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What is up with Vietnamese children???

Ok, so I come to live here in Hoi An with my Vietnamese wife, hearing stories about how strictly she was raised and how kids had to be well-behaved. Since I've been in Vietnam I've had a total of more than half a dozen small kids throwing rocks at me (as their parents/grandparents watch and smile) or hit me (at our regular market sellers booths) with no adult intervention. I've never seen anything like it and am learning lots of good ways to cuss out the adults from my wife so I'm ready for the next time. I called the last one (4-5 year old accompanied by brothers and sisters holding hands with grandpa who smiled and laughed when he threw the rock that hit my bike basket) this morning a bad little child and rude in Vietnamese, but that just made grandpa laugh even more.

It's gotten to the point where I'm watching kids hands to see if I need to duck or block something. No more smiles from my direction for sure.

Anybody else having this problem or is it just me? It seems that the kids don't expect any repercussions from the foreigners, but to be doing this in front of their parents makes me realize that either the parents are encouraging it or the new generation of parents have completely given up on disciplining their kids.  My wife, as a native, is totally aghast as well.

Edit: my wife suggests I look "nice" so the kids are attracted to me, resulting in the bad ones acting out. Not sure I believe that explanation.

Many children here are taught so strictly, but not all of them!
My mom was very strictly to me, but many my friends, they didn't have a hard childhood like me. Now I feel I am very lucky because of that.
Now many parents just have 1-2 kids, and they are very busy earning money, and even many people "give" their kids to their parents, to have time for working.

We had a cousin come visit at my wife's parents' place and their kids were all over the place, being very disruptive. My mother in law told the cousin that he needed to do a better job controlling his children, but I'm not sure it made a difference. There's definitely a generational difference with the newer parents. Maybe a rebellion against the confucian teaching that they had as kids.

Smack the adult.

cgtheisen :

Ok, so I come to live here in Hoi An with my Vietnamese wife, hearing stories about how strictly she was raised and how kids had to be well-behaved. Since I've been in Vietnam I've had a total of more than half a dozen small kids throwing rocks at me (as their parents/grandparents watch and smile) or hit me (at our regular market sellers booths) with no adult intervention. I've never seen anything like it and am learning lots of good ways to cuss out the adults from my wife so I'm ready for the next time. I called the last one (4-5 year old accompanied by brothers and sisters holding hands with grandpa who smiled and laughed when he threw the rock that hit my bike basket) this morning a bad little child and rude in Vietnamese, but that just made grandpa laugh even more.

It's gotten to the point where I'm watching kids hands to see if I need to duck or block something. No more smiles from my direction for sure.

Anybody else having this problem or is it just me? It seems that the kids don't expect any repercussions from the foreigners, but to be doing this in front of their parents makes me realize that either the parents are encouraging it or the new generation of parents have completely given up on disciplining their kids.  My wife, as a native, is totally aghast as well.

Edit: my wife suggests I look "nice" so the kids are attracted to me, resulting in the bad ones acting out. Not sure I believe that explanation.

Little angels compared to today's youth in western nations.
A little rock tossed in your general direction could have struck your eye,but it is nothing compared to western 'youths' throwing big rocks off freeway overpasses,hanging out in  large groups at shopping malls and harassing customers,flash mob shoplifting,common assault on adults,vandalism for fun,etc.
These things happen with kids as young as 10 and they know very well they will not be charged because they are minors and will just be sent home with a warning.

Back on you topic,I read that the train line near Hoi An was notorious for rock throwing at the Reunification Express trains. Maybe this young un' has picked up a habit from older brother?
i find most of the kids behaviour just of the nuisance kind. Yelling,running around,pestering everyone.
BUT once they hit high school(13),they quieten  down.They know that play time is over and now the real world begins. The whole family is watching and judging.

30+ years of living in the US and the only thing that ever happened to me was last year when a 6 year old kid in Morningside park in Harlem threw a rock at me while I was reading a book, so pretty much the same thing. I wonder if I have some kind of target-shaped birthmark or hair pattern I don't know about?

