Culture Differences between Americans and Vietnamese
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Why do people from different countries act differently? Some cultural differences are reflected by other cultures. Since I came to live in the United States, I have experienced a lot of differences in lifestyle, language, and celebration between Americans and Vietnamese people. Greeting and eating, the most experiences that I have learned, are two main points of contrast between Americans and Vietnamese culture.
First of all, Americans and Vietnamese are very different in their greetings. Vietnamese do not greet strangers when they are outside walking, running, or traveling. On the other hand, Americans are very open and greet everyone even if they do not know that person. In Vietnam, when greeting someone, even family members, people do not act friendly. For instance, when the younger persons come to visit a family, they show their respect by greeting the eldest person in the family first. In contrast, Americans are friendly, and they usually greet whoever they see. For example, Americans hug each other and give kisses on the cheek when they meet.
In addition to greeting, eating manners is another difference between Americans and Vietnamese. To eat their food, Americans use a knife, a fork, and a plate, whereas Vietnamese use chopsticks and bowls. In a traditional Vietnamese family, eating manners is very tricky. For example, the meal only begins when the youngest person finishes greeting all of the family members. On the other hand, Americans do not greet their elders before eating. Instead, many Americans pray to thank God before they eat. In addition, Americans divide their meal into three courses: appetizer, entree, and dessert. While in Vietnam, people have their whole meal all at once.
Every country has different cultures. Eating and greeting are very different between Americans and Vietnamese. To avoid an awkward situation that may happen when we live in a different country, I recommend to learn and adapt to these differences into our life.