese people.Here, we explain in an easy-to-understand manner about Vietnamese culture and people, such as what kind of country Vietnam is and what kind of temperament Vietnamese people have. Please use it as a reference when considering exchanges with Vietnamese people and local life.

Overview of Vietnamese culture
Overview of Vietnamese culture

Vietnam overview

First, I will explain what kind of country Vietnam is, the place and the culture of Vietnam.

Southeast Asian country bordering China and Cambodia

Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia, facing the South China Sea, bordering southern China in the north and Laos and Cambodia in the west and south. Thailand and Myanmar are also nearby, and there are direct flights from America that can be reached in 17 to 20 hours.It has a long country stretching from north to south, with cities such as Hanoi, the capital, in the north, Da Nang in the center, and Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia
Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia

Native language is Kinh language

Vietnam is a multiethnic country with more than 50 ethnic minorities, but the language used by the Kinh people, who account for over 80% of the population, is used as Vietnamese.Although it is no longer used, old Vietnamese has the image of being difficult, such as the use of a unique character called “chu nom,” and the use of tones that change meaning when the sound is raised or lowered like in Chinese. However, after French rule, the alphabet is now used for writing characters, and many words derived from kanji remain.

Vietnamese culture, Folk beliefs and non-religious people make up the majority

Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country, with the Kinh people making up the majority. About 86% are Kinh, and there are 53 other ethnic minorities.

In Vietnam, folk beliefs that mix Buddhism, Confucianism, and ancient Vietnamese traditions are widely spread, and together with non-religious people, it accounts for more than 70% of the total. After folk beliefs, Buddhism and Christianity are the most popular beliefs, but even if you combine the two, they account for less than 20% of the total, and there are many people who are not tied to any particular religion.

54 ethnic groups live in Vietnam - Vietnamese culture
54 ethnic groups live in Vietnam – Vietnamese culture

Vietnamese traditional costumes: “Ao Dai”, a unique Vietnamese culture

Most people in Vietnam wear Western clothes in their daily lives, but there is an ethnic clothing representative of Vietnam called “Ao Dai”. Ao dai is a jacket with a long horizontal slit, and although it is often worn by women, there is also an ao dai for men.Ao dai is often worn as a formal dress for formal occasions such as weddings and ceremonies, and is a popular ethnic clothing for foreigners who come to Vietnam for sightseeing.

Vietnamese Ao Dai
Vietnamese Ao Dai

Delicate and delicious! Vietnamese food that suits the palate of every people

The food culture of Southeast Asia is one of the pleasures of traveling, but Vietnamese cuisine is especially delicate and delicious, and there are many dishes that suit the palate of every person. Pho, which is made from rice flour, is close to the national dish of Vietnam, and you can enjoy mild noodles with beef, chicken, and various other flavors of soup. There are many Vietnamese dishes that mix the influence of the country of gourmet France and Vietnamese culture, such as Vietnamese sandwiches using French bread “Banh Mi”, fresh spring rolls, Vietnamese-style omelettes “Banh Xeo”, etc. All of them are easy to eat. It’s recommended.

Vietnamese cuisine is very diverse
Vietnamese cuisine is very diverse

The currency is “dong” and tipping is not customary

The unit of currency used in Vietnam is the dong. As of March 2023, 1 USD is approximately 23,400 VND. Tipping is not customary, and you only need to pay the price that is written on the menu or tag. By the way, Vietnam also has a tax called “value added tax” like every country’s consumption tax, but basically it is tax included, and in the case of tax not included, it can be confirmed on the receipt.

Vietnamese people and Vietnamese culture

Next, I will explain the personality and culture of the Vietnamese people. Even if we say “Vietnamese personality and culture” as a general term, there are individual differences. Let’s take the following commentary as a general temperament that many Vietnamese people have.

Vietnamese is friendly
Vietnamese is friendly

Vietnamese are ambitious

Vietnamese culture, the Vietnamese tend to be diligent and value education. In addition, they have a deep love for their families, and it seems that many of the younger generation think that they want to support their parents who suffered during the war and make them easier. In addition, Vietnamese people’s diligence has strong aspects such as “spirit of service” and “sacrifice”, but Vietnamese think of diligence as “acquiring new skills” and “brushing up language and technology”.

