Like anywhere you travel, taboos are very important. It helps you either to win people’s hearts or to make them hate you.

The Most Typical Taboos

It is best to call to people in a quiet voice, using their names preceded by Mr, Mrs, or Miss. Waving or beckoning with an upturned finger is considered highly impolite. If you must silently signal for someone to come toward you, do so by using the whole hand with the palm turning down. Not to do so would indicate an air of authority or superiority over the person you call or beckon.

Never touch anyone on the head as this would be a personal insult to the individual and perhaps even to his ancestors. In fact, many Vietnamese believe the spirit resides there. Hence, the belief that if a person is beheaded, his spirit will roam forever without finding a resting place. Also, don’t touch anyone on the shoulder. In general, some people believe that a genie resides there and it is undesirable to disturb him. If you mistakenly touch one shoulder, you must also touch the other shoulder. In this case, touching both shoulders helps offset the bad luck.

Offroad Vietnam Motorbike Adventures - Taboos In Personal Relationships

Vietnamese people also have many taboos, which should be paid attention to in public communication, daily life, and tourism.

Body Taboos

Do not touch someone’s head, even a child.
Do not touch anyone on the shoulder.
Do not stand with your hands on your hips.
Do not cross your arms on your chest.
Do not touch a person of the opposite sex without a permission.
Do not pass anything over someone’s head and pass items with both hands.
Do not point your feet at any sacred object or site.
Remove your shoes before entering a home.

Public Behavior Taboos

Do not lose your temple in public or when bargaining for a purchase.
Avoid public displays of affection with a person of the opposite sex.
Do not wear revealing swimwear such as bikinis.
Do not take photos of three people. Do not take photos of military installations or anything to do with the military or the police.

Other Popular Customs, Traditions And Rites In Vietnamese Daily Life

Greeting People
Confusing Personal Traits of Vietnamese
Superstitions, Very Popular In Vietnam & Asia
Hospitality, Different Way (Oriental)
Marriage, Wedding
Pregnancy And Birth

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