[Newsletters | June 2021] – 10 Secret Taboos When Eating With Vietnamese People (Part 2)

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6. You should not take food from the shared plate and put it directly in your mouth

The act of taking food from a shared plate and then putting it directly in the mouth is considered gluttonous and impolite. Normally, Vietnamese people will put food in their own bowl first, then bring it to their mouth. Optionally it is acceptable to simply pause the food momentarily over your bowl instead of actually placing it in the bowl. When eating, you also need to avoid putting too much food in your mouth at the same time, causing objection to everyone on the tray of rice.

7. You should not make a popping sound or make a loud noise

Don't make a loud noise while chewing
Don’t make a loud noise while chewing

In Korea, making noise while eating shows that the food is delicious and you love it. However, you should not apply this action in Vietnam because Vietnamese people will find it extremely rude and unsophisticated. They may not directly remind you if your relationship is not close or they want you to save face, but you need to pay attention to this so as not to make a mistake when dining with Vietnamese people.

8. Do not dig through the food on the shared plate to choose the most preferable piece

Wait for people to take the above items away or choose something else
Wait for people to take the above items away or choose something else

Sorting through food on a shared plate or touching many pieces with your chopsticks is extremely offensive to Vietnamese people. Vietnamese see this action as conducted by an uneducated and selfish person, thinking only of their own interests without concern for others. So, if your favorite food is lying on the bottom, wait for people to take the above items away or choose something else instead of digging it up.

9. Don’t play with your phone while eating

Don't play with phone while eating
Don’t play with phone while eating

Vietnamese people like to chat during a meal because that is the time when people are not busy with their own business; they can chit chat while breaking from work. Therefore, remember not to play with your phone during meals and ignore everyone around you.

10. When you’re done eating, you shouldn’t stand up before everyone else is still eating

Vietnamese people like talking in meals
Vietnamese people like talking in meals

When finished eating, you should not stand up before everyone is still eating, but wait patiently until they have finished. This shows respect for everyone at the table, as well as: I’m patiently waiting for you to finish eating, so you don’t have to rush. If there is an urgent need to leave first, you should politely inform everyone and ask permission to leave the table.

Culture is an indispensable part of peoples all around the world, including Vietnam. Understanding and respecting the distinct cultures of other ethnic groups is essential before you visit or have business relationships with them. Noble Network hopes that the above article will help you understand some important taboos when eating with Vietnamese people. Now you can confidently avoid embarrassing situations and enjoy many relaxing meals with your friends in Vietnam.

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See also  Newsletter November 2020 - Issue 01

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