Vietnamese culture: What will happen when one of your Vietnamese neighbors passes away?

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2018

Learn Vietnamese in o Chi Minh City - Live in Vietnamese

Community activities are part of Asian culture, especially Vietnamese. Therefore, they tend to gather together on every chance they get. Moreover, noise pollution still seems to be unaware by most Vietnamese people.

If you come to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to learn Vietnamese or work and stay at a Vietnamese neighborhood (not a complex of apartments), you will encounter the “thing” called “Vietnamese funeral”.

You may not know your Vietnamese neighbors but if one of them passes away, it won’t go unnoticed.

The commotion caused by 3 - 5 days of preparation, feasting and countless visitors will no doubt trouble your tranquility. But it’s the funerary music that will be the biggest challenge to your nerves and will test your degree of tolerance to local customs. Day and night – the nasal sounds of the flutes, trumpets and the banging of the drums will slowly drill their way into your brain. Some funeral also invite monks to come and pray for the pass-way’s soul and some even hire the performers who usually are the transgenders to sing in the last night.

What makes it worse is on the final day which is the day that the pass-away is taken to the graveyard. The sudden banging of the drums and the sound of trumpets will get you out of your dream at 4 or 5 am and leave you with a headache for 30 minutes to 1 hour before it becomes quiet again.

Unless you are invited, you don’t have to pay a visit or send flowers. You’re only expected to tolerate the noise and activity.

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