I have noticed that the kids here get a lot more disciplined when they get into their pre-teen and teen years. Maybe there's sort of a moratorium on any discipline for younger kids?  I saw similar in Germany when I lived there, where the younger kids are often completely out of control and the older kids seem to be fairly respectable.

amazing where some people turn up Ancient, next we'll see Annata

cgtheisen :

30+ years of living in the US and the only thing that ever happened to me was last year when a 6 year old kid in Morningside park in Harlem threw a rock at me while I was reading a book, so pretty much the same thing. I wonder if I have some kind of target-shaped birthmark or hair pattern I don't know about?

I have noticed that the kids here get a lot more disciplined when they get into their pre-teen and teen years. Maybe there's sort of a moratorium on any discipline for younger kids?  I saw similar in Germany when I lived there, where the younger kids are often completely out of control and the older kids seem to be fairly respectable.

Thanks, you made my day, I haven't had  problem with kids throwing stones, ( except at my dog BEHIND his gate, but the adults also do this, so what can we expect? ), it's been some adults here I've had the problems with, after a neighbours visitors  wouldn't accept no to having a drink with them one night, ( it was going on dark, I was busy watering my garden, and they'd been drinking ALL afternoon ), the neighbour gestured that they would be throwing rocks on my roof later, ?WTF?????, sure enough on after dark the rocks came, but they didn't expect some to be thrown back at them though. ( Now there's another story ).
You can usually tell who the kids in class are, who are being brought/dragged up by the grandparents, they're nearly always the lazy, disruptive ones. Their silence, and ability to be tolerated by the grandparents is bought by them being allowed to do as they please.
Another problem with the young kids, and male adults, is that Daddy only plays with the kiddies, it's up to Mummy to discipline the little darlings.
And then there is peer pressure, most VN's are extroverted, so it can become quite a competition for them.

cgtheisen :

Ok, so I come to live here in Hoi An with my Vietnamese wife, hearing stories about how strictly she was raised and how kids had to be well-behaved. Since I've been in Vietnam I've had a total of more than half a dozen small kids throwing rocks at me (as their parents/grandparents watch and smile) or hit me (at our regular market sellers booths) with no adult intervention. I've never seen anything like it and am learning lots of good ways to cuss out the adults from my wife so I'm ready for the next time. I called the last one (4-5 year old accompanied by brothers and sisters holding hands with grandpa who smiled and laughed when he threw the rock that hit my bike basket) this morning a bad little child and rude in Vietnamese, but that just made grandpa laugh even more.

It's gotten to the point where I'm watching kids hands to see if I need to duck or block something. No more smiles from my direction for sure.

Anybody else having this problem or is it just me? It seems that the kids don't expect any repercussions from the foreigners, but to be doing this in front of their parents makes me realize that either the parents are encouraging it or the new generation of parents have completely given up on disciplining their kids.  My wife, as a native, is totally aghast as well.

Edit: my wife suggests I look "nice" so the kids are attracted to me, resulting in the bad ones acting out. Not sure I believe that explanation.

Are you serious? How about helping the family and do the disciplining yourself? I'd smack the eff out of those little turds and the grand parents or any adults that dare come my way. When I'm done I will be sending them a bill for my professional service👊👊👊

Cloud9 :
cgtheisen :

Ok, so I come to live here in Hoi An with my Vietnamese wife, hearing stories about how strictly she was raised and how kids had to be well-behaved. Since I've been in Vietnam I've had a total of more than half a dozen small kids throwing rocks at me (as their parents/grandparents watch and smile) or hit me (at our regular market sellers booths) with no adult intervention. I've never seen anything like it and am learning lots of good ways to cuss out the adults from my wife so I'm ready for the next time. I called the last one (4-5 year old accompanied by brothers and sisters holding hands with grandpa who smiled and laughed when he threw the rock that hit my bike basket) this morning a bad little child and rude in Vietnamese, but that just made grandpa laugh even more.

It's gotten to the point where I'm watching kids hands to see if I need to duck or block something. No more smiles from my direction for sure.

