There are certain ways on how you can be polite in Vietnam and basically, it depends on the scenario.
Different scenarios require different behavior. Below are some scenarios to show how to be polite in Vietnam in certain situations.
Being polite when eating
When eating in Vietnam, the first rule is to eat and drink “slowly”. It doesn’t matter if it’s the rush hour, always take a note that wherever you are, never hustle while eating because it is unhealthy, not just about politeness.
Another thing to note when picking up food, always make a habit of scrutinizing which piece you’d like to pick up.
Avoid the use of chopsticks “digging” in a shared dish, which is very rude. In addition, you should also observe first, avoid taking food from the same place with others.
When inviting someone for a meal at a restaurant, the inviter must avoid paying in front of the guests.
The inviter can ask a staff or a waiter to arrange getting the bills confidentially.
Being polite when greeting
Avoid raising a hand to greet someone especially when they’re older. If in a given situation you meet someone on the streets but they are out of reach and he/she raises a hand, you can just smile and bow as a response.
In general, any way of greeting should be accompanied by a bright smile. A frown or cold face is never sympathetic.
When you are the caller, have to actively introduce yourself as soon as the other person picks up the phone. If the phone number is used for the first time, you should first ask to determine if it is the right person to call or not.
Talking on the phone should be short and clear. Do not speak too loud or too soft. Before hanging up, confirm whether the person on the other end of the line needs to say anything more.
Except in urgent cases or with an appointment, never call a home during resting or meal times. When calling agencies and units, avoid the end of business hours.
Being polite when visiting
When visiting a friend’s home, make it a habit to provide a prior notice. Arriving unexpectedly can inconvenience the homeowner.
The landlord on the contrary should not say anything to imply that he is busy or about to do something, unless it is a very important thing that cannot be deferred.
No matter how inviting and enthusiastic the host is, visitors should not take too long. Focus on the reason for your visit so as not to waste time.
Being polite when in public places
When visiting a sacred place, be at your utmost behaviour. Dress appropriately, try no to laugh out loud. No shoes, no noises, no hats, and no smoking.
You don’t have to mimic what the worshippers are doing but out of respect, try to show some proper attitude.
When in general public areas, be mindful of others. If you have a cough or cold and often sneezes it’s best to avoid going to crowded places.
When shopping, you must also have an attitude of respect for the sellers. Although they are willing to serve you as part of their job, a polite attitude is always appreciated.
When on the streets, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid being offensive to people around.
If there is a collision with another person, don’t forget to apologize. If travelling in a large group of people, do not walk in a row to facilitate conversation.
The streets are not just for me, so go in a vertical line, one after the other. Do not laugh loudly while walking on the street.
Vietnam, like most Asian countries, is a conservative country, thus public displays of affection are deemed inappropriate.