Vietnamese Culture

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According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Vietnamese population alone consists of 1,548,449 individuals. They are the fourth largest among the Asian population; an increase of 37.9% compared with the total Asian population growth at 43.2%. Although over half of the Vietnamese live in the west region of the United States; between 2000 and 2010, the South had experienced the largest percentage growth in Vietnamese population, by 34.1% (2010 U.S. Census). As the fifth most populous county in Florida, Orange County has a Vietnamese population of 10,709; reported as the 24th largest county in the United States (2010 U.S. Census; EDR 2014). Roughly 67.8% of Vietnamese are foreign-born and 87.5% speak a language other than English at home (EDR 2014). …show more content…
The most important factor, which plays a central role in culture, is allegiance to the family and the Vietnamese society. Children are taught at a very early age to make individual sacrifices to ensure the family’s welfare and harmony. Individual needs are not as important as the needs of the family group. Therefore, the family is often considered the purpose of an individual’s existence and the foundation for society. Respect and obedience to parents and elders is also highly important. Vietnamese children are expected to succeed in school and life in order to bring honor to their family’s name. This stems from the mentality that the success of the individual brings pride and honor to all family members. Responsibility for a child who disgraces the family is seen as the parents’ fault (Dean, n.d.). Family piety is also a very common notion where children are expected to live with their biological families until marriage. In order to show their respect and gratitude, the children are expected to take care of their parents as they age (Nguyen, …show more content…
Addressing people using the correct terms is a language-based example of the fundamental Vietnamese values of respect for age, education, and social prestige. Unlike English, Vietnamese has words that perform the function of pronouns. This means that the word that is used for a pronoun depends on the relationship between the speaker and the person being addressed. A common example is a student’s reference to a teacher. Instead of saying the word used for “you”, children say “thay” which is a respectful term used specifically to address the teacher. To address an older brother, one must say “anh” and to address the older sister, “chi” is used. How one wishes to say “hello” is also based upon age and gender. In order to greet an older male, Vietnamese say “chao ong” whereas “chao anh” is used for a male friend. To say hello to an older woman, the proper terms is “chao ba” yet “chao co” is used to address a younger woman. (Bankston III,

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