Anybody else having this problem or is it just me? It seems that the kids don't expect any repercussions from the foreigners, but to be doing this in front of their parents makes me realize that either the parents are encouraging it or the new generation of parents have completely given up on disciplining their kids.  My wife, as a native, is totally aghast as well.

Edit: my wife suggests I look "nice" so the kids are attracted to me, resulting in the bad ones acting out. Not sure I believe that explanation.

Are you serious? How about helping the family and do the disciplining yourself? I'd smack the eff out of those little turds and the grand parents or any adults that dare come my way. When I'm done I will be sending them a bill for my professional service👊👊👊

Are YOU serious??? haha, if a foreigner even so much as touches a VN kid,  the VN vigilante group will be around as fast as if your had tried to steal their dog.  VN's always stick together, no matter what the little shits have done, it's the same as a foreigner driving in VN, we are always in the wrong , regardless of the circumstances..
In the days before all this PC BS, and tolerance towards everything and everyone, it was up to the teacher to dish out the discipline, I still see in it VN schools, more like the army than a school.

bluenz :
Cloud9 :
cgtheisen :

Ok, so I come to live here in Hoi An with my Vietnamese wife, hearing stories about how strictly she was raised and how kids had to be well-behaved. Since I've been in Vietnam I've had a total of more than half a dozen small kids throwing rocks at me (as their parents/grandparents watch and smile) or hit me (at our regular market sellers booths) with no adult intervention. I've never seen anything like it and am learning lots of good ways to cuss out the adults from my wife so I'm ready for the next time. I called the last one (4-5 year old accompanied by brothers and sisters holding hands with grandpa who smiled and laughed when he threw the rock that hit my bike basket) this morning a bad little child and rude in Vietnamese, but that just made grandpa laugh even more.

It's gotten to the point where I'm watching kids hands to see if I need to duck or block something. No more smiles from my direction for sure.

Anybody else having this problem or is it just me? It seems that the kids don't expect any repercussions from the foreigners, but to be doing this in front of their parents makes me realize that either the parents are encouraging it or the new generation of parents have completely given up on disciplining their kids.  My wife, as a native, is totally aghast as well.

Edit: my wife suggests I look "nice" so the kids are attracted to me, resulting in the bad ones acting out. Not sure I believe that explanation.

Are you serious? How about helping the family and do the disciplining yourself? I'd smack the eff out of those little turds and the grand parents or any adults that dare come my way. When I'm done I will be sending them a bill for my professional service👊👊👊

Are YOU serious??? haha, if a foreigner even so much as touches a VN kid,  the VN vigilante group will be around as fast as if your had tried to steal their dog.  VN's always stick together, no matter what the little shits have done, it's the same as a foreigner driving in VN, we are always in the wrong , regardless of the circumstances..
In the days before all this PC BS, and tolerance towards everything and everyone, it was up to the teacher to dish out the discipline, I still see in it VN schools, more like the army than a school.

What Tex doesn't quite realise is that all foreigners here are minority groups.
Except that in this country,the same kind,warm,generous courtesies prevalent  in western countries for minorities and immigrants,does not exist here.
Not from the Gov. and not from the populace.
And child discipline is NOT the responsibility of a stranger.

The last incident was on my street and I don't need to "defecate where I eat" so to speak. I'm believing now that the grandfather may be a bit on the dementia side of things, so that explains his reaction. My wife recommends (from a native point of view) screaming and acting crazy to scare but not to touch. She says the kids don't do that to Vietnamese because they know they might do something crazy back to them, so I should act a bit crazy next time.

My only other annoyance is Vietnamese men brazenly "eye-copulating" at my wife while I'm standing right next to her, but that's for another post.

When your wife was raised strictly it may have been in a traditional family that took time to teach their children well.  Mom was home and the kids learned an important lesson the first time they hit her with a rock.  Now both mom and dad work for the company and kids are "raised" by schools or grandma and grandpa.  Grandma and grandpa already raised a complete set of kids, they don't have the energy to raise their grandchildren too. 

