The Importance of Vietnamese Meals

In Vietnamese culture, family meal is not simply a place where people in the family enjoy delicious dishes together. It is very meaningful when all family members gather, talk, share stories and enjoy the meals
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As one of the cultural elements playing an essential role in Vietnamese people’s lives, the family is the foundation of social ethics. In Vietnamese culture, family meal is not simply a place where people in the family enjoy delicious dishes together. It is very meaningful when all family members gather, talk, share stories and enjoy the meals. This creates the unique beauty of Vietnamese culture.

Normally, Western people usually do not appreciate family meals. Their children are grown up and have their own lives. In contrast, in the past, after a hard working day, Vietnamese people returned home and gathered together to share dinner. That was when grandparents, parents, children, siblings enjoyed their favorite dishes while the kids happily told about their study at school in a cozy and intimate atmosphere. This tradition has maintained from generation to generation.
The Importance of Vietnamese Meals

It is proved that the meals of Vietnam families are very simple depending on the economic conditions of each family has. Food for cooking is rich and diverse. In Vietnamese families, mothers are in charge of cooking for the whole family with the different nutritious food. For breakfast, Vietnamese families prefer quick meals like bread, noodles, Pho, or milk. Some families gather at lunch to eat and chat together while enjoying delicious food. After that, they take a nap to have energy for the busy afternoon. Obviously, dinner is an essential meal during the day. People return home after a hard working day with the intention of relaxing and entertaining. Dinner is cooked carefully with a wide variety of dishes and desserts. They eat together, tell each other funny stories in a happy environment. Especially, during meals, it is indispensable that they eat many kinds of shrimp sauces, fish sauces and pickles.

The Vietnamese cuisine is different in each part of the country. Many people appreciate Hanoi cuisine and say that it represents the most typical food in Vietnam with Pho, Bun cha, Spring rolls…and other unique spices. The Southern cuisine was influenced by Chinese, Cambodian and Thai cuisines. They usually add sugar and coconut milk into the food. This place also produces numerous types of fish sauces. Additionally, food in the central part of Vietnam has its unique characteristics with spicy and salty food. The color of the food is brilliant with natural red and brown
The Importance of Vietnamese Meals

Not only is home a place where families gather to eat, it is the place where people express their communication culture. More specifically, most elder women including mothers or sisters sitting next to the rice cooker are responsible for delivering rice to other family members who sit on the food tray. Many girls are taught this manner in Vietnamese families. Therefore, Vietnamese meals not only provide people with food to eat but also a time to understand each other better, increase the intimacy of family members. Traditionally, during the meal, everyone is not only happy with funny conversations, the old people also share many valuable lessons and teach children how to treat and behave properly in the society.
The Importance of Vietnamese Meals

Moreover, inviting guests to the family meals is more popular because a lot of new relationships are established and need to be maintained. At this time, the owners usually cook a plenty of delicious dishes and make careful preparations before guests come. It is extremely different from Western meals when the owners often pick up delicious food for guests. They avoid eating before visitors. They also encourage guests to eat more in the meal. It is thought that this kind of meal also expresses the hospitality of the Vietnamese people.

Now, in the era of industrialization, people become busy, especially in the big cities. Many families have little chance of being seated together for an intimate meal. People often choose fast food and no longer focus on the family meals anymore. It is probably true that the lack of family meals result into the breakup of one’s family because they do not spend time with each other. However, almost of all Vietnamese people understand the importance of family meals and its positive benefits. Therefore, on holidays or special anniversaries, every member gathers together despite working away from home. Dinner is always a place for sharing, expressing the work pressures and emotions of the day.

For each Vietnamese, the family is vital. Family brings about traditional values to nurture a person. Therefore, it is widely said that family meals are an important symbol of Vietnam. Through each meal, people get to know each other more and share everything happily. Family meals are one indispensable factor standing for Vietnamese cultural identity. Vietnamese kids should understand this traditional value and be aware of the essence of family meals in the modern life.

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