Vietnamese Culture


  • Address a person by their title and first name when greeting them for the first time.
  • People should always be greeted in order of age, with the oldest among the company being the first acknowledgment.
  • The Vietnamese are accustomed to shaking hands. Some Vietnamese might use two hands to shake by resting the left hand on top of the grasp with the other person's hand. Bowing the head while shaking hands indicates respect.
  • Elders should be greeted especially respectfully. One can hold both their hands while greeting. If they do not extend their hand, a respectful bow should be made instead. It is expected that the gaze of the younger person be lowered from the elder’s eyes during the greeting.
  • It is uncommon for Vietnamese women to shake hands with men or each other; therefore, wait for a woman to extend her hand first when greeting her.
  • It is more appropriate to verbally greet someone of the opposite sex and give a brief bow or nod.
  • People usually only hug to greet their relatives or very close friends.
  • Questions about someone’s family are appreciated during or after introductions.
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Tiếng Việt (official)
    Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian
  • Religions
    No Religion or Traditional Folk Religions (81.8%)
    Buddhism (7.9%)
    Christianity (7.4%)
    Hoahaoism (1.6%)
    Caodaism (0.9%)
    Other (0.2%)
    [2009 census]
    Note: The United Nations and polling organisations believe these statistics from the 2009 Vietnamese census do not accurately reflect the spiritual landscape of Vietnam.
  • Ethnicities
    Kinh [Viet] (85.7%)
    Tay (1.9%)
    Thai (1.8%)
    Muong (1.5%)
    Khmer (1.5%)
    Mong (1.2%)
    Nung (1.1%)
    Hoa (1.0%)
    Other (4.3%)
    [2009 census]
    Note: 54 ethnic groups are recognised by the Vietnamese Government.
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with Vietnamese Ancestry
    294,798 [2016 census]
Vietnamese in Australia
  • Population
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Vietnam.
  • Average Age
  • Gender
    Male (45.8%)
    Female (54.2%)
  • Religion
    Buddhism (56.2%)
    Catholic Christianity (21.6%)
    No Religion (14.6%)
    Other (4.7%)
    Not stated (3.0%)
  • Ancestry
    Vietnamese (69.6%)
    Chinese (21.8%)
    English (1.7%)
    Other (2.2%)
    Not stated (4.5%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Vietnamese (80.2%)
    Cantonese (13.3%)
    English (3.2%)
    Other (2.3%)
    Not stated (0.9%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 56.5% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (38.8%)
    Victoria (36.9%)
    Queensland (8.8%)
    Western Australia (6.9%)
  • Arrival
    Prior to 2001 (74.5%)
    2001-2006 (8%)
    2007-2011 (11.9%)
Country Flag Country Vietnam