Some expats have aired their opinions on the kindness of Vietnamese people, responding to a request by Tuoi Tre News.
Young Vietnamese are so kind
After nearly two years living and learning in Vietnam, I’m so confident to say that I’m falling in love with this country because of the young people.
Young Vietnamese are great-hearted and charitable. There are many groups of youths trying to help homeless and disadvantaged people. On a very late cold Thursday night, I ran into a volunteer group doing their weekly activity. Some of them were collecting donations from donors at a side of the street. A few were putting instant food into packages. Others were riding their motorbikes around the city to distribute those donative items to people who were in need. They tried as hard as they could to provide those people with food as well as blankets to cover their tired bodies from the cold. Those volunteers are just students, they don’t have that much money to give away, but they come together and help people by using their time and determination to make a better world.
Besides those actions of kindness, I hope to see that Vietnamese people will smile and say “thank you” more. Many times when I open a door and keep holding it for a while for people from behind to come in, they just walk through without showing any effort to say “thank you.” They don’t even look at me to show that they recognize my goodwill. Some people shut the door or close the elevator when they see I’m coming in from a distance.
Vietnamese people are already welcoming and amicable. I do believe that if I can see more of these small things from the people, Vietnam will be more than amazing.
Seth Phiriyawiwatwong from Thailand
Helped for countless times
I have been living in Vietnam for 18 months and I can say that I have only met a handful of people that did not seem so friendly. I have lost count of the number of times that someone has helped me in a shop because of the language barrier as the person that has helped me can speak English. I'm really grateful.
I have recently joined my Vietnamese girlfriend to see her family in Quang Ngai. I was completely out of my depth there as her English isn't very good. However, the language barrier didn't stop her family from making me feel completely at home and relaxed. They lent us a motorbike so we could go off and explore during the day on our own. They invited me along to visit their grandparents’ graves and showed me how to offer prayers to their ancestors.
The thing that struck home to me more than anything was the fact that they allowed a total stranger into their family and treated me as if I was part of the family. To me that is the meaning of living here in Vietnam.
David James from the UK
Great joy receiving help from a stranger
During the National Day, September 2nd, my girlfriend and I took a trip to Vung Tau with our dog. On our second night in Vung Tau, we went out, trying to look for a nice place to have dinner. On the way, it rained suddenly. We drove through the rain and wind to find a roof and all of a sudden, our bike ran out of petrol!
We stopped and tried to start the engine from pushing it down the hill, but it was hopeless. After 15 minutes battling with the bike in that downpour, we decided to walk it to the closest gas station which was about 4km away.
We walked for about 15 minutes then we passed a middle-aged man, who was on the phone by the sidewalk. He saw us walking our bike and called us over. My girlfriend talked to him in Vietnamese for like five minutes then came back to tell me that the man wanted to offer us some petrol to drive to the closest gas station.
I was very surprised and so thankful for this unexpected kindness. We offered him a small sum of cash for the petrol but he refused instantly and drove away into the rain without letting us know his name. He was one of the greatest people that we had happened to meet and somehow he made our trip the most memorable one.
That man we met in Vung Tau had created that ripple effect on us. His action taught us and made us realize how simple it is to be nice to people and how happy you can make a person feel when you give that person your action of kindness. So, from that day, we always remind ourselves to be kind and nice to other people around us without expecting anything back, because selfless kindness is the one that will multiple itself.
However, an action of kindness is not only about helping or giving something to people. It is also about considering your action for others as well. What I see a lot in Ho Chi Minh City is that there are so much trash and how people are so mindless of it. I am talking about people who have to clean up the trash after others and really hope to see more people’s consideration of their own action, and of course less trash.
Gary Walsh from Ireland