Why Would You Want Western Culture in Vietnam?

Another tread gave me this idea. Just curious about why people come to Vietnam if you want to change the culture, customs, and traditions here.  I am here wanting to learn and enjoy the culture, customs and traditions here.  But I read about so many that do not like the government, how things are done here in regards to starting a business or buying property, dating behavior, or religion.

This is not the USA, if it was I would be somewhere else. I am not here to complain about the past or current government of Vietnam. I do not want the religion or non religion of the region to change.  I am not here to change the values of the people here.

My enjoyment of living here is because I learn so much about a different way of living.  Everyday is an adventure.  The small towns and villiages are amazing places to see and try to understand a different way of viewing the world. 

What are yout thoughts?

Yes. I would like people to stop at red lights. I would like people to work harder get use to receiving tips.

ancientpathos :

This is not the USA, if it was I would be somewhere else. I am not here to complain about the past or current government of Vietnam. I do not want the religion or non religion of the region to change.  I am not here to change the values of the people here.

My sentiments as well.  If the people here choose to adopt Western Culture, it's their perogative, but I don't want to play any part in it.  Live and let live.  That being said, I do feel kinds of bummed when I see the young girls here playing Mylie Cyrus on their iPhones.

XHollywood :

Yes. I would like people to stop at red lights. I would like people to work harder get use to receiving tips.

No rules apply to driving.  Always expect the unexpected. D1 in Saigon is not a good place to base thoughts on tipping.  Been in many small towns, they work hard and do not expect a tip. It is a Tourist area thing.

Honestly, I dont want to! Extremly anti!!!

America influenced a lot!
Many want to imitate the 'Old American Culture', especially new generation :D
Cannot say 'tipping', it's seems like begging!
Instead of begging you can see many lottery ticket sellers everywhere!

charmavietnam :

America influenced a lot!
Many want to imitate the 'Old American Culture', especially new generation :D
Cannot say 'tipping', it's seems like begging!
Instead of begging you can see many lottery ticket sellers everywhere!

I don't understand the non tipping concept. For example, my relatives and I ate in a restaurant. When the bill came, I paid for everyone but when I handed the waiter a tip, they all tried to take the money out of my hands. As I handed him the tip, he extended both of his hands graciously. I was really embarrassed that they were making a big fuss about me tipping him but not about me paying for their meals? :o Not to mention how many relatives showed up during Tet when I was in Vietnam. :lol:

MIA2013 :
charmavietnam :

America influenced a lot!
Many want to imitate the 'Old American Culture', especially new generation :D
Cannot say 'tipping', it's seems like begging!
Instead of begging you can see many lottery ticket sellers everywhere!

I don't understand the non tipping concept. For example, my relatives and I ate in a restaurant. When the bill came, I paid for everyone but when I handed the waiter a tip, they all tried to take the money out of my hands. As I handed him the tip, he extended both of his hands graciously. I was really embarrassed that they were making a big fuss about me tipping him but not about me paying for their meals? :o Not to mention how many relatives showed up during Tet when I was in Vietnam. :lol:

I think it's probably due to the owner not allowing employees to handle cash.  Usually you have to pay a cashier/owner.  So if an employee sticks cash (the tip) in his/her pockets, then the owner would think the employee is stealing from them.

I was at the supermarket the other day and an employee went out of her way to reorganize a case of milk boxes; I asked her to "custom" make a case with an assortment of milk boxes from strawberry to chocolate.  I was really impressed that she did that since I rarely see good customer service.  As a way of saying thanks, I tried to give her a tip but she didn't take it.  Instead we both kind of stood there embarrassed until I walked away.

Taxi drivers, however, don't have a problem with involuntarily tipping....as in, "I don't have change for that 500,000 VND note.  But if you wait here one hour, I'll go find change for you."

ancientpathos :

.......
My enjoyment of living here is because I learn so much about a different way of living.  Everyday is an adventure.  The small towns and villiages are amazing places to see and try to understand a different way of viewing the world.

It's one of the reasons I'm not that big on HCMC.  I try to avoid it as much as I can since it reminds me too much of life in the USA.  Traffic...the rat race.  I also prefer the small towns and villages since they don't see development on a supersonic speed.  Unfortunately most of the pretty girls have all migrated to the Big City for work and school.  So....  :unsure

I think if the OP ever has to deal with government beaururacy,like starting a business, he will soon see how inept it is. The average time to start a business in Viet Nam is 6 weeks, the average time in the USA is six days, why such a big discrepetancy. Most of it comes down to laziness by governement officials and also making things hard waiting for the bribe.