If you start to look around you you might notice things happen here 5-10-15 years after they hit the USA.  Take a look at the sea of ragged converse all-stars on the girls next time you go outside, or all the tattoos gradually popping up on the young girls, or if you can stomach it watch some Vietnam Idol.  It's like stepping out of a time machine every few months. 

What I find shocking is you spent time in Harlem without running into more trouble.  Kids here throw rocks, kids there might break your jaw for your phone or put a bullet in you.

astronomic :

When your wife was raised strictly it may have been in a traditional family that took time to teach their children well.  Mom was home and the kids learned an important lesson the first time they hit her with a rock.  Now both mom and dad work for the company and kids are "raised" by schools or grandma and grandpa.  Grandma and grandpa already raised a complete set of kids, they don't have the energy to raise their grandchildren too. 

If you start to look around you you might notice things happen here 5-10-15 years after they hit the USA.  Take a look at the sea of ragged converse all-stars on the girls next time you go outside, or all the tattoos gradually popping up on the young girls, or if you can stomach it watch some Vietnam Idol.  It's like stepping out of a time machine every few months. 

What I find shocking is you spent time in Harlem without running into more trouble.  Kids here throw rocks, kids there might break your jaw for your phone or put a bullet in you.

" When your wife was raised strictly it may have been in a traditional family that took time to teach their children well. "
  I received quite a pleasant shock yesterday, the youngest stepdaughter was off to Medical school, after 3 years studying at an " elite " high school in the nearest city, in this time her mum gave her between 1 and 1.5 mil VND a month, this was to cover her living expenses,  and some school things, plus extra lessons outside of class, ( I should add that her father did a runner soon after she was born, leaving her and her sister without any support for over 11 -12 years, in which time their mother, ( on a school teacher's salary ),  also put the oldest daughter through University ), as she was leaving she handed her mum an envelope, in it was 6 mil VND, that she had saved in those 3 years, could you imagine a western, or even a VN city teenager doing that????

One thing I learned walking across Harlem 3-4 times a week though trial and error was to wear a suit and a high quality hat. Never had the tiniest bit of trouble there dressed that way. Talked with some friends from that area about my hypothesis and they were like, "Oh yeah, totally. Nobody wants to deal with a white guy in a suit and a hat so they'll leave him alone".  I also got a lot of unexpected compliments for wearing such a nice hat, so that was cool.

Vietnamese parents work crazy long hours, that's for sure. My mother in law works about 12-14 hours a day as a garment factory middle manager and gets one Sunday off per month. Not sure the grandparents do a worse job of raising the kids in general though, they're definitely more on that confucian mindset with respect for elders and all.

cgtheisen :

One thing I learned walking across Harlem 3-4 times a week though trial and error was to wear a suit and a high quality hat. Never had the tiniest bit of trouble there dressed that way. Talked with some friends from that area about my hypothesis and they were like, "Oh yeah, totally. Nobody wants to deal with a white guy in a suit and a hat so they'll leave him alone".  I also got a lot of unexpected compliments for wearing such a nice hat, so that was cool.

Vietnamese parents work crazy long hours, that's for sure. My mother in law works about 12-14 hours a day as a garment factory middle manager and gets one Sunday off per month. Not sure the grandparents do a worse job of raising the kids in general though, they're definitely more on that confucian mindset with respect for elders and all.

Maybe those people from Harlem thought you were carrying??? ( Im sure I would have been ).
Not all parents work long hours these days, especially Govt workers, many now even have the whole weekend off.
Older people have less tolerance for screaming , " I want " kids, so will give them what they want just to keep the peace, plus , they can't have the kids not " liking " them, especially when many times the kids will only see their parents once a year, ( at Tet ). Most of the many students I've had who were bringing brought up by their grandparents, didn't have any respect for anything or anyone, least of all the teacher. ( They were usually the only child as well, so they were used to getting plenty of attention, and being the centre of attention ).

