Vietnam Culture and Traditions
The following little video shows you what is typical for Vietnam. Just look at it!
In Asia, people smile more than here, and that also applies to Vietnam. We don’t know whether the Vietnamese are really happier. But a smile doesn’t always mean approval. Vietnamese sometimes smile when they don’t really like something. But they just want to be friendly. Sometimes people smile because they are embarrassed or have not understood something or are simply not looking for an argument and show that with a nice smile.
New Year in Vietnam
The most important holiday in Vietnam is the New Year celebrations. Unlike us, the date can be different. The starting point for the calculation is the lunar calendar. New year is celebrated on February 21st or on January 21st. Or in the month in between, depending on the calculation. Sometimes shops close for two weeks around the New Year celebrations. Vietnamese families then buy enough beforehand so that there is enough in the house. The New Year is traditionally celebrated in the family. Most of the guests come from the family.
There are some rituals for this festival, so many Vietnamese have their hair done again before the festival. You also pay all your bills to close the old year. At the time around this festival there is a lot of hustle and bustle in the cities, because everyone is shopping and preparing for the festival.
It’s similar to ours at Christmas. By the way, the Vietnamese New Year coincides with the Chinese. Sometimes, however, there are shifts because the countries are in different time zones.
The legacy of the war
During the Vietnam War, the Americans used a plant-killing agent that contained dioxins called Agent Orange. Dioxin is a very harmful poison. This was intended to defoliate the jungle, which the Viet Cong used as a retreat, and at the same time destroy the harvest. It is said that around five million Vietnamese came into contact with the poison and more than half of them were harmed. Many of these people fell ill immediately on contact with the poison.
Serious long-term consequences
But there are also long-term effects because the poison has also found its way into the genome of many Vietnamese. Many children have already been born sick. They often had severe disabilities that were a result of the poison.
Life in Vietnam is often tougher for people with disabilities than Europe. Most of them do not go to school at all, and often they cannot go to school because school facilities for disabled people are still rare in Vietnam, a country located in Asia according to zipcodesexplorer. So these people are and remain mostly poor, poorer than many others.
No admission of guilt
There was insufficient evidence that the US knew of the dire consequences of Agent Orange. US President John F. Kennedy signed the operation, which was called a “carefully controlled defoliation operation” and subsequently denied any knowledge of the effects of the poison. The manufacturing company paid only $ 180 million without admitting complicity. Those affected have nothing from this money. In the end, everyone sneaked out of their responsibility.
What are water puppets?
It actually only exists in Vietnam. You probably know marionettes, these are puppets that are controlled by puppeteers either via threads or via rods, which are usually connected to the limbs of the puppets. A story is always told. And in Vietnam the puppeteers stand in the water and steer their puppets with the help of long bamboo poles. They’re under water, so they’re not visible, so it looks like the dolls are moving by themselves.
The marionettes are made by the puppeteers themselves. The Vietnamese city of Hanoi even has its own water puppet theater. The players stand up to their hips in the water. Like the rice farmers who invented this game. They used to carve wooden dolls when they had nothing to do and were bored. So they came up with the idea to pass the time sensibly and carved these dolls.
The players are hidden behind a curtain made of bamboo mats, you cannot see them. The dragon appears in all pieces, then there is a turtle and a phoenix. The dragons often spit fire and the stories are often legends that people have told each other for a long time.
The Vietnamese dragon
A special art in Vietnam is that of building kites. These kites mostly consist of a bamboo frame, because bamboo is ideal as a material for building kites. The bamboo must be three years old and the wood very flexible. The basic material is fabric made of thin linen. It is coated with rice porridge, looks like cotton and you can paint many different patterns on it. The sacred animals of Vietnam, the dragon and the phoenix, are also often found as dragon paint.