eChutti

What is the etiquette for meeting in Vietnam?

  • Vietnam is pretty conservative, and thus, one should refrain from displaying affection towards people of the opposite gender in public areas.
  • Remember not to touch people’s heads.
  • When offering something to someone, use both hands.
  • It is seen as impolite to point your finger at something or someone. Instead, use your hand.
  • Standing with your hands placed on your buttocks is not appreciated either.
  • Vietnamese don’t like it when people pass something over their heads.
  • Refrain from crossing your hands on your chest in public.
  • Touch on the shoulder is also not accepted.
  • Do not come in physical contact with people of other genders than you in public.
  • Pieces of clothing such as shorts cannot be worn anywhere except on beaches.


What is the proper etiquette for gift giving in Vietnam?

  • Gifting items such as fruits, flowers, sweet delicacies or incense will be highly appreciated.
  • Vietnamese prefer to wrap their gifts in colourful gifting papers.
  • Items such as handkerchiefs, chrysanthemums and other black or yellow-coloured flowers should not be gifted.


What is the proper etiquette for eating in Vietnam?

  • Do not sit unless someone assigns you a seat and tell you so.
  • A seat will be taken by the eldest person in room first.
  • While transferring dishes elsewhere on the table, hold them with both hands.
  • Chopsticks and a flat spoon will be provided for eating.
  • A chopsticks rest will also be provided on which you must place your chopsticks regularly, when you take a break from eating.
  • It is common for people to hold their bowls close to their faces while eating.
  • Hold the spoon in your left hand while consuming soup.
  • Dishes will be laid out in an informal, homely way.
  • Try your best to consume all the food placed in your plate.
  • When you finish your meal, place the chopsticks on the rim of your rice bowl.
  • While using a toothpick, it is advised to cover your mouth.


Things you should know before going to Vietnam?

  • You will encounter a different way of life and business etiquettes in different parts of the country. While the people in the Northern part are formal and indirect in their approach, their southern counterparts are more direct and practical.
  • Vietnam has experienced invasions by people of different cultures throughout history. Because of this reason, they have a strong sense of patriotism.
  • The Vietnamese also have a tendency to live in harmonious unified communities, owing to their past.
  • Avoid embarrassing someone in public and deteriorating their image.
  • Stature and reputation in society are also some things that are given high importance by the Vietnamese.
  • One’s family is given high prominence over other things. Acquaintances from political or business arenas of a person are also treated as members of an extended family.
  • There is a certain hierarchal system in the society which should be followed and people’s image in public is also very important.
  • People’s approach towards life is more practical and circumstance-oriented than governed by rules and regulations.
  • Higher educational qualifications are given major importance in this country.



Also Read: Business etiquette to follow in Vietnam

Last update on February 2, 3:43 pm by Nidhi S.