Surprising facts you need to know when eating with Vietnamese
In Vietnamese culture, family meal is very important and it also has lots of meanings. Some interesting facts as below.
1. Family meal in a tray
This is very different from Western eating culture. In many Western countries, they eat their own meals but in Vietnam, we gathering toghether and having meal in a cooper tray, not separating food. Even the fish sauce we share to each others. This is a typical Vietnamese culture, due to our historical and economy, we give prominence to comunnity, solidarity and hardship. A bowl of fish sauce or many kinds of meal putting on a tray is the way to be shown the beauty of Vietnamese’s philosophy of life: we share good things, bad things, happiness, misfortune in common.
Come and have a meal with Vietnammese family and experience the beauty of out culture.
2. Inviting before eating
Before the meal, Vietnamese people usually invite all the people who sit around the table. This is the minimum respect you need to know in Vietnamese table manners. Remember this rule ‘the elderly and the seniors first - the younger and the juniors second and men first - women second’ to make sure you invite the whole people properly. It also means you invite in turn as the elderly and the seniors will be invited first, after that the younger. One more thing is men first, women second.
· Cháu mời ông bà ăn cơm ạ - Have a good meal, Grandparents
· Con mời bố mẹ ăn cơm ạ - Have a good meal, parents.
· Em mời anh chị ăn cơm - Have a good meal, brothers, sisters.
If you can’t remember the appellation of all the people in Vietnamese, you just say ‘Xin mời’ is Ok. Maybe, everyone will be sympathetic to you because of foreign people. But if you have been here for a long time, you should invite properly. Vietnamese people especially enjoy when you respect Vietnamese culture through your sensible invitation.
3. Using the chopsticks.
This is very popular with the meal in not only Vietnamese table manners but also Asia table manners. Almost all dishes in Vietnam are eaten with chopsticks. If you don’t want to become unfamiliar to Vietnamese people, you need to be acquainted with it in Vietnamese family meals. Don’t worry about using the chopsticks because it's not difficult. Miss Andeline - the trainee of Ivina shared that ‘ Using the chopsticks is not really difficult like our thought. I used chopsticks to eat ‘bun cha’ for the first time I have come to Vietnam.’
4. Serve food for each other
Don't be surprised to see this when having a meal with Vietnamese people. During the meal, everyone will serve the best food for the elderly and then the other members. After that, others are allowed to get their food. This shows the Vietnamese culture of "Respect for elders"
When you are the guest at a meal, be happy when someone serve food for you. Through this action, it convey the message;"We really love you and we always want to give you the best that we have." Say "thank you very much" and have fun experiencing very good food.
5. Do not insert the chopsticks straight into the rice bowl
This you absolutely must not do when eating with Vietnamese people. In Vietnamese culture, this is only for the dead.
Vietnamese meals are very surprising and interesting, right? We hope that the above clarifications will help you have delicious and warm meals with Vietnamese family.