Vietnamese Culture: Vietnamese Dining Etiquettes in a Family Meal

When you have a Vietnamese friend or two, there will be occasions where they will invite you to their home to have a family meal with them. What should you do at those times?

Luckily for you, we have some tips. Firstly, check by the front door when you enter the house to see if there are shoes, as most Asians remove their shoes when entering a house.

Secondly, dress appropriately because you will most probably be seated on the floor,  andthat means dresses or miniskirts are not recommended.

Thirdly, expect to be offered chopsticks to use. Do NOT stick them vertically into a bowl of food and leave them there. Simply put them on top of the bowl or on the side if you have to go somewhere, pause for a conversation in the middle of the meal, or when you’re done eating. Also, don’t play with the chopsticks during a meal, unless you’re a baby. Note, you can simply ask to use a spoon or fork if you don’t know how to use chopsticks to avoid any unnecessary embarrassment.

Fourthly, show your respect by waiting for the elders or the family owners to eat first, and be sure to say “mời cả nhà ăn cơm” (invite everyone to the meal) to them before you start eating.

Finally, make sure you thank the owners for the meal at the end of the meal. With these tips, you are ready to join any Vietnamese family meal anytime without fear of offending anyone.

Join Vietnamese Language Studies (VLS) today to not only learn Vietnamese language but also Vietnamese culture, traditions, history, cuisine, people and many other interesting aspects of Vietnamese. As a leading Vietnamese language center in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), we offer a wide selection of personalized online and in-person Vietnamese language lessons ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Contact us now to not only learn more about our Vietnamese programs but also join our community of expatriates, businesses, organizations, international students, travelers, overseas Vietnamese and local Vietnamese. 

Hãy đến với Vietnamese Language Studies ngay hôm nay để không chỉ học tiếng Việt mà còn cả văn hóa, truyền thống, ẩm thực, con người và rất nhiều điều thú vị khác của Việt Nam. Vietnamese Language Studies (VLS) là một trong những trung tâm hàng đầu tại Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (Sài Gòn) trong lĩnh vực giảng dạy tiếng Việt và văn hoá Việt cho người nước ngoài và Việt Kiều.


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6 months ago

Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.