3 Quirky habits of the Vietnamese that I love!

This Sunday was my 2 week anniversary of moving to Vietnam and I celebrated it by spending a quiet afternoon near the Saigon River with a copy of my Lord of the Rings. The cool breeze caressing my face and the presence of many couples-in-love reminded me of the Marina beach in Chennai! 😉 So of course it has entered into my list of favorite places in Ho Chi Minh City. When you move to a different country, there is always a culture shock. For me, it was immense when I moved to Europe but not so much here in Vietnam.

I love people watching, dont we all? ;)

I love people watching, dont we all? 😉

Yet there are a few interesting habits of the Vietnamese folks which caught my eye, and I wanted to record it before it became a not-so-eventful part of my life here. So here it goes..

  1. After-lunch power nap

Don’t we all struggle to keep our eyes open in class or at work after lunch? If you are in Vietnam, consider yourself the luckiest on earth since you actually get to doze!! YES, Isn’t it amazing? In my office, my Vietnamese colleagues are well equipped and it’s not at all uncommon to see them enjoying a sweet nap at lunch hour. They strongly believe that this 20 -30 minute power nap helps them be more efficient for the rest of the day. So even in schools and colleges you have a dedicated sleeping slot after lunch!! How amazing is that 😀

An afternoon nap near the curb on a busy road ;)

An afternoon nap near the curb on a busy road 😉

2. Swearing-free motorbike rides

Having grown up in India, I am well accustomed to seeing heavy traffic on the roads. And to me, the blaring horns, bawling and cursing drivers are a part of the road experience. What I am not used to seeing is, the frown-free faces here! There is absolutely no swearing on the road!!!

The number of motorbikes on the road is unbelievable..this is just an average sample!

The number of motorbikes on the road is unbelievable..this is just an average sample!

With such large number of two-wheelers on the road, to not hear any shouting or cursing is incredible. I am definitely impressed by their patience and peace-loving nature!

3. 9 days of celebrations for New Year

 Tet or the Vietnamese New Year is one of the most important festivals here and all companies in Vietnam are obliged to give their employees 9 days of holidays for Tet. So lucky that I started my internship in January 😀 The city has been gearing up for Tet from the time I arrived with beautiful decorations everywhere! Here is a sample:

Definitely puts you in cheerful spirits!

Definitely puts you in cheerful spirits!

This means I get to travel to Cambodia ( Tet is a family celebration and things slow down in Vietnam, so not much to do here ) and visit the marvelous ancient temples in the UNESCO world heritage site “Angkor Wat”. So stay tuned for my next posts!

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17 thoughts on “3 Quirky habits of the Vietnamese that I love!

    • Haha 😀 Can totally relate to what you say! In Europe too, I was amazed when cars actually “stopped” at crossings to let the pedestrians walk. I guess an experience in India makes you appreciate better, the little things in life 😉

      • Not all parts of Europe or at all times 😉 I’ll never forget a friend from Paris coming to visit me in Winnipeg, Canada… he got such a kick out of stepping off the curb (not at a crossing) and watching how cars would instantly screech to a halt. I don’t think he’d survive Mumbai!

      • I thought Parisian drivers were courteous, I should definitely visit Canada then 😉 It’s amazing to see how you’ve made this huge jump from Winnipeg to Mumbai.. 🙂

      • Let’s just say I had enough other countries to ‘break me in’ before I landed in India for the 1st time in 1990! I used to wonder what the whole “culture shock” thing was that folks kept babbling about. 😉

  1. These are great, positive observations Shmruthi! You’re obviously really embracing the culture. I particularly like the after-lunch power nap! 🙂 When we lived in Sudan it was also quite popular. How long are you staying in Vietnam? All the best, Terri

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