Neighborhood relationships in Vietnam

“Better a neighbor near than a brother far off”, as the saying goes. In Vietnam, especially in the countryside, neighbor relationship sometimes is placed much greater emphasis than blood ties relationship. Neighbors are willing to help each other in special occasions as well as in daily life.

Hardly any Vietnamese household could hold weddings, funeral ceremonies and other kinds of cultural celebrations without the help of their neighbors.  In case of emergency, neighbors are often right away present to lend you a hand. In villages, after finishing a long day of hard working, neighbors often get together to have idle chats and play leisure games such as Tai Chi. They are also participate together in communal activities; accordingly, their relationship is getting closer.

However, in cities, recently, when city-dwellers often lock themselves in their private houses, allergic to idle curiosity of others about their personal life, neighbor relationship seems to fade away with time. However, it is not the whole picture. Although people scarcely invite their neighbor into their houses to have a cup of tea or have an idle talk, you maybe see housewives talking together in street corners or in a market while their husbands perhaps are gathering in a pub or having tea in a corner street elsewhere.
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