What is success? “Success is simple, more simple than you often think, success comes when dad and son try to cook a favorite dish for mother on Mother's day or International women's day even if it is not as delicious as others do” Those are the sentences a young Vietnamese pupil usually writes to answer to the topic at a test . How significant a dinner is when members of family have not met each other for a long time! When some foreigners want to explore Vietnamese culture, they often come to families, go to local markets and buy things for a meal. Is this the way to learn how to cook? The answer is "Yes" but the result is more than that.
Tet Nguyen Dan is the Lunnar New Year Festival and is the most important Vietnamese holiday. Tet is the celebration of the beginning of spring as well as a new year. It is the time for family reunions, exchanging gifts, best wishes. Planting a New Year tree or “Cay Neu” is also a Vietnamese custom which is part of the springtime Tet Festival.
The Vietnamese people value modesty and humility as well as harmonious relations with others. Seeking to avoid conflict in relationships, they often prefer to speak about sensitive subjects indirectly. Traditionally, Vietnamese people list their family name first, then their middle name, with their first (given) name listed as last. Family members use different given names (first names aren't passed down), and the name reflects some meaning. Some names can be used for either gender.
Tet Nguyen Dan, more commonly known by its shortened name Tet, is the most important and popular holiday in Vietnam. It is a relaxing and special occasion for everyone to think about the achievements of the past year and plan for the New Year. A “Mam Ngu Qua” (five-fruit tray) on the ancestral altar during Tet holiday symbolizes the admiration and gratitude of the Vietnamese to Heaven and Earth and their ancestors, and demonstrates their aspiration for prosperity.
The desire to achieve harmony between the self and the non-self remains an essential preoccupation of the Vietnamese in interpersonal relations outside the family group. The basic principles underlying family relationships are extended to the relationships between members of wider social groups.
A trip to the Northern highland of Vietnam could not be perfect without a visit to its local markets, typical of which are Bac Ha, Sapa and Dong Van markets, opening every Sunday. They are the places where tourists can find all the best of cuisine and agriculture products. With the exclusiveness of the mountainous border areas, these highland markets will surely amaze you any time of year.