What are some key differences between Vietnamese and Chinese culture? The Vietnamese and the Chinese share much in their respective cultures. They celebrate the same lunar new year, enjoy similar day-to-day food, and they also have similar religions.
I am Vietnamese and I will say Vietnamese only managed to replicate the outer part of Chinese culture. Superficial stuff like New Year and mooncakes. On a deeper level, Vietnamese still need to learn a lot from the Chinese culture, Vietnamese only went half way in terms of fully absorbing Chinese culture and way of thinking. Or maybe as Vietnamese expanded away from China and came into contact with other cultures, the cultural values and way of thinking began to differ:
Short-sightedness: one of the things that drive me crazy about Vietnamese is the amount of people with very short sighted thinking. In my opinion the Chinese are very future orientated. Chinese people are well known for seeing things in the long term and planning for the future. Vietnamese don't know how to see far ahead and there is a tendency to just plan as you go along. Vietnamese also tend to not look at the overall big picture and tend to only see a small part of a problem
Complacency: another thing that Vietnamese lack is ambition. I go crazy when hearing people say that such and such is good enough. Chinese people are much more ambitious than Vietnamese, everything they do must be the biggest, best, number 1. Vietnamese are happy with being above average, mediocre, or better than the guy sitting next to us. So what if we are not the best? We just need to be better than him! Not to mention there are some people who prefer cu?c s?ng an nhàn , to an ph?n, in other words they prefer to not struggle and to just live a simple life. Needless to say Vietnam will never be a developed country with this sort of people!
Not as ambitious: “Ch?t có mang theo ???c không?” is what people will ask to overly ambitious people. Vietnamese don't promote ambition as much as Chinese. Yes Vietnamese adopted the Chinese God of Wealth but I think Vietnamese did not fully accept the Chinese culture of ambition or have lost some of these values as Vietnam drifted away from China.
Lack of resoluteness: Another point that drives me crazy. Chinese, when they say do is do. And they do until the end. Decision > execution. Bam. Finished. Vietnamese tend to be stuck at the end of the decision phase. Vietnamese are not firm and resolute enough. That's why the Vietnamese government takes forever to do anything and spend forever debating everything. And it’s the same for plans, we take forever to agree on a plan, then there is a 80% chance that the plan is cancelled, changed or delayed.
Jealousy of successful people and trying to put them down in order to make yourself look better/not accepting own failure: Vietnamese tend to disregard other people’s achievements in order to make themselves better. Instead of reflecting on their own failure, they pick on other people’s failures. One thing that Vietnamese love to to do is criticize other people.
Lack of pragmatism: Vietnamese are not very pragmatic. Vietnamese think with their emotion whereas Chinese people think with their head. Chinese look at facts then make their decisions whereas Vietnamese base it on their own feeling and ideology.
Boasting: I remember someone told me once, Chinese boast when they are at the top, Vietnamese boast when they are above the bottom. Vietnamese are already celebrating when they are nowhere near the best yet. And are already happy with the achievement.
Perseverance : When poor, both Vietnamese and Chinese work hard. But when reaching a moderate level of wealth, the Vietnamese will go off on a spending spree, buy 3 houses and a car, get a new girlfriend, wear flashy clothes, expensive shoes and go to the fanciest restaurants. Whereas the Chinese will continue to work hard until reaching the top before enjoying the wealth.
Risk adverse: Chinese are more willing to take risks than Vietnamese
I do love Vietnam which is why I want it to improve. And no I am not putting Vietnamese down. This is what I have observed and also what many Vietnamese recognize as the biggest flaws of Vietnamese characteristics
I always think the main difference is Chinese people are much more ambitious than Vietnamese, which is what Vietnamese need to learn from.
Chinese people can build great things and grow much larger than Vietnamese all due to this ambition.
For example, many Vietnamese work very hard but they are easily satisfied. Once they reach a satisfactory level, they think it is enough so they stop trying. However Chinese people would keep pushing to get bigger and better.
