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Vietnam is a country that is very heavily farmed and it's still very much done by manual labour.
This is of course first of all cause Vietnam is still a developing nation where people earn little.
It does look very colorful though and remind the western travellers a bit of how our grandparents had to work in the fields before it was mechanised.
Vietnamese agriculture is becoming increasingly mechanised and most of the manual labour will eventually go away but there are still some years to go before that happens and all the people workin g in the fields sure does give us visitors some good photos and adds to the charm of Vietnam,.
Written Apr 3, 2013
In buddihst culture it's generally polite to take your shoes off before entering a building and this is particulary important if you enter temples or pagodas.
Most places have a sign asking you to take your shoes off before entering but it can be missed and you should just make it a habit in Vietnam to check if there are shoes by the entrance of a place and if there is then take your own shoes off before entering as that is one very sure way of paying respect to the people you visit there.
Written Mar 29, 2013
International womens day on march 8 is a big day in Vietnam.
You will see the streets flooded with flower shops where men buy flowers for the wifes, firlfriends, mothers etc and there are many events all over the country celebrating women.
Many bars give free drinks to women and visiting female travellers will mabye also find that their hotel gives out little presents to all female visitors so march 8 is not a bad day to visit Vietnam if you are a woman.
Written Mar 11, 2013
Most vietnamese families have an altar in the house and you will see that most businesses have one too.
these altars are mainly there to honor the encestors.
These ancestral altars are a key thing in most vietnamese families and you will see small offerings on them and if it's the death day of an important person in the family then you will often see them put out by the entrance to the house that day.
You will also see altars at just about every business in Vietnam displayed in the main room of the hotel, restaurant, office or whatever it is.
The vietnamese do in general pay a lot of respect to their ancestors and this is the most visible way you will see it.
Updated Mar 8, 2013
The hammock is a very important itam for many vietnamese.
Many people sleep most nights in a hammock including most truckdrivers who usually sleep in a hammock attached to their truck.
And in the southern part of Vietnam just about every house on the countryside has at least one hammock in the garden and you have whole cafes where there are hardly any chairs, but just hammocks that you can lie in while having a drink.
Written Nov 14, 2012
In Vietnam you will see that most of the boats have eyes painted on the front of the boats.
this is an old tradition that they have in order to keep seamonsters away from the boats and from what i hear they also try to have the same kinda eye painted on the baots from each harbour so they can use it too see what harbours the boats come from.
As a tourist you will almost certainly notice this, but to the vietnamese this is the way it has been for centuries so they are often a little suprised that the foreigners find it an exotic tradition.
Written Nov 10, 2012
The Dan Bau is a traditional vietnamese musical instrument that is made from bamboo and has only one string.
The string can be vibrated in many ways though and it's a very hard instrument to play and it requires a lot of precission and skill.
In the past young unmarried women were not allowed to hear the Dan Bau being played as the vietnemse considerd the sound to be so beautiful that a Dan Bau player could easily seduce the Women.
Man would i have liked to be a Dan Bau player back in that day.
Written Nov 10, 2012
Cockfighting is popular in Vietnam, especially in the Mekong Delta.
You will often see big strong cocks kept in cages there that are waiting for next weekends fights.
There are for sure many opinions about this sport and i am not encouraging it, just informing that this is a popular persuit in this part of the world.
Lot's of betting goes on during these fights and it's very much a mans world if you go to see any of these fights.
Written Nov 10, 2012
You will very often see vietnamese car number plates with a little holder for incense sticks.
While i won't say that vietnamese are a very religious bunch in a dogmatic way, they certainly have a liking for their own little spiritual rituals and you see this on the number plates of their cars for instance.
The long ditance busses especially have them which is logical as their drivers they more and less live on the roads of Vietnam.
Written Nov 10, 2012
It was of course very hot and moist in the Delta. I noticed that women of all ages always wore conical hats, which are excellent for keeping the sun out all around the head while letting air in, and always long sleeves when in the sun. The tourists are much more exposed to the strong tropic radiation to which they aren't used, wearing short or no sleeves at all, often shorts.
The world fashion is, that everybody wants to look as if he's rich enough that he doesn't have to work, the people working in the sun covering themselves, or the white race office workers who are getting tanned. Now the awareness of skin damage and cancer shows that this traditional dress is sensible.
At first I wore short sleeves, but when I looked how the Vietnamese dress, I always wore long sleeves outside, I didn't notice that I was hotter. Maybe because the moisture was so high.
Inside, for instance in covered markets, they wore short sleeves or sleeveless. The women in the market often wore a very comfortable two piece outfit of a printed knit, a top and pants of the same material. This always looked neat, and was good when sitting on low stools or boxes behind their wares. Much nicer than women wearing tight skirts always pulling them over
their legs, and having to think how to sit. (Of course this is not about VTers).
Updated Oct 10, 2012
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