Hanoi - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Does not appear to be a problem. Gender equality issues, I'm not aware of. Women and men tend to be security guards, laborers, and farmers. Office and clerical work tends to be conducted by a majority of women. Drivers, gardeners and other physical work tends to be done by men. - Aug 2021

Minor ones perhaps. Gender equality Is more of an issue, with local women often doing much of the work and men drinking the money away unfortunately. - Dec 2019

Due to Vietnam's strained relationship with China, Chinese-Americans (or especially EFMs from mainland China) may receive less than friendly treatment. African-Americans may find it harder to date on the local scene due to racial prejudices in Vietnamese society. The Vietnamese women you work with are incredibly talented and dynamic -- but don't forget that most of Vietnamese society still remains patriarchal and sexism, sexual harassment, and spousal abuse remain common in Vietnamese families. Police aren't great about taking reports of sexual assault seriously. NGOs (and the government to some extent) are trying to change this culture. - Dec 2017

I'm aware that some African Americans have encountered prejudices - kids called the "N" word by locals during a school sports tournament. - May 2016

Several African-Americans at post expressed uncomfortableness in Hanoi. Lots of stares. - Aug 2014

Yes. Despite the local government line, freedom of religion doesn’t exist here and local Christian minorities encounter a lot of pressures. Buddhism/Confucianism is the main religion. Also, people of African-American origins might be stared at more than they are comfortable with. This is a machismo society. If you are a woman, forget expectations of gallantry. - Dec 2011

Not really but it is rare to see someone of African descent here. I would think it would be difficult. - Aug 2011

Somewhat. The government, as well as the majority of the population, doesn't like catholics. Not so much racial prejudice, unless you are African-American. Inter-racial couples with Asian-looking wives may get harassed on the streets. - May 2010

Yes, Vietnamese don't know how to act around foreigners and can be bothersome. This can be especially uncomfortable for those of African descent. - Dec 2009

No. - Feb 2009

Vietnam is a male oriented society and there are minor complaints of sexism. Ethnic Vietnamese returning may also experience some wariness or expectations that are not the same for non-Vietnamese. There are some limited religious activities/services available for buddhists, catholics, christians, and muslims. There is not overt discrimination but there have been recent conflicts between the government and catholic community over land disputes. - Sep 2008

Not that I am aware of. The only prejudice I have heard about is directed towards Vietnamese women who may be accompanied by non-Vietnamese men. People will make comments to them on the street. They Vietnamese will stare at you, especially here in the North, foreigners are still something unique to many and especially foreign women. My wife is from Latin America and she and the children draw a lot of attention just walking down the street. - May 2008

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