Are you bad at long-term planning? But I will cover it with action and energy

Due to the history of many wars and continuous rule by foreign countries, Vietnam has not taken root in the mindset of “making plans over the long and medium terms.” They tend to seek short-term results rather than looking at things in the long term.On the other hand, they are more active and energetic and they can be viewed accountable.

There are many opportunities for women to play an active role

In Vietnam, it is generally said that women are strong. Not only at home but also women’s social advancement is progressing. In 2019, the female employment rate was the highest in Southeast Asia. There are many women who work as managers, and the appearance of Vietnamese women who work efficiently both at work and at home emerges.

Vietnamese Woman
Vietnamese Woman

Vietnam has an early morning start

Business hours in Vietnam start at 8:00 a.m. As a result, many restaurants open at 6:00 a.m., and mornings tend to be early. In Vietnamese culture, there are many people who like cafes, probably due to the influence of the French colonial era, and it is also a characteristic of Vietnamese people to often use cafes and food stalls.

Vietnamese usually work early
Vietnamese usually work early

Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia that stretches from north to south. This country is diligent and values ​​education. Because of their strong love for family, they have a strong desire to improve themselves and expect to flourish in the future.

Vietnamese food culture

Vietnamese food culture is rich, diverse, and deeply ingrained in the country’s history and traditions. Here are some key aspects of Vietnamese food culture:

Fresh and Healthy Ingredients

Vietnamese cuisine emphasizes the use of fresh ingredients, including herbs, vegetables, and seafood. The balance of flavors and textures is important, with a focus on creating nutritious and wholesome meals.

Balanced and Harmonious Flavors

Vietnamese dishes often achieve a delicate balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors. The combination of these flavors is carefully orchestrated to create a harmonious taste experience.

Regional Diversity

Vietnam is a geographically diverse country, and its food culture reflects this diversity. Each region has its own specialties and unique culinary traditions. For example, in the north, you’ll find dishes influenced by Chinese cuisine, while the central region is known for its spicy and bold flavors. The south has a more tropical influence with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Rice and Rice Products

Rice is a staple food in Vietnamese culture and is consumed in various forms, including steamed rice, rice noodles, and rice paper. It serves as the foundation of many meals and is often accompanied by a variety of dishes.

Rice products
Rice products

Street Food Culture – Vietnamese culture

Vietnam is renowned for its vibrant street food culture. Sidewalk food stalls and markets offer a wide array of quick, affordable, and delicious dishes. Eating street food is not only a culinary experience but also a social one, as locals and visitors gather to savor the flavors and interact with the vendors.

Street Food - Vietnamese Culture
Street Food – Vietnamese Culture

Communal Dining

Vietnamese culture meals are often enjoyed in a communal setting, with dishes placed in the center of the table and shared among family and friends. This fosters a sense of togetherness and creates a lively and interactive dining experience.

Rituals and Etiquette

Vietnamese culture dining has its own set of rituals and etiquette. For example, it is customary to say “Chuc an ngon” (meaning “Enjoy your meal”) before starting to eat. Sharing dishes and offering food to others are common practices, highlighting the importance of generosity and hospitality.

Influences from History and Colonization

Vietnamese cuisine has been influenced by various cultures and historical events. Chinese, French, and other Southeast Asian influences can be seen in certain dishes and cooking techniques, resulting in a unique fusion of flavors.

Vietnamese culture in food is a source of pride for the Vietnamese people, reflecting their connection to the land, history, and community. It offers a diverse and delightful culinary experience for both locals and visitors to explore.

Vietnamese culture – Traditional Festivals

Vietnam has a wide range of traditional festivals celebrated throughout the year. These festivals often have cultural, historical, or religious significance. Examples include the Mid-Autumn Festival, which celebrates the harvest and is associated with lantern displays and mooncakes, and the Perfume Pagoda Festival, held at the Perfume Pagoda near Hanoi.

Vietnam has a wide range of traditional festivals
Vietnam has a wide range of traditional festivals

Tet, or Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is the most important and widely celebrated festival in Vietnam. It usually occurs in late January or early February and marks the beginning of the lunar calendar year. Tet is a time for family reunions, honoring ancestors, exchanging gifts, and enjoying special foods.

Remember that Vietnamese culture is diverse, and there may be regional variations in traditions and customs. It’s always a good idea to be respectful and open-minded when visiting different regions and interacting with locals.