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IC.REG.DURS

This is not the USA

Correctomundo!  But, neither is this Indochina of the past.  Thus, for the sake of everyone, Vietnamese and expats, things should have been conducted in more civilized manners.  Civility is good for every country and culture.

I too enjoy learning about Vietnam and its people.  However, I find no joy in chaos and delays.  I highly doubt anyone would as well. 

Wait!  Come to think of it, I think it was you who used to complain about things here, no?

Wild_1 :

This is not the USA

Correctomundo!  But, neither is this Indochina of the past.  Thus, for the sake of everyone, Vietnamese and expats, things should have been conducted in more civilized manners.  Civility is good for every country and culture.

I too enjoy learning about Vietnam and its people.  However, I find no joy in chaos and delays.  I highly doubt anyone would as well. 

Wait!  Come to think of it, I think it was you who used to complain about things here, no?

Yes Howie I have complained about stuff in the tourist areas and feeling like a walking ATM at times. But that is in the tourist areas.

Ancientpathos,

It is great to know that you are making your own ways, in Vietnam, and enjoying it.  Hey, that is what traveling is about.  Congrats! :cheers:

Wild_1 :

Ancientpathos,

It is great to know that you are making your own ways, in Vietnam, and enjoying it.  Hey, that is what traveling is about.  Congrats! :cheers:

Thanks, when I first got here it was amazing.  Still is but it is so much better away from the tourist areas. Everyday is an exciting adventure.

There will always be something to complain about when living anywhere in this world.

Turning the electricity off irks me no end in summer.

colinoscapee :

There will always be something to complain about when living anywhere in this world.

Turning the electricity off irks me no end in summer.

Yah, they gotta divert those electrons to feed the factories in Đồng Nai and Bình Dương.  That's when I get on my motorbike and turn on the 50kph fan (meaning drive around).  The fan really kicks in and I get a nice cool breeze when I get to Vũng Tàu beach.

Maybe if they spent money on updating the network instead of buying Toyota Landcruisers and building houses for its executives, we could have a better system.

colinoscapee :

Maybe if they spent money on updating the network instead of buying Toyota Landcruisers and building houses for its executives, we could have a better system.

colinoscapee for prime minister!

colinoscapee for prime minister! :cheers:

My first decree would be THD as deputy, a new xe dap will be supplied  for travel, a travel card to stay in 1 star hotels.

colinoscapee :

My first decree would be THD as deputy, a new xe dap will be supplied  for travel, a travel card to stay in 1 star hotels.

Sure, but it's gotta be the Damien Hirst “Butterfly” Trek Madone bicycle.  :D

But with the state of the economy right now, I'll "settle" for a

Trek Yoshitomo Nara Speed Concept  :P

http://www.bornrich.com/world-s-most-ex … -ride.html

This is not the USA, if it was I would be somewhere else. I am not here to complain about the past or current government of Vietnam. I do not want the religion or non religion of the region to change.  I am not here to change the values of the people here.

you've already received some cogent replies from others regarding the realities of Saigon, but I'll throw in my two dong anyway.

If you want traditional, move to the North. Ever since Chinese refugees (generals Yang, Tran, and of course, Mac Cuu) enticed the Central Vietnamese down here, the South has been the most dynamic region in Vietnam. The North was conservative and Confucian. Rice was grown at the subsistence level, not as a cash crop. Merchants were considered among the lowest of the low. The highest honor most men could normally aspire to was to pass the triennial examinations and get that scholar's headgear.

Once the Minh Huong Chinese arrived, trade in the Mekong began to thrive, and Vietnamese moving into the Delta began engaging in any and all economic activities that could earn money, from lumering, to ship building, to buying and selling in and from overseas markets, to rice farming for cash crops. The religion of Central Vietnamese (excepting the Cham Bani mong them) was mahayana Buddhism as brought from China, but meshing both Ong Ba and Hindu gods and godesses (Avatars) within. In the South Mahayana meshed with Theraveda Buddhism. Several uniquely Southern religions were born and died before the French arrived. After them the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao grew up.

