Curiosities while my stay in the North of Vietnam

The first days in Hanoi were quite chaotic. I wanted to do lots of things in actually a few days. Luckily I had also some days for relaxing in the north of Vietnam, Sapa. Although is a very touristic place in Vietnam, is one of the best areas to talk with locals and know a little bit more about the traditions and also understand part of their culture.

So when I was talking to one of the young girls of the family I had been during my stay, she told me, surprised, I have lots of freckles. In that moment I didn’t understand her enthusiasm but then she told me they believe depending on the place your freckles are in your body means lucky or good future. So she asked me to show the back of my neck and then, in a serious mood, ask me for my mobile phone. Minutes later she added she is going to call me in maybe 3 or 4 years and for that time I will be rich and happy. Hahahaha! That sounds crazy, right?

I thought that was the first and last weird conversation of the day but…not really. When we were about to finish the conversation a friend of her asked me if I have red freckles. I confirmed. So now I’m not just going to be rich and happy, I will also be blessed and with an amazing life in my hands!

Another thing surprised me, sorry for my ignorance, it was they ask for your age before starting a conversation. In Vietnamese and also in the languages the ethnic groups talk in the north of the country they need to know who is the oldest so they will use different ways to talk depending on it.

But if we speak more deeply about the family traditions we will realize they have really strange culture but it really works though. Let’s see what it is about:

Before starting I must clarify I am not going to explain about things you can get informed everywhere like ways to celebrate a marriage or other religious celebrations. In this post, I will only talk about things really shocked me.

Starting with the marriage. From the first night after marriage, they use a bed that has V form. Any ideas why they use it? If you have a discussion with your partner, isn’t it much easier to make peace knowing you don’t have your own space and so you have to share it anyway?

Moreover, what the family wants are descendants to take care of the land and all the fruits.

But no worries if you still don’t have a partner to share your life, they have the perfect place for you to find a good catch 😉 Every week there is a market where singles have the opportunity to find the perfect couple. Don’t lose faith and get a ride to there.

But, unfortunately, not is all entirely made up of saints.  When they celebrate a funeral they believe the soul needs to go to heaven in the sky so that’s why they stick a bamboo stalk on the grave so the soul knows the way to arrive at heaven.

Another shocking information about funerals is the tradition to throw fake money into the tomb to wish good luck and good rest.

Do you think there is some important information missing? Please leave a comment and share it 🙂


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