Vietnam – A Country with a Mysterious Culture and Interesting Traditions, and Customs

Even though I had an interest and idea about Vietnam prior to participating in Vietnam’s virtual field trip, the field trip has made me more passionate about it. I have carried out a lot of research and watched several videos, which have allowed me to learn some interesting facts about the country. I am especially fascinated by mysterious Vietnamese culture, it’s interesting traditions, and customs.

Vietnamese culture is one of the oldest cultures in South-East Asia, dating back thousands of years ago, which was influenced by Chinese culture due to long-lasting Chinese domination. Interestingly, even though Vietnamese culture has undergone some changes, it has not been assimilated by other cultures, on the contrary, it used foreign cultures to enrich national culture. Vietnamese culture places a strong emphasis on family – the most important social unit in the country. Family relationship is considered more prominent compared to other kinds of relationships as there is a popular saying in Vietnam, “blood is thicker than water”, which is much more interconnected and tight-knit than other cultures. Therefore, it is uncommon to see individuals living on their own rather, three to four generations live together under the same roof.

When it comes to Vietnamese customs, what I have found extremely interesting is that people in Vietnam burn thousands of tons of coloured papers every year during special religious occasions, particularly during Lunar New Year, which symbolises that family members continue to remember and care for their dead relatives. The papers, known as “votive papers”, are sold throughout the shops, which can be money, gold, house, car, clothes, smartphones etc. – all made of paper. After burning these papers, people sprinkle a little wine on ashes so that the spirits can ascend to heaven and bring the gifts for the ancestors to utilise them.

Another custom that has caught my attention is that Vietnamese people usually go on a pilgrimage called “go to pagoda” when spring comes. People visit pagodas and temples to pray for health, good luck, happiness, and other good things during the upcoming year. So, Vietnam is not only a country with magnificent mountains, beautiful beaches, and amazing foods but also it has a fascinating cultural heritage containing a set of interesting customs and traditions.

I am very excited to embark on Vietnam’s virtual trip since the trip will allow me to broaden my knowledge about the exotic country. I am more eager to learn about Vietnamese rituals, traditions, foods, and people`s social beliefs.
Looking forward to our virtual trip to Vietnam!

Rauf Novruzov, MA International Relations.

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