Vietnamese women are like diamonds. Diamonds are precious stones known for their combination of both beauty and brilliance, resilience and strength, and are formed under extreme pressure. So are Vietnamese women. Except their traits emerge during their struggle against the many social and economic challenges that they face in their daily lives. The result is something quite more stunning than a piece of jewelry. Instead, the product is a unique human being that is both hardworking and talented, has “grit”, is devoted to her family, is charming and beautiful, and good at managing money.
Hardworking and Talented
Somewhere along the line Vietnamese women learn the invaluable lesson that effort = intelligence. Maybe it’s the focus their parents place on education or maybe it’s the social pressure to achieve. Maybe it’s a byproduct of having so little in the way of economic resources that the only choice is to try harder. Whatever it is, Vietnamese girls learn at an early age that, if they want to succeed, they’ve got to put in the sweat-hours.
A typical school day in Vietnam is shorter than in America. However, the students are fully expected (and do) study on their own and with the help of their parents (usually their mother) at home. This sort of effort-based approach to learning allows people to develop their talents. Add on top of that a healthy dose of competitiveness in Vietnamese society and you get many extremely talented women that will not allow obstacles or setbacks to stop them from achieving their goals. I’ve got two cousins (both girls) that are in med-school. They grew up in a trailer park and, statistically have no business excelling like they did in their studies. Except they are 100% Vietnamese and that means they were armed with the sort of mindset and values that comes along with the Vietnamese culture.
Let me not forget, Vietnamese women are the best cooks. And I do mean the best. This comes partly from their talent and approach to learning and partly from the fact that Vietnam is a tropical region with many mouth-watering ingredients that grow like weeds do in my garden. Want to experience the best food in the world? Then go to Vietnam. Want the very next best thing? Then go to your Vietnamese girlfriend’s house when her family is having a party. Bún thịt nướng, phở, bánh mì, cơm, bánh xèo, gỏi cuốn, chả giò, thịt kho, cá chiên, canh …oh so many kinds of canh… the list just goes on and on.
Just to get your tastebuds to understand:
(Bún thịt nướng chả giò)
Vietnamese Women Have Grit
Grit is a sort of mixture between toughness, courage, refusal to quit in the face of difficulty, and willingness to endure hardship when necessary. Vietnamese women have this in abundance. This is almost certainly due partly to their mindset, which they learn from an early age. But it is also partly due to the fact that they face incredible hardships in life that citizens of first world countries have typically never had to face. Up until 1995 the country was “closed” to the West. The economy was terrible which meant everyone was poor—like destitute poor. Babies were not born at hospitals but were born at the local midwife—just another lady that happened to be experienced in birthing; and no epidurals were not available. What if the mother didn’t produce enough milk for the child? There was no access to formula. The answer was rice water—I’ll explain for those throughout the world that do not know about rice. When you cook it, first you wash it. When you are washing it, cloudy-water comes off and this water has some amount of vitamins though it doesn’t have many calories. Not ideal, certainly, but it was all they had.
Another contributing factor is that Vietnamese men so often tend to be under-performers. Alcoholism is rampant. But, the again, men generally perform poorly under tyrannical regimes. The women are left in charge of the family, for all intents and purposes. I’ll revisit this later, but for now just know that Vietnamese women shoulder many a burden and, as such, have grown an uncommon resilience .
Now here’s something else to show you the character of Vietnamese women. They all ride motorbikes. You might think that’s no big deal, especially after realizing that the motorbikes are puny little 100cc or 150cc things, no real bikes like the bad boys ride. But there are things that need to be considered. Traffic is simply not the same in Vietnam as it is in the States. Cars, busses, and 18-wheelers will pull out in front of you, cut you off, merge into your lane forcing you to brake or to be run off the road, ride your tail honking incessantly if your in the center of your lane, and will use the slightest margin to nudge you out of their way, often passing within inches of your handlebars. Driving in Vietnam is dangerous and not for the weak-hearted.
I took this picture by the way. This is not “in the city” but is a typical highway in Vietnam. Look at how these two ladies on their motorbikes are being passed on both sides simultaneously by two large trucks. Those trucks are perhaps a few feet in either direction from them and traveling at around 30–40 mph.
Here is another angle of the same intersection so you can have a better feel for what’s going on:
Here is another intersection a little later:
Notice how that truck turns in front of the other traffic forcing them to brake. General rule in Vietnam: motorcyclist beware. And this is something Vietnamese women face every single day.
But there’s more than just that. While other nation’s women may have the luxury of a car, Vietnamese women have to make do with their motorbikes. How do you take four kids somewhere on one motorbike? Or how do you carry a bunch of whatever you might need to carry? We have back seats and trunks and whatnot. Not so on a motorbike.
This image I pulled from google. Trust me, it’s real. I see this kind of stuff everyday. Here is one I took from the safety of my car (I know I’m a hypocrite) of a woman making her daily morning commute to the market:
So what’s the bottom line with all these pics of girls on motorbikes? Vietnamese women are tough as nails . They face situations on a daily basis that would cause grown men in other countries to mess their pants. But they’re more than that…
Vietnamese Women are Devoted to their Family
All women have that familial instinct, the one that drives them to protect and nurture their children and love their parents and siblings and extended family. But for Vietnamese women, this instinct is on overdrive. Vietnamese women protect their children. Of course they protect them from outside dangers but they also protect children from themselves . They know how to raise children to understand morality, duty, discipline, love and respect. Tongue lashings are quick and severe if a child misbehaves. And if the transgression is severe, a spanking is the immediate result. They absolutely love their children and are willing to endure the momentary pain that a parent experiences when disciplining their children because they know their children must be taught right from wrong and how to behave correctly.
At the same time, when they become the wife of a man they will care for him, work alongside him, support him in his endeavors, and act as a partner to help him support their family (as opposed to expecting him to do it all in his own). Vietnamese women are willing to work hard jobs, dirty jobs, or any job that will sport their family. I have seen women construction workers throwing stones right beside the men, women herding cattle, women driving trucks, women farmers (see pic) and of course all Americans know about the women VC that fought just as hard as them men did.
I pulled this image from google again. This is backbreaking work and these women do it every season, year in and year out.
Yet there is something cultural about Vietnamese woman that other women typically don’t have. In southern Vietnam there has been a long tradition of strong women and women have historically had a more prominent role in society than in many other cultures. This could be a factor in creating such strong and robust women.
This could also be a factor in creating the dynamic that I see in Vietnamese culture, and that is the revolution of the family around the mother. It is true that children take the surname of the father, like in Western countries. However, I find it is typically the mother and her sisters to be the central core of the family. The keystone, if you will. Vietnamese women are family-centric. They will always put their family first.
Vietnamese Women are Charming and Beautiful
In my slightly biased opinion, Vietnamese women are the most beautiful women on Earth. Part of this is due to their amazing physical feature and part of it is due to their inherent charm. They are demure yet confident. Strong yet feminine. Bold yet respectful. They combine the allure of a purring cat with the prowess of a tiger. There are some 40-million Vietnamese women on Earth right now, and the 40-million men that get to marry them are the luckiest men alive.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:
Vietnamese girls are witty, seductive, joyful, and clever. They enjoy dating and can be both serious or playful. At the same time they have self-respect and won’t waste their time with losers.