How do poor Vietnamese live?

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How do poor Vietnamese live?

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There are many kinds of poor people in Vietnam:

The immigrant: they are usually people from the neighboring provinces of a city, moving in for work. Their accommodation are flats that are found in slums close to where they work and these slums are full of problems: prostitution, drugs, gambles, violence, etc. Despite that, there are markets with food and there are accesses to viable services, such as gas, electricity, water, internet and cable TV. They are are poor but acceptable.

The homeless: they can be found everywhere in the city sleeping on park benches, under bridges or in the front porches in dirty clothes. Most of them selling anything from lottery tickets to chewing gums or alike. Since they live in the city and there are many charitable groups to help them out, lives are not really bad.

The isolate: they are people living in the most remote areas of Vietnam, like the highlands or the jungles or where they are almost no access to viable services and food is scarce. The reasons keep them from moving away are the sense of home, in most case, financial, bureaucratic and educational problems.

The victim: they are people suffered from disasters, like a fire or 1 of the annual tropical storms. They tend to stay and rebuild everything rather than moving away.

The media always telling about the government’s efforts to help the above poor people but I doubt that, like billions and billions dongs being wasted and almost nothing about the people’s lives changes.

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I cannot speak for all poor Vietnamese. I came from a poor family, so let me tell you how do we live.

I’m from Hai Phong, a city in the northern region of Vietnam. My family lived in the countryside, near the sea. My parents raised shrimp and crab for living, it used to be good and provide us a comfortable life, but things gradually became worse because of environmental issues, we had to grow rice, raise pigs, chickens, and work as part-time construction workers beside the shrimp and crab farming industry.

My parents wake up early, around 4–5 AM, and also go to bed early, 8–9 PM. For breakfast, we have rice and left over food from the dinner before. Nothing special for lunch and dinner, every meals must have vegetables or vegetable soup ( I think this is typical for Vietnamese ). We use both gas and wood stove for cooking. We have dogs as guards.

So basically, we can supply food ourselves, except for dairy products - it’s quite luxury to our standards, we just need money for school, to buy a motorbike, or to build/maintain our house.

The situation is the same for our neighborhood, when things went too bad, we sold a piece of our land to pay the debt. The children are sent to school for the hope of a better future and they’d support their parents when they have jobs.

As I am writing this, I don’t know what is the difference between the poor and the rich, I only know the poor life.

Now I have a job, live far away from my parents and I am also poor, just in a different way with my parents. I am an engineer, have an okay life with my salary. I support my parents by covering my bother’s school fee and monthly expense, so I do not have much for myself. I do not have a motorbike, I commute by public bus. Rarely travel, go to watch movies, eat out in KFC, restaurants, etc. For clothes, I have a limit for the price and always try to buy sale off products, etc. As I get used to this poor life, and to have a job a an engineer is a dream came true to me, I am okay with this life.

I hope this answer is helpful.

Thank you for requesting an answer from me. It’s a chance for me to look back our lives and think about where we are.

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the same way u manage to breathe to avoid drowning.

u struggle n take every breath u can

to survive n not starve to death

do the best u can. n hope u can live better n easier in future

especially ur kids

answered by
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I am not a poor vietnamese person, but I have many friends in vietnam now due to living there for months at a time over the last few years….the young engineer who lives far from here family, is MUCH wealthier then most people born in the US..it takes a lot of money to afford schooling to be an engineer, for example…most US residents barely finish HS…too poisoned perhaps to ever work at all or perhaps in fast food joints cleaning the messes…so many die who are conceived due to the toxicity in that country, others with many disabilities due to the poison industries of US…family values are pretty much non existent in many area,most of the new “industries” include special ed for children who are poisoned, homes for those poisoned also…most elders have dementia from the toxic fluoride put in the water supplies, most live in homes away from family/friends….now THAT is poverty….

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They try to survive like in any other country. Are you aware that there are fewer poor in Vietnam than in many other countries? Hanoi, multimillions people, has no slump, no ghetto. Imagine!

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I don't think I'm poor anymore as I'm now the owner of a cafe and can travel abroad yearly. But yes, I was born and grew up in poverty.

I was born in 1990, in Ninh Binh province, one of the poorest provinces at that time (tourism has just been booming there for several years). When I was a kid, my parents had to work really hard to raise us. I remember that my favorite dish was just warm water with salt, haha. The only kind of milk we had at that time was condensed milk. My parents aren't good at doing business. They tried selling lots of things but barely got enough to survive. My dad then decided to be a teacher and he got paid 9 kgs of rice a month, yes, a month. I remember he had to ride a bicycle to work that was 12km far from our house. My mom spent most of her time in the local wet market and she often came home at 11pm. I was the one who stayed at home, taking care of my younger sister, our dogs, cleaning, cooking, watching the house. But to be fair, the neighborhood wasn't richer than us, we in fact had a quite more comfortable life. I used to cry a lot thinking about how miserable my parents' lives were. I promised myself to get a good job to support them when I grew up.

