Thursday, May 3, 2012
Superstitions. Honestly, I don't know what to make of a lot of this stuff. My grandfather passed away last week and as such I made a flying trip to Aus to farewell him with my family. Speaking about it with Quyen really got me thinking. She was explaining to me that after 3 years the Vietnamese exhume the body and kind of collect the bones and re-bury them. Mind you...my Vietnamese is as shite as her English so a bit may have been lost in translation. It just got me wondering about the differences. Obviously it is not the first time I have pondered this as being guests here we do try to be respectful of local customs etc. A bit of internet searching came up with this:
There are numerous taboos on all aspects of life in Vietnam, just as we have our omens of bad luck such as walking under a ladder. A few of them are as follows:
Don’t express lavish admiration for a new baby, because the devils might hear you and steal the child because of his desirability.
When going somewhere on business, avoid seeing a woman first. If you do see a woman first as you go out your door or on the way, postpone the trip. (what the!)
Mirrors are often placed on front doors. If a dragon tries to get in, he will see his reflection and think that there is already a dragon there and go away.
Single bowls of rice and chopsticks should not be served. Always place at least two on a table. One bowl is for the dead.
Never let chopsticks touch others or make unnecessary noise with them. Do not place chopsticks in food and leave them there.
Going dutch with a Vietnamese is not appreciated. If you run into someone at a restaurant and you join his table, let him pay the whole bill or pay it all yourself. The senior person usually pays.
Gifts for brides and grooms are usually given in pairs, including blankets. A single item indicates the marriage is not expected to last long. Two less expensive items are more desired than one nicer one.
Educated people and others who are not in the peasant class do not work with their hands. To do so would appear to try to beat a poor peasant out of his job. In addition, it is considered beneath the dignity of refined people.
Now some of this I can definitely see similarities. Hats in church,....ummmm... hats in church. Thats about it for me. Let me clarify I am not judging what I have no understanding of. What I really want to do..IS understand. To me, this information is fascinating and I would dearly love to know the history behind them. I am not even sure what I have posted from google here is accurate but I guess it is a start. Lately I have been lucky enough to have had some fantastic input from Vietnamese people who have stumbled across this blog. If anyone out there knows the answers to the history of some of this stuff I would be fascinated to know. After all, it is all about sharing information and learning from each other. I can guarantee you, if it fascinates me then it also fascinates countless others who want nothing more than to visit Vietnam and show it and its people respect. Basically, no-one wants to do the wrong thing but sometimes it is hard to know what the wrong thing is. I'm also dying to know why I should not cut my fingernails and toenails at night and all about the relatives and the towels before the family visit.