Vietnamese versus Chinese.
Vietnamese and Chinese culture are known of that we have a lot of similarities. We both celeberate Lunar new year. We give children red envelop with money enclosed in hope that they will have good luck and study harder and better in new year. We have the same lucky color- red. We have quite the same business etiquettes. We do not get down to the business with our partners. We takes time to understand them, and contracts or business deals are negotiated during meals. Just to name a few of similarities between two cultures.
The similarities are reasonable. For those who are interested in history, it is easy to get the answer, but for those who don't know much about history and geography it may take time to get the answer. Let me tell you in brief.
History is one of factors that leads to the similarities between my country and China. Chinese dynasties dominated Vietnam for one thousands years. During their domination, they devastated historical materials and cultural values of Vietnam in the wake of easing its domination process. They forced Vietnamese people to wear Chinese outfits, speak Chinese and do things like Chinese people. They destroyed our temples, buildings and burnt our books which recorded our history and other national values. By doing these, we could not know anything about our own culture, our ancestors. We therefore did not have national pride and it would be very easy for them to control our people whom they called retards. With these very powerful policies, I think not any country is able to immue from their influences.
The promixity is another factor. Vietnam and China have border with each other. China is in the north of Vietnam. It is understandable when neighboring countries without invasion have some common cultural features. Because of this, we even can group different countries into regional cultures. Why can we say Western culture and Eastern culture?
Due to similarities, some people just jump to the conclusion that Vietnamese people are originated from China based on these similarities. Even Vietnamese people sometimes joke that. In fact, despite China's endeavor to eradicate Vietnamese values, we still have a very strong national identity.
First, although in terms of areas, we are far much smaller than Chinal is, like China, we is one of cradles of human beings. Historicans found fossils of primitive humans at a mountain named " Nui Do" which is located in Thieu Hoa- Thanh Hoa- Vietnam. We have our own language. Chinese is ideographic based, but ours is phonetic based. We have alphabet similar to English and French.
The most significant traits to distinguish two culture is personality or behavioral culture. If we were originated from China, how could that be? " Chinese characteristics are decisive, adamant, rational and authoritarian. In contrast, Vietnamese characteristics are gentle, emotional-oriented, grateful for good deeds for a long time, but forgiveful for bad deeds". They ingrain in their mind what Japan facist did to them in the past. It can be said to be a feud between these two nations. However, like China, Vietnam were not only annexed by China,but aslo the U.S.A, the U.K, Japan. We even countered with Korean sometimes. In contrast, we put aside the painful history and look forward to the brighter future. Vietnam's tolerance and forgiveness are the answer to the question why U.S and Korean and also Japan become big foreign investors in Vietnam. According to Taiwan enterpreneurs, Vietnamese workers are more discipline and hard working than our Chinese partner. Another example is that conflict between Vietnam and China over South China Sea ever erupted in 2/1979. While Vietnam tried to put it to history, China had always mentioned it. Although it was 30 years after the conflict, we could easily came cross many articles talking about this conflict in Chinese online newspaper.
In this juncture, I would like to mention the fact that unlike Vietnamese people, many Chinese people cannot assess international social networks such as facebook, or twitter. So they do not have a just evaluation on what is going on in today's conflict over South China Sea. If they were able to access to broader information sources, they would know how Vietnamese people feel, and judge what Chinese government is doing.