I'm very surprised to hear that about Vietnamese children. Normaly they are very well behaved, more so than Western kids. I'm sure the new generation of children haven't got the strick upbringing as before, but that doesn't warrent them as bad behaved. Ofcorse it's the falt of this grandfather, he should discourage them, you can't blame the children if you have an idiot looking after them. I was walking my two dogs the other day, one was lacking behind. As I turned around to call him. I saw some old Vietnamese man for no reason at all throwing rocks at my dog. I shouted at him and he soon went walking off, but I don't understand what his motive was.

ThaoBrewster :

I'm very surprised to hear that about Vietnamese children. Normaly they are very well behaved, more so than Western kids. I'm sure the new generation of children haven't got the strick upbringing as before, but that doesn't warrent them as bad behaved. Ofcorse it's the falt of this grandfather, he should discourage them, you can't blame the children if you have an idiot looking after them. I was walking my two dogs the other day, one was lacking behind. As I turned around to call him. I saw some old Vietnamese man for no reason at all throwing rocks at my dog. I shouted at him and he soon went walking off, but I don't understand what his motive was.

That's unpossible!
Stick around a while and you'll see.
Until they're about 12,they are ratbags. Boys more so than girls.
In western nations,they are better behaved (with thoughtful parents) UNTIL 12.Then it's off to cause mayhem and rudeness.

Thanks Jimbream , but we will have to agree to disagree on that one. I have been coming to VN since 2002 and for the past 4 years have been living in Nha~ Trang. I can honestly say the kids of all ages are very well behaved Where I live. They all speak to me with respect, all say good morning and you could compare them to Angels compared to the hooligans that I left behind in London. Different courses for different horses.

ThaoBrewster :

Thanks Jimbream , but we will have to agree to disagree on that one. I have been coming to VN since 2002 and for the past 4 years have been living in Nha~ Trang. I can honestly say the kids of all ages are very well behaved Where I live. They all speak to me with respect, all say good morning and you could compare them to Angels compared to the hooligans that I left behind in London. Different courses for different horses.

Ah, (formerly) merry ole' London.
I see your point.

I can understand your confusion about this new behavior in children. There are some reasons for their action:

- you're a newcomer and you look different from the others in the area. The children may feel interested and throwing rocks is a way they want to get your attention.
- the education from those parents whose children behave badly is totally inadequate. Even the parents themselves see that action as a joke can't teach their children to behave well. They don't know what is polite or respect and how to behave with strangers.
- the children may not be aware of their action, and of course if they keep doing this, their future behaviors will be led to wrong directions.
- some children may be aware that this is not a good action, but they follow because they may think it's fun or yes, when their parents don't stop them, they may misunderstand that it's acceptable to hurt people as a joke.
- some areas here is surrounded with local convention, where their people never meet foreigners and they're never taught how to act correctly in such situations.

So, in my opinion, you can stop that action by:
- telling your wife to talk to those parents, or even directly to the children, that throwing rocks like that will hurt people and it's not a good way to say hello. Teach them instead of throwing rocks, just smiling and saying hello, then the foreigners will feel happy.
- if the children still act like that after your wife's explanation, strictly look at them and tell them to stop, or if possible, talk to the parents nicely and explained to them that the action should be stopped.
- And of course, you can show your strict look at the children, that you really don't want that. But don't shout at them.
- If the situation can't be improved after that, your wife can talk to the local authority.
And if problem can't be solved then, you need to move to the town or other places :) There are a lot of nice places here where you can feel comfortable.

Parents' education vary here. There are more and more parents who know how to teach their children to become good people and of course there are some people who are lost with this matter. Just talk to them first to know if they can change. I hope that it's just a misunderstand way of greeting, then talking may solve it. But if you both can't change it, you had better choose a better environment for your family to live comfortably.

Good luck and hope you can enjoy a good life in Vietnam.

" - some areas here is surrounded with local convention, where their people never meet foreigners and they're never taught how to act correctly in such situations."
And/Or they are taught by the parents not to associate with foreigners, ( xenophobic ), some VN's have long, unforgivable memories, and even 40- 50 years later, are still suspicious of foreigners, I see it where I live quite often, and if looks could kill, I would have died many a death, ( even after smiling at them and saying " xin chào " ). ( people in green uniforms and teenage boys, are usually the worst ).

