Gift and Gift-giving Customs in Vietnam

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Gift Giving

Gift-giving is important in Vietnam because of the significance of interpersonal relationships in Vietnamese culture.

First and foremost, do not encourage corruption. There is a clear cut between gift-giving and bribery. Nevertheless, it is common in Vietnam for exchanging small gift on certain occasions such as anniversary, Teacher’s Day, Tet holiday… to express your respect, appreciation or gratitude.

Gift Giving

Gift-giving customs depends on the context. If it is private gift for one Vietnamese partner you should give the gift at private occasion or at a business meeting if no other one presents. If you have gift for the whole office or company, you should give it after the business meeting with the whole office’s employee.

Do not wrap a gift in black paper because this color is unlucky and associated with funerals Vietnam. Gifts that symbolize cutting such as scissors, knives and other sharp objects should be avoided because they mean the cutting of the relationship.

Vietnamese may or may not open these gifts when they are received; leave the option to them.

You will also receive gifts and should defer to your host as to whether you should open it when received or not. Regardless of when it is opened or what it is, profuse thanks are always appropriate.

Business Gift Giving in Vietnam

  • When meeting a business associate for the first time, remember to shake with both hands, while bowing your head slightly. However, if you’re meeting an elderly citizen or a woman, a bow alone is sufficient.
  • Seniority is very important in dealing with a group. Make an effort to greet the most senior individual first. This also applies when handing out business cards. Be certain your card is facing up and is delivered with both hands, as all objects should be delivered. Carefully review your associate’s business card; don’t dismiss it as unimportant.
  • Most business relationships here eventually become social as well. Business associates frequently share meals; however business is only typically discussed during lunch. If you are invited to dinner or lunch, plan on reciprocating. Toasting is initially reserved for the host.

    If making a toast, address the senior individual, and don’t refrain from over-complimenting your host on his generosity and the beautiful surroundings. vietnam tours