Culture & Religion
There are some definite ‘dos’ and ‘don'ts’ in Vietnamese culture.
- If you are invited to someone’s home, make sure to bring a gift, take off your shoes when entering and not leave any food on your plate.
- Be ready to haggle when you are buying items at the market but don’t lose your temper in public.
- Dress conservatively
- Do not touch people’s heads (considered to be the most important part of the body)
- Don’t point your feet at any symbolic objects.
- Most importantly; smile, wave and say hello (‘xin chao’)!
Officially, Vietnam is an atheist country due to the country’s communist regime. However, Buddhism has a strong presence in Vietnam, with around 16% of the population identifying as Buddhist. Vietnamese religion is not straight-forward however. The Vietnamese are known for adopting many religions at once – hence having a triple religion system of belief. They may make an offering to Buddha, a saint and an ancestor in the same week.