My point here is that the South had always been and is a moving kaleidoscope of people, activities, and ideas. Before Saigon, Hoi An, Bien Hoa, and Ha Tien (for the Cambodian trade) were the region's main ports, Once Prey Nokor became Saigon, it quickly took the lead, primarily because of its proximity to Cholon, whose riches rested on Mekong Delta rice production.

All this was before any French ever arrived. But they managed to make it grander. What you see at Tet, in the homes, particularly n the early mornings when the head of the house goes out to check and insure the lights are lit to welcome the family spirits, and lights incense before the family altar, predates Vietnam. But that is merely the core of its soul. Everything else that is wrapped around it like peels of an onion borrowed from neighboring powers or conquered peoples has been added over the millenia. But that too is now Vietnamese. They don't want to be 'western', but they do want to be modern. And the modern age they live in is heavily influenced by western thought, experience, and ideals. Adopting them a la vietnamienne will no more make Vietnamese 'western' than adopting Buddhism made them Indian.

My apologies if this is a rant.

Tran Hung Dao :
colinoscapee :

My first decree would be THD as deputy, a new xe dap will be supplied  for travel, a travel card to stay in 1 star hotels.

Sure, but it's gotta be the Damien Hirst “Butterfly” Trek Madone bicycle.  :D

But with the state of the economy right now, I'll "settle" for a

Trek Yoshitomo Nara Speed Concept  :P

http://www.bornrich.com/world-s-most-ex … -ride.html

What you will be getting is a silver Martin with the little basket on the front.

Cost cutting is something that needs to be done. I reead a report years ago saying that there were 260 million USD of government vehicles on the road that were not required, just a blantant waste of money.

Hi im not here to say you are wrong! Actually the Western culture just happening in a big city as HCMC and Hanoi. Because they thought Western culture is interesting and comfortable and a lot of foreigners living and travelling here. They want you to feel like as your places, but i think its not a good ideas ;)but not all of places in VN like that. We still have own cultural characteristics but often seen in remote rural areas. You should travel to the South of VN and highlands in the North of VN.
Sorry if I misunderstand what you wrote...my english just like that. and I'm a Vietnamese I think I understand about my country more than you ;)
Welcome to our country

ancientpathos :

I am not here to change the values of the people here.

I can't help but wonder, by 'teaching' VN's English, what that  will be doing to many VN's, and their values?????.

You have a quite interesting topic. Well, life is difficult for those youngsters who are desperately looking for a decent job. You should be aware that over 40% of fresh graduates in Vietnamese cannot find any job or have a so-called job with an extremely low salary ($100-150).

If you want to do business here, you need to take into your account a very simple quote: "Put a right amount (of money) in a right place at a right time." The Government takes bribes, the laws have gaps and doing business is not a fair fight. That should be difficult, isn't it?

Regardless to what I said earlier, Vietnam has its own attractions. This is one of the best places in the world for living. I feel glad that you like the country and its cultures.

bluenz :
ancientpathos :

I am not here to change the values of the people here.

I can't help but wonder, by 'teaching' VN's English, what that  will be doing to many VN's, and their values?????.

Well I am really working for the government here.  My students are English teachers that are required to be FCE certified by 2020. I doubt that any of these folks will change their value system by becoming more qualified to teach English. But I could be wrong. Most of my students teach in small rural areas.

sally_truong :

Hi im not here to say you are wrong! Actually the Western culture just happening in a big city as HCMC and Hanoi. Because they thought Western culture is interesting and comfortable and a lot of foreigners living and travelling here. They want you to feel like as your places, but i think its not a good ideas ;)but not all of places in VN like that. We still have own cultural characteristics but often seen in remote rural areas. You should travel to the South of VN and highlands in the North of VN.
Sorry if I misunderstand what you wrote...my english just like that. and I'm a Vietnamese I think I understand about my country more than you ;)
Welcome to our country

Hello Sally, my original comments were made in disagreement with those who want a western style Vietnam. I enjoy the more rural areas even though the rules sometime makes things difficult for me. But I understand that as  a guest here, I need to follow the rules and pay attention to the customs, culture and traditions that are here. Just my 10000 dong worth.

ancientpathos :

This is not the USA

Agreed, way too much Kpop blasting everywhere for it to ever be. ;)

ancientpathos :
sally_truong :

Hi im not here to say you are wrong! Actually the Western culture just happening in a big city as HCMC and Hanoi. Because they thought Western culture is interesting and comfortable and a lot of foreigners living and travelling here. They want you to feel like as your places, but i think its not a good ideas ;)but not all of places in VN like that. We still have own cultural characteristics but often seen in remote rural areas. You should travel to the South of VN and highlands in the North of VN.
Sorry if I misunderstand what you wrote...my english just like that. and I'm a Vietnamese I think I understand about my country more than you ;)
Welcome to our country

Hello Sally, my original comments were made in disagreement with those who want a western style Vietnam. I enjoy the more rural areas even though the rules sometime makes things difficult for me. But I understand that as  a guest here, I need to follow the rules and pay attention to the customs, culture and traditions that are here. Just my 10000 dong worth.