Hainguyen3012 :

- telling your wife to talk to those parents, or even directly to the children, that throwing rocks like that will hurt people and it's not a good way to say hello. Teach them instead of throwing rocks, just smiling and saying hello, then the foreigners will feel happy.

Be careful with this! Once, we went to Vincom center, and ate lunch there. Some children made noise, then my friend came to them, and said to their parents: please tell your kids keep quiet. He was very polite. After about 5 mins, the woman came to my table, then told my friend: who are you? You think you are foreigner, then you can do everything here huh? Blah blah blah... Many things happened then, her brother even threw a cup with full of ice to my friend, an 70 years old man. Luckily, we prevented him very quickly. It was really terrible then, we spent all afternoon at police station, still not having lunch yet...

Whenever I was walking/driving in the street, I tried to avoid strangers as much as I can. And my ex-husband was hot-tempered, I always tried to tell him, keep calm, never be angry with strangers, if you are angry with them, then I have to hear all your words not them :D. Because I don't know what will happen if I say something to them, even I am always very polite, and I never have any problems in communicating with others.

ngattt :
Hainguyen3012 :

- telling your wife to talk to those parents, or even directly to the children, that throwing rocks like that will hurt people and it's not a good way to say hello. Teach them instead of throwing rocks, just smiling and saying hello, then the foreigners will feel happy.

Be careful with this! Once, we went to Vincom center, and ate lunch there. Some children made noise, then my friend came to them, and said to their parents: please tell your kids keep quiet. He was very polite. After about 5 mins, the woman came to my table, then told my friend: who are you? You think you are foreigner, then you can do everything here huh? Blah blah blah... Many things happened then, her brother even threw a cup with full of ice to my friend, an 70 years old man. Luckily, we prevented him very quickly. It was really terrible then, we spent all afternoon at police station, still not having lunch yet...

Whenever I was walking/driving in the street, I tried to avoid strangers as much as I can. And my ex-husband was hot-tempered, I always tried to tell him, keep calm, never be angry with strangers, if you are angry with them, then I have to hear all your words not them :D. Because I don't know what will happen if I say something to them, even I am always very polite, and I never have any problems in communicating with others.

Reminds me of someone here who is fluent in Viet, at first he would go and complain about the kids to the local " police ", they aren't interested in that sort of rubbish,  so he would take the kid to the parents, after a while he become the laughing stock of the commune, ( must have thought he was still in the French army????) Sometimes it's better not to know too much Viet.

bluenz :

Sometimes it's better not to know too much Viet.

With me, from when I was very young, I know one thing, and even now, I keep it like my life stype: sometimes, its better to be stupid, don't need to show up myself for people who not worth, because we don't know how many idiots out there... That's why my life is quite peaceful :D

Hi,
Been living in Nha Trang a long time and cant say I have ever experienced a great number of aggressive small children.  Maybe you need to return the favor to the adults responsible for the kids.  Slapping and striking among adults is far too common, particularly among women, I think.  It is not uncommon to see physical altercations at the market.  Most of the women in my wife's family are quick to whack and quite proud to announce their actions.
School costs money, so even  many of the very young often are not attending, nor did their parents, likely...they are less socialized.  It is a culture of contradictions.  Many claim to be Buddhists but are seldom seen in a temple ecxcept for Tet and might publicly pray, seldom are pacifists.  Sex is taboo for the young but prostitution is everywhere. 

You are in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, but there is no socialism that benefits the masses.  So it is every man for himself and that rubs off on the young, too.  Dont expect to buddy up to these kids....you will be disappointed.

