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What are some traditional Vietnamese family values?

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Quick Answer

Some traditional Vietnamese family values include respect for elders, putting family first and male authority in the household, all of which are based on Confucianism. A Vietnamese household was traditionally multigenerational. Parents, sons and their wives, children, and unmarried siblings typically constituted a household.

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Full Answer

Because of the integrated family structure, the idea of family first and a closeness of family was emphasized in Vietnamese culture. The Confucian ideal says that a person's accomplishment is less important than contribution and duty to family and to society.

In the extended family structure, the most important thing was respect for one's elders. Most major family decisions were made by either parents or grandparents. The family took this even further through reverence and worship for dead ancestors. The traditional roles for men and women were as parents. Male authority in the household was prized. The man was the head of the household as the main income earner. He did not have to spend time cooking or cleaning, but instead expected to relax upon returning from work.

Women were expected to aspire to being a housewife and mother. Divorce was highly discouraged, even in cases of unhappiness. The woman was expected to endure for the family. Similarly, virginity was highly prized and out-of-wedlock pregnancies were considered a disgrace.

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