Different Culture and Perspectives in Vietnam

          In Reading and Writing class, we are learning about anthropology studying how and why humans behave in a certain community. I think every human behavior has its own intention according to culture, tradition, history, and so on. Today I would like to talk about some of Vietnamese manners resulting from its geographical location. It seems irrational that geography can cause human behaviors, but when you know the subsequent real stories, you can judge whether it is true or false.

          Vietnam has diverse sets of culture depending on its areas, especially in the North and the South. Sometimes there are many opposite taboos and norms between these two regions, which cause misunderstanding between them. People in the South may have an antipathetic perception over those in the North and vice versa. For example, some in the South think that people in the North are miserly, whereas citizens in the North averse to the luxury life in the South. However, if they know about the rationale why people in the other side behave in a certain way, they can understand and sympathize with them.

           When I was in grade eight, my teacher used to tell me about the difference between the two regions, particularly the natural conditions. The nature in the South provides its people good weather to grow various crops, so they lead a sufficient life, and they are happy with what they possess. Therefore, they are liable to spend their money as soon as they have it and are more prone to helping others. Gradually, they create close relationships with their neighbors, and their solidarity become stronger, thereby they are more willing to express their feelings. In the meantime, people in the North often suffer from natural disasters such as flood and storm, heavy rain and severe coldness. Thus, during their life, they always need to fight nature, and thereby not being able to think about others while they are not sure about their life. Besides, they also need to save money with the fear of their inconstant life. That is the reason why people in the North are often very careful in their expenditure, which people in the South think that they are stingy.

             My teacher also gave me an example about the misunderstanding between the two regions. Some people in the South think that those in the North sometimes like to show off in an irrational way because North people often build very big houses while they actually have no money. However, if South people know that because of regular flood, people in the North have to build their houses more sturdily so that they can tolerate the natural disaster, they will show their disdain any more.

               In conclusion, I know that every culture is based on their conditions that everyone should know in order not to misunderstand and to respect others more, especially those in diverse regions.  

Thu Nguyen

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