TOO PERSONAL!

“Are you married?” “Where do you live?” “How much is your salary?” “How big is your….”

If you find yourself bombarded with a slew of very personal questions or feel like you’re under interrogation, remain calm. In Vietnam, this is normal. It might come to you as a big shock, you may even find it intrusive and rather offensive but it’s very common in Vietnam. Instead of making small talk about the weather or what you’ve been doing on your trip, this is the Vietnamese people’s way of really getting to know the people they meet.

Surprisingly, it actually means that that person has taken a particular liking to you. If you meet a Vietnamese person and he or she doesn’t ask you a laundry list of very personal questions, you can probably infer that they probably don’t like you that much. Asking a lot of personal questions that far surpasses many boundaries in other countries, simply is a way of showing Vietnamese people care.

And it is bound to happen. For those who have experienced Vietnam, you know it’s bound to happen sooner or later. It’s inevitable that you will meet someone who will want to know very intimate details about your life.

Of course your initial reaction maybe to react and protest strongly but relax and don’t let it bother you. Remember that it is ultimately up to you whether you want to answer or not. Simply decline to answer or better yet flip the page and start interrogating them. You’ll be pretty surprised how many people will answer openly and honestly.

It simply trickles down to being a difference in culture and while you may not agree with culture, remember you should always respect it. So if you find yourself visiting Vietnam soon, remember to pack your ‘patience,’ you’re sure going to need it.

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