Once you are in the country, you will immediately fall in love with the Vietnamese food. The place is home to world’s finest noodles and is a coffee lover’s dream. In every other street café, you will find the local origin of thick coffee. An explicit flavor is served in food here in Vietnam that is enjoyed by every tourist especially single women. However, familiarizing yourself with the local dining etiquettes will give an added advantage. In fact, there is no need to tell that the Vietnamese etiquettes are the pure reflection of their culture and lifestyle.
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They do not like the idea of loud conversations and consider the use of too many gestures as inappropriate or rude. Make sure you are not pointing out fingers while calling anyone. Even if you are a stranger to the land, they will consider it impolite. Instead of fingers, you can use your entire hand but only when it is entirely necessary. When you happen to greet anyone at a public place in Vietnam, just remember to avoid physical contact especially when it’s the opposite sex you are greeting.
The most commonly used food serving utensils in Vietnam are chopsticks and rice bowls. So if you are having the local cuisine, then you must also be aware of how you are going to consume it. It is part of dining etiquettes to handle the chopsticks correctly and if you are dining alone, all eyes in the room might be watching you closely. Strangely enough, you need to carry your spoon in your left hand while having soup in Vietnam. Moreover, it’s best that you slowly but surely finish all items that you have ordered in your platter. And in case you need to use any toothpicks, make sure your mouth is covered while using it.
Learn to use chopsticks
Since most meals served in Vietnam require the appropriate use of chopsticks, the visitors must know how to use them. Whether you are taking rice or noodle soup, it’s considered rude to leave your chopsticks vertically. Even in China, this practice is frowned upon. While you are dining in a group, this practice might go unnoticed but when you are alone, there is no hiding in an open dining space. And trust me, this won’t go unnoticed.
The reason behind the frowning is that the natives place the incense sticks during a funeral. Remember to place the chopsticks on top of the bowl when you are not eating or when you have finished. Moreover, there are a lot of superstitions associated with how you hold the chopsticks. If you are holding it half way through which most beginners learning to use chopsticks do, then it’s a bad omen of a death in the family.
Tapping of the chopsticks is yet another practice that is frowned upon in this region. This is considered to bring bad luck and tapping of chopsticks is used as a means to summon the dead. Make sure, you are not creating a false alarm. If you learn to use chopsticks properly, there isn’t much to know about dining etiquettes in Vietnam.
When single women from western countries travel to Vietnam, they usually don’t position their arms on the table. What they need to understand is that in the Vietnam culture, the diners must place both their hands on the table while waiting for the food or while having meals. Moreover, when you are eating with chopsticks, the bowl will be held in one of your hands.
Also, don’t expect them to come to you with the bill, because they won’t. You will have to tend the cash register for your bill. In Vietnam, it is considered rude to approach the person for payment when he/she is done eating.
Just keep these minor details in mind and you can certainly have a great time and exuberant experience dining anywhere in the country. Enjoy!
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