May I ask where you are from??  I know expats in Northern Vietnam Hanoi, Haiphong etc etc that kids threw rocks at their cars.  Some of them speak very good to fluent Vietnamese - they asked why they are throwing rocks at our cars, they were told it is because "they are East German or Russians and we don't like East Germans or Russians".  Now in the Delta Region, I don't experience anything like this - NEVER have I had a kid throw rocks at me.  I am average build for an American and my Vietnamese is terrible - so I think its endemic to the Northern Regions.

I have lived in Nha Trang for 6 years and I have only on rare occasions had any child act dis-respectfully to me.    The kids there are so beautiful and well behaved.   The children are my favorite part of Vietnam.

Always remember, no one is perfect (except for the Lord, Jesus Christ).    When I was a kid growing up in the USA....(let's not even go there).   

What I will say is that in the last six years I have watched western culture eroding the values of the VN teenagers and young adults.    I am sad to see such a beautiful culture being contaminated by liberal ideology.   Even the way the youth dress has changed noticeably in a few short years.

On the bright side, some of the Vietnamese hold onto and respect their cultural values and that is why I love Vietnam so much.

Brian

" Even the way the youth dress has changed noticeably in a few short years.",
Yes, and many also need larger clothes now, thanks to all that Western fizzy drink, etc. and sitting around playing games on their Smart phones and X Boxes, etc.

The comments about manner of dress ( I assume the reference is to sexier attire), speaks of change.  Sorry, but nothing new.  Witness Viet immigrants who are masters of makeup and sexy attire.  We have 3 adopted Vietnamese children, 2 of whom arrived in their teens, married to Vietnamese immigrant women.  We are in the community, attend activities, etc.  Pretty much look like what we see in Vietnam...a mix of overly sexy dress with many and with more sedate among others.
I have no doubt that western styles influence people in everything from attire to cell phones.  Certainly true here in Nha Trang.  But look at the amount of cleavage prominent among women for centuries....the corsets and bustiers.  Likely the  morality police were also present.
Seems to me that the growing influence of increased wealth among a sector of Vietnamese society is fueling access to KFC, and naturally, youth want to seem hip.  The disparity in incomes also forces many families to forego purchasing healthier foods, relying more and more on carbs....just as in western societies.  Good food simply costs more.  Spend time in the rural villages, where  people rely heavily on vegetables that they grow,  do not have motorbikes and walk more and you see fewer overweight people.

" But look at the amount of cleavage prominent among women for centuries....the corsets and bustiers.  Likely the  morality police were also present."

That's something I couldn't understand about my wive's family, her school teacher sister proudly displays her ample cleavage, where my wife, wears a bra that looks like it's 3 -4 sizes too small ), actually leaving marks on her squashed breasts, ( I've told her that can't be good, but she's a VN school teacher, what would I know? ).

" Good food simply costs more.  Spend time in the rural villages, where  people rely heavily on vegetables that they grow,  do not have motorbikes and walk more and you see fewer overweight people."

Obviously things must cost more in Nha Trang?, but where I live, ( 14 kms from the nearest " city " ), veges are dirt cheap, they grow peanuts, corn, sugar, rice, etc,  but spuds, cabbages, etc, usually have to come from Dalat, 300? or so kms away,( or China? ), not much fruit is grown locally, and lately it's been too hot for them anyway, my Mang Cau, Guava, Pomegranate, Papaya, Sake, were a disaster this year, but it looked like a bumper crop of watermelon was grown,
Most families here have TWO motorbikes, ( they never seem to sell that old cub ), it's a combination of fishing and farming, ( sometimes both ), and in the last few years I've never seen so many new houses being built, and women in their 40's getting increasing fatter, also many overweight kids.
I would have to travel 30 kms up in the mountains to see very small, thin VN's, ( except when they come to " town " ), Minority, original VN's, who still have m/b's, TV's, internet, school uniforms, etc, and many new houses are being built up there now as well.
Since the commies relaxed their control a little, farmers are growing 3 , sometimes 4, rice/corn crops every year now, instead of just the one, when they were under Govt control, and this has been reflected in their income over the last 5 -- 10 years, in fact , I've become the poor neighbour now, surrounded by big new houses, owned by what I considered poor farmers a few years ago.

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