Vietnamese Culture

Greetings

  • 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.
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