This is why Vietnam has so many startups, but the owners of these successful businesses always sell their brand after reaching a satisfactory level of success. This is a big problem for Vietnam. We don’t have as many ambitious and big thinking people like China.
Foody - largest app for food and delivery service in Vietnam has been acquired by Singaporean firm
Highlands coffee - most popular coffee chain in Vietnam, even more popular than Starbucks is now 50% owned by a Filipino firm.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/47368.html 译者：Joyceliu
Vietnamese are very hardworking and creative people. We have an entrepreneurial spirit that is out of this world. If you’ve ever been to Vietnam you would quickly notice this. Vietnam has many local brands. However we lack big thinking, we call this “small country mentality”. China has long been an empire, they have big country mentality. My mother said the Chinese people are successful everywhere they go. We Vietnamese admire their ambition.
However an example of big thinking in Vietnam is Vingroup. Vietnamese people are very proud of Vingroup owner Pham Nhat Vuong. He’s an example of an ambitious thinker. He now has a business empire. His company runs everything from residential development, resorts, theme parks, hospitals, malls, schools and now they are making cars and electric scooters. Vietnamese even joke that we should now be called Vinnam.
Vietnam’s biggest problem is turning medium sized companies into big companies and big brands. Big brands that can not only conquer Vietnamese market but expand globally. Vietnam needs more big thinkers like Vingroup.
不过越南也有一个干大事的公司，就是Vingroup。越南人民为Vingroup的?#20064;錚ham Nhat Vuong感到非常自豪。他是一个雄心勃勃的思想家。他现在建立起了一个商?#26723;?#22269;。他的公司经营着从住宅开发、度假村、主题公园、医院、购物中心、学校到汽车和电动摩托车的一切业务。越南人甚至开玩笑说，我们现在应该被称为旺南。
Born in vinmec, eat at vineco, grow up in vinhomes, go to vinschool, drive vinfast, go on holiday at vinpearl, shop at vincom, buy grocery at vinmart.
If Vietnam has more big companies, we would be growing at a much faster rate.
Juliana Schone, B.A Chinese & Southeast Asian Studies, University of Washington (2016)
Originally Answered: How does Vietnamese culture differ from Chinese culture?
In term of family structure Vietnamese like most South east Asian countries, matriarchy is still popular despite the influence of Confucianism in Vietnam. Families like mine, the mother is the head of the family. Vietnamese women tend to be in charge. Historically if you know about the Trung Sisters and other female leaders in ancient history. Throughout Chinese history, women are often associated with evildoer and karma. Leaders like Wu Ze-Tian is known to history for cruelty and for her dictatorship. (history written by males heh?)
-We are more proud of our ancestor because we were able to push back 2 times Mongol’s invasion in 1300s while the Chinese lost to them
-There is a significant difference in our cuisine. We eat more fresh vegetables and more fruits.
I think James Luong and the other answers have covered many aspects already. To add to the list I would say:
I don't know if you notice but Vietnamese have a very strong coffee culture. This is something I have not seen in Chinese or other Asian cultures. Not only do we have our own distinct styles of coffee but visiting cafes and having conversation over a cup of coffee is something that most Vietnamese have as a routine. That is why there are so many coffee shops in Vietnam
Vietnam is a small country that was under imperial control of China and France. When Vietnam expanded down south, it came into contact with Cham/Hindu and Cambodian culture. Vietnam is therefore quite receptive of foreign culture and quite accepting of foreign influences
On the other hand China was a powerful empire. It historically suffers from Middle Kingdom complex or Han centrism so the Chinese have a sense of cultural arrogance that Vietnamese don't have.
This is completely different to Vietnam which never calls Chinese domination of Vietnam as a 1000 years of humiliation Or 60 years of humiliation under France. Vietnamese quite happily accept the ao dai that has significant chinese influence as our national dress and are quite excited to claim for ourselves all the Chinese, French and Cambodian influenced food in our cuisine