Thursday, November 20, 2014

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Understand the Vietnamese people even as you plan for your Vietnam travel

Life is full of both good and bad surprises such as death, critical illness, betrayal and many others that happen to people. However, the intensity and durability of the situation and its impacts mainly depends on ones resilience. This is exactly what differentiates the Vietnamese people from the rest of the world. For instance, talking about the Vietnamese people and the impact of the America war on them one would expect a lot of hatred to the Americans by the Vietnamese people, but that isn’t the case. Arguably, there is hardly a noticeable trace of hostility among the Vietnamese people. All this positivity can be credited to their culture, which emphasizes on forgiveness and gives strong hope for a peaceful better future.  So as you plan for the Vietnam travel tour, you now have a hint of the kind of people you will meet and interact with locally while there.

Much of these positive attributes exhibited by the Vietnamese people and their culture are believed to have been impacted by Confucian teachings. Confucian was a Chinese saint that preached nearly 2000 years ago on positive aspects in human character. Even though he wasn’t a religious believer, his positive and impactful teachings were ingrained among the Vietnamese people. His teachings mainly revolved around forgiveness, resilience, maintaining harmony, loyalty towards the family, socialization, respect and honor to elders, essence of work and positive thinking in general. Practically these teachings can be said to have strengthened the Vietnamese people in the midst of external influence by the Chinese and Mongolians who have for years tried to invade and gain foothold in Vietnamese land without success.

Respect in Vietnamese people is demonstrated quite differently from the western approach. For instance, when a lecturer is talking to a Vietnamese student you would mistake his/her silence to the lecturer as non-responsiveness yet in actual sense it symbolizes uttermost respect to the one speaking. In the same way, people here desist from looking into each other’s eyes, especially in instances where it is the elder speaking or a person of superior rank. This however to Americans or to the westernized mind would mean lack of confidence, doubt or worse unreliability.

One thing noticeable about the Vietnamese people is the ever shinning smiles on their faces. Here smiles are part of the non-verbal communications, which most foreigners fail to understand. Even expressions of gratitude, thanks giving, sorry and please are communicated through smiling. Just a mere smile would express what would otherwise be said verbally elsewhere in the world. Practically for example, if you complement a Vietnamese, you will notice a slight smile on his or her face as to them saying thank you would express lack of modesty in some way. Such instances when observed from the western perspective, one would misunderstand and therefore mistake them as being rude or ignorant.

By understanding how the Vietnamese perceive ideas and situations around them you will learn to accept them whole-heartedly thus making your Vietnam travel experience the most enjoyable moment outside your regular setting.

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