Who said they wanted a Westren style Viet Nam, I think the locals want it more then any of us. Please show the post of who said they wanted Viet Nam to be Westernised.

bluenz :
ancientpathos :

I am not here to change the values of the people here.

I can't help but wonder, by 'teaching' VN's English, what that  will be doing to many VN's, and their values?????.

Yes absolutely.  Backpacking teachers (not all, just the ones who don't give a crap) will be teaching them English cuss words like f*** and within a generation we'll hear kids telling their grandparents to f*** off, just like how it is in America.

I'm just bringing an extreme example.  But your question is a very good philosophical question.  By us being here teaching English, do we, are we in fact already changing the culture?

milkybunnyHCM :
ancientpathos :

This is not the USA

Agreed, way too much Kpop blasting everywhere for it to ever be. ;)

WHEW, glad I'm not the one.  I think the Korean culture is too invasive; film and music.  It's to the extent that they drown out locals.

Kiss me baby i’ll must be stay here day by day
Saranghandago soksagyeojwo
Kiss me baby just you can take me day by day
Nae nunmuri mareugi jeone

Tran Hung Dao :
bluenz :
ancientpathos :

I am not here to change the values of the people here.

I can't help but wonder, by 'teaching' VN's English, what that  will be doing to many VN's, and their values?????.

Yes absolutely.  Backpacking teachers (not all, just the ones who don't give a crap) will be teaching them English cuss words like f*** and within a generation we'll hear kids telling their grandparents to f*** off, just like how it is in America.

I'm just bringing an extreme example.  But your question is a very good philosophical question.  By us being here teaching English, do we, are we in fact already changing the culture?

I had that happen the other night when passed by 2 men/boys on a m/bike, but it sounded more P**k off, hahaha.

bluenz :
Tran Hung Dao :
bluenz :

I can't help but wonder, by 'teaching' VN's English, what that  will be doing to many VN's, and their values?????.

Yes absolutely.  Backpacking teachers (not all, just the ones who don't give a crap) will be teaching them English cuss words like f*** and within a generation we'll hear kids telling their grandparents to f*** off, just like how it is in America.

I'm just bringing an extreme example.  But your question is a very good philosophical question.  By us being here teaching English, do we, are we in fact already changing the culture?

I had that happen the other night when passed by 2 men/boys on a m/bike, but it sounded more P**k off, hahaha.

Well, I don't want locals to know the what the middle finger means yet.  I had a bus almost ran me off the road as it hauled ass past me - worse was the assistant sticking his head out the door yelling something that I probably translated to "you're in my way [at]shole"...and kept yelling towards my motorbike.  At that point, I gave him the middle finger.  Then he was silent with a weird look on his face, probably wondering what it meant.  Maybe he thought I wanted to give him money.  Anyhow, it felt good.  :D

Actually the students  learn to swear from movies and the internet. I have had 14 year old girls swear, when I asked them where they heard that, they said movies,internet,songs. So its not  foreigners who teach them its more of what they see and hear from other sources.

colinoscapee :

Actually the students  learn to swear from movies and the internet. I have had 14 year old girls swear, when I asked them where they heard that, they said movies,internet,songs. So its not  foreigners who teach them its more of what they see and hear from other sources.

The pirated movies are often dubbed with a voice-over so the cussing usually gets muffled in there.  So it's probably from the R&B, Hip Hop, Rap music.  I find it funny that some young Vietnamese people try to rap like Blacks (African-Americans).  Aside from M&M, I don't know of any non-blacks that can rap with any popularity.  So it's funnier when you see a Vietnamese "boy" sag his pants, wear his hat backwards and act like a "wannabe".  Such "posers"!     

http://i414.photobucket.com/albums/pp225/skylimit8/1195432389820201351hip-hop_tux_fran.png

Tran Hung Dao :
colinoscapee :

Actually the students  learn to swear from movies and the internet. I have had 14 year old girls swear, when I asked them where they heard that, they said movies,internet,songs. So its not  foreigners who teach them its more of what they see and hear from other sources.

