Meal Invitation

Cultural features in meals of the North of Vietnam: Meal Invitation.

Hi everyone, I’m Linh. Today I will introduce a unique culture of Hanoians in particular and the North in general. In the meal of the Northern people, there is a culture that I have been taught since I was a child, that is meal invitation.

Mời cơm

Before taking chopsticks to be about to eat or when finished meal, preparing to stand up, there are always meal invitations. Family members invited the older generation. Children and grandchildren invite grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters. The meal invitation has the simple meaning of “Let’s eat” but is different in wording and intonation. Never be invited: “Mom, let’s eat”, or “Have a good meal, everyone”… but It should be: ” I’d like to invite the father to have a good meal”, “I’d like to invite the mother to have a good meal”, or “’I’d like to invite the grandparents to have a good meal ”.

Phát triển năng lực] Tiếng việt 1 bài 26B: Bữa cơm gia đình | [Phát triển năng lực] Tiếng Việt 1 tập 2

After the meal, I could say: “I have had enough food”. Only the eldest person in the family responds to the invitation with a short sentence: “Let’s all have a meal”

In addition, when the whole family is having meal, if they see someone coming over to their house, everyone immediately invites: “I’d like to invite you to have a meal with us”

For close guests, they would sit down and eat with their families, children in the house will often be “asked” by grandparents and parents to pick up more dishes (bowl & chopsticks) for guests. (Sai or sai vặt: ask children to help adults do something)

If not close, the guest would wait for the family to finish eating or leave and come back another time.

Văn hóa ứng dụng trong bữa cơm gia đình | Báo Dân tộc và Phát triển

I got a chance to visit my acquaintances in the Central and Southern of Vietnam, where they don’t have the culture of “meal invitation like the North. Each place has its own culture, creating its own beauty in each region. In my own perspective, that invitation was cultural, to identify my homeland.

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