Three Aspects of Vietnamese Culture
by Nhan Nguyen
As newcomers, my family and I are living though a transition in the U.S. Although there are many things that we need to adjust to in the new environment, there are three aspects of Vietnamese culture that my parents always encourage us to keep, and I myself would like to pass them on to my children. They are filial piety, close relationships among siblings, and the Vietnamese language.
The Vietnamese cultural aspect that we must
keep in all Vietnamese families is filial piety. All Vietnamese
children, no matter how old they are, have to listen to and obey
their parents, and they have to respect and take good care of their
parents when they are getting old. By practicing filial piety,
children who do not have enough experience in life can receive good
advice from their parents to do things in the right way. When
parents and grandparents grow old, they can be looked after by the
younger generation instead of going to a nursing home as we often
see in this country. Everything can change, but whoever you are, the
relationship between you and the people who gave birth to you will
always be primary in your life. Watching my grandmother telling
bedtime stories to my daughter, deep in my heart, I hope filial
piety will be kept in our family forever.
The third aspect that is very important for us to keep is the Vietnamese language. Our language is very beautiful. It is the language that my mother sang me to sleep with when I was a child, and now I sing to my daughter every night as she falls asleep. It is the language that we speak at home, the language that helps us understand and feel close to each other. It is the connection between members in our family. By keeping the Vietnamese language, we can teach our children to be proud of who they are.
Our life is changing in the United States, but no matter where we are, we are still Vietnamese people. The respect for older members in the family, which our parents taught us, we will teach our children. Keeping close relationships in the family and maintaining our native language are some of the most important aspects of Vietnamese culture that our children will learn.