The pirated movies are often dubbed with a voice-over so the cussing usually gets muffled in there.  So it's probably from the R&B, Hip Hop, Rap music.  I find it funny that some young Vietnamese people try to rap like Blacks (African-Americans).  Aside from M&M, I don't know of any non-blacks that can rap with any popularity.  So it's funnier when you see a Vietnamese "boy" sag his pants, wear his hat backwards and act like a "wannabe".  Such "posers"!

Its the same with the TV censorship in VN, ( MYTV ), even Foreign channels, have boobs blurred,  and even the cleavage shots too are often blurred.

Tran Hung Dao :

Well, I don't want locals to know the what the middle finger means yet.  I had a bus almost ran me off the road as it hauled ass past me - worse was the assistant sticking his head out the door yelling something that I probably translated to "you're in my way [at]shole"...and kept yelling towards my motorbike.  At that point, I gave him the middle finger.  Then he was silent with a weird look on his face, probably wondering what it meant.  Maybe he thought I wanted to give him money.  Anyhow, it felt good.  :D

Why not? I think it's "sign language" :lol::lol::lol:

I was thinking about another topic in relation to these kinds of "bad words". I remember 6 years back when I really started learning English by myself, my boss advised me that I should start learning from the words like "s**t", "d**m", "f**k", "a**", etc. At first, I doubted it as my boss is kind of someone who prefers "bad words" - he can speak these kinds of words in about more than 7 "languages"! But now it seems true to me. Moreover, recently, I read a research said that saying "bad words" could help you reduce stress. Another thing is, if I speak those kinds of "bad word" in Vietnamese, I would be properly a BAD girl, but fortunately, I can speak these words in English and not much people know what those words mean :lol::lol::lol:

Tran Hung Dao :

The pirated movies are often dubbed with a voice-over so the cussing usually gets muffled in there.  So it's probably from the R&B, Hip Hop, Rap music.  I find it funny that some young Vietnamese people try to rap like Blacks (African-Americans).  Aside from M&M, I don't know of any non-blacks that can rap with any popularity.  So it's funnier when you see a Vietnamese "boy" sag his pants, wear his hat backwards and act like a "wannabe".  Such "posers"!

https://archive.nyafuu.org/foolfuuka/boards/c/image/1326/32/1326328329923.jpg

Tran Hung Dao :

Aside from M&M, I don't know of any non-blacks that can rap with any popularity.

It's Eminem, you're thinking of the candy lol. Some other "non-black" rappers who achieved notable levels of popularity in the U.S. I can think of off the top of my head would include:

Vanilla Ice, Marky Mark, Beastie Boys, House of Pain (though I think they were one hit wonders), Snow (Reggae/rap), Fat Joe, Cypress Hill...some members of rap groups who are of mixed race (but likely to be thought of as simply "black") would include Terminator X of PE - though he was the DJ and didn't rap - and Digital Underground frontman Shock G.

I'd say Zack de La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine rips it in this vid with KRS-ONE (and his lyrical style with Rage sounds a lot like rap to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhqfijdOIuE) and Arjay kills it on the chorus in this video imho (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj_enoRR7jk) though they are local rappers from my hometown who don't meet your popularity critera I suppose.

Also Tommy Hilfiger's son 'Rich Hil' is a rapper...from what little I've heard I get the impression he sucks pretty bad but I do like this song and video (perhaps because he isn't trying to rap? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPuRK_R98w0)?

I admit it's a short and somewhat unimpressive list (aside from Eminem, Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill) but the bottom line is I don't think skin color has much (anything) to do with musical talent, but for marketing purposes...it is a factor as are other aspects of personal appearance which is how we got Rob and Fab aka Milli Vanilli instead of the people who were actually singing those songs (Girl You Know it's True will always remain one of the great 90s R&B jams in my mind though http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvoGYXtV5GA).

Absolutely agree with you 'ancientpathos' no (big) surprise I do.
I also like the idea of living in the countryside ( as I live away from the city now )
You don't need to change things you need to enjoy.
I feel it's a shame that people just can't go to another country and live, enjoy and appreciate the culture.

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