Now, life has become better for us. I'm struggling with my board game cafe business but it is totally me to blame as I spent dozens of thousands USD in it all by myself. I'm living the life I couldn’t dream of as a kid. So yes, Vietnam is changing drastically and we are all benefited from it.

P/S: We might be the most educated household in the neighborhood but financially, we are not as rich as our neighbors. People have billions dong and please keep it in mind that Ninh Binh is still considered a very average province and my town, Tam Điệp, is just a mountainous city. We are famous for our natural scenery tho.

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I can’t really give a straightforward answer because I was born in a middle class family. However, I can use some examples from my cousins to describe how poor Vietnamese live.

My mother was born in an extremely poor family. She was the first born out of three daughters. Her father always went out with his friends. No matter how much money he had, he used his money on his friends, despite the fact that he had to take care of his three daughters. Her mother worked all day as a food seller lady. So my mother’s mother technically single-handedly raised her three daughters.

Regardless of how horrible her life was, she grew up with a mindset of making her family better than what she went through. She married my dad in her early 20s and ever since, all they have done were to make my life and my sister’s life better.

My two aunts, however, were not fortunate like my mom. They finished high school but decided to not pursue higher education like my mom because they did not have money. They work as retail workers, they change from jobs to jobs and never have a definite mindset. They do marry into good family but their husbands’ jobs are something similar to blue collar workers’ jobs. Each of my two aunts has two kids, the second one has a son and a daughter, while the third one has two sons. The third one’s oldest son (we’ll call him B for now) is the same age as my sister so they are best friend. Since I move to the U.S, my parents always take my sister and B to wherever they go to. My parents treat him as if he was their son. My sister is kinda spoiled because my dad would buy whatever she wants but it has to be reasonable, my mom let her do whatever she wants if it is a right thing to do. Whatever my sister has, B also has IF he was with my family. So B often feel sad about why his family is not like my family.

My family is not rich, we just have enough to enjoy luxury things sometimes but not often. Whereas my cousin’s family only have enough to cover a small amount of their expenses. B doesn’t have a lot of things that my sister does. My sister gets to travel to places by planes (plane ticket is pretty expensive in Vietnam), B doesn’t have that opportunity. My sister gets to travel more than B, and the list goes on.

We are just middle class family but I can still see the differences between my family and my cousin’s family.

Despite the fact that my family is in debt because of my school’s tuition, we can still live a better life than some people in Vietnam. My parents always try to help my two aunts when they are in need. They help paying for B’s school uniforms or even take him to travel with them sometimes. And that is how my mom taught me. You don’t have to give someone all you have, but you can always share with what you have.

I apologize for my long story but I hope it helps you see the differences.

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They are struggling. There are different kinds of poor people. City folks, and rural folks. Rural folks have it the hardest, since there are fewer job opportunities for them, and the pay is low in the provinces.

In Saigon, the poorest people are usually migrants from the provinces. They don’t have a home, so they either rent a room, which will cost them a third to half of their income, or they live on the streets. Lucky people can find jobs, but their income barely covers room, food, and gas. There’ll be no savings.

There is a guy in my old neighborhood in Saigon, his family is very poor. Last summer when I was back there, I had coffee with him. He said since Uber and Grab came to Vietnam, he was not doing well as a moto taxi driver, people didn’t hire him much any more, so he switched to construction jobs.

Since he was only an apprentice, he made about VND 200,000 a day. That’s about $8.70 a day, or roughly $175 a month. His rent was about VND 2 million ($87) a month, so that ate up half his monthly income. He told me his daughter’s school had just raised the tuition to VND 1 million a month, so that’s another quarter of his income. With VND 1 million left (less than $45), it would be hard to live in Saigon. Even combined with his wife income of about 4–5 million, the family was struggling.

The guy could not afford even a cheap smart phone, he was using an old Nokia phone, but he wanted to be a Grab Bike or Uber Moto driver, so I gave him one of my old smart phones.

A cousin of mine in the Mekong delta is even poorer. He’s also an apprentice worker, making about VND 80,000 to 120,000 a day ($3.50–4.30), but the cost of living there is a little bit lower.

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I come from HCM City in a poor family and difficult. My family have to rent a small house temporarily located in a small alley in the city. House price is very expensive so cannot afford a house. We are just low-wage workers so it is more difficult.

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