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The Vietnamese psyche is one that is very unique and interesting. It is a cultural psyche that is slowly opening up to the outside influences of the world. With a long history of outside occupation from the Chinese, French, and Japanese, the Vietnamese should naturally be hesitant to open up to the world (State 1). This of course has been respected due to the fact that there was much to patch up within the country, before worrying about the troubles going on outside of it. The Vietnamese have very basic and humble values that reflect the honest and hard-working people they are. Some of these core values are “allegiance to the family, yearning for a good name, love of learning, and respect for other people (Culture 1).” From the one thousand years under Chinese rule, Confucianism and its values have been ingrained into the countries’ everyday belief and values (Vietspring 1). Within the family system children are taught very young to respect their elders. Vietnamese children are taught that they owe everything to their elders and to respect the family and what they have done for you by, in turn, being a good, hard-working person. In this culture all misconduct or achievement is not only a reflection of self, but a reflection of family as well. Especially in rural areas, your name is everything. A man values his name and the connotations it conveys more than any material possession. A poor man who is fair and hardworking is much more respected than a rich man who has poor morals. Along the same lines, the value of education in the Vietnamese culture surmounts and material advantage. If a man is very wealthy and uneducated, he, therefore, would feel inferior to someone who is educated and has less material wealth. In this culture respect is given to those who are more virtuous and educated than those with material success that lack the aforementioned. Education, like in most every other country, is the prime factor for upward mobilization in the social hierarchy. Unlike the Western sentiment that youth is everything, in the Vietnamese culture, age is cherished and the older you are the more you are valued in society for your wisdom and work you’ve put into your life. In Vietnam your old age is an asset and not a liability. And this transfers down through all social situations and conversations in which the emphasis is put on respect instead of the more genial and friendliness emphasis in the western way of interaction. Respect in general is a key aspect in everything a Vietnamese person does. The common man will show respect all those who are more superior to him in age, class, and position, and command respect from all those who are not (Culture 1). Vietnam is progressing both industrially and technologically which is at the same time bringing in the thoughts, ideas and motives from the rest of the world, considerably the Western ideology. In our ever progressing and evolving world, our old cultures and customs are just thrown into the mix with all others turning a once remote and unique culture into one that is connected to the rest of the world and will soon change and adapt to fit into the picture of an industrialized and technologically up to date country. The Vietnamese are a proud people and aren’t going to be quick to change their ways, not that they ever should.
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