Vietnam Charming Smiles

We can find smiles everywhere in the world, its meaning is entirely different from culture to culture. The smile for Vietnamese is a proper response in most situations as saying anything not appropriate. when Vietnamese smile, they can show happiness, agreement, acceptance, desire, and tolerance. But the same smile can show disagreement, embarrassment, confusion, anger and even contempt. Vietnamese smile is easy to understand, it also causes misunderstanding in sometimes. So Vietnamese smile can be classified into two categories including “simple smile” and “implied smile”.


The simple smile which has no implied meaning. Because of happiness so they smile.  For example, someone won a contest, others may succeed in finding a job, and friends see each other after a longtime, etc. Vietnamese believe that smiles give them a better life even they are not rich now. A smile expresses their wishes in life and make them stronger to overcome difficulties. For example, a farmer smiles looking at their field, a business man smiles as he get a lot of customers, etc. Sometimes, Vietnamese also smiles as a crowd smiles or they do not know what to do. For students, they smile because they do not know how to reply a hard question from their teacher. Simply, they smile to express their emotions.

The implied smile has a specific meaning in each context. Vietnamese rely more often on nonverbal communication than others countries, so it is possible a source of confusion. For Vietnamese, replying on a smile is not always he or she is happy. It would be to express sadness. They occasionally smile when they feel sad or misery because they don’t want to drop their tears and not want to hurt others. They want to keep it themselves and smiles make them stronger. Similarly, nervousness is indicated by a smile. It is due to hiding their nervousness which helps them be more confident before doing something such as joining an exam, or an interview, etc. While the Westerner usually say “thank you” or “sorry” , Vietnamese just smiles instead of a thanks or an apology. They do not expect a “thank – you” for trivial things such as picking something for someone, giving up one’s seat to women, children, elderly people, and so on. Similarly, a smile is able to reduce someone’s annoy as you are unintentional to make mistake. In Vietnam, people usually use non – verbal communication, so smile a way of greeting. A smile can be used in stead of saying “hello, hi, good afternoon, good evening, etc.” In some cases, a smile is used to ridicule someone. People use a scornful smile for contempt in stead of saying out. For example, a student who gets good result in the exam, smiles scornfully at his friend. However, this smile was not appreciated in Vietnam because of moral standards. These are just some specific meaning of smile in Vietnam. To know what a Vietnamese smile means, it’s very necessary to understand its culture and people.

Smile is the best medicine. When we smile, the body makes facial gestures and sounds which help us relax during smile. Vietnam is famous for smile.

No matter what it means, smile always a symbol of happiness, fun, and friendliness. We satisfy with our life by smiling and people around the world will satisfy with our country. People said that “A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever”.

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