Hi everyone! This is Hòa speaking, for some of you who is trying to read this “symbol”, it pronounces kinda like “Hwa” in general I guess, and “ホア” in Japanese. I’m a nap team captain, who is allergic to mornings, I have a lover, a close friend, and a soul mate, he has a rectangle face, which we often call “computer” or “laptop”, and most of the time I sit immobile like a monk in samadhi in front of my computer, I mean my close friend.
Well, I’ve been in Japan for nearly 2 years, 1 year in Niigata and nearly-1-year in Tokyo, comparing to a child, I’m a nearly-2-year-old Japan-toddler, with open eyes and full-of-curiosity mind, and welcome to this blog post, what I’ve noticed in my scanty time living here. Some of them might bring up some uncomfortable thoughts, I guess, but I promise I mean no offence, if there is anything, it’s just the collision of different cultures.
First thing of all, back home, we express our respect to people who are older than us. We don’t care if they are “外” or “内”, if they are older, we use keigo with them. My mother would not forgive me if I answer her in short form, so is my father if my brother says something impolite to me.
Japanese people are very respectful too. But what have surprised me was that children here don’t use Keigo with their family, instead, they use short-form. I couldn’t get it at all. Why? Aren’t your parents worth being respected than some other outsiders? Isn’t it too insolent to behave like that with people who have brought you up and give you a roof above?
Yeah I was a moron. Remember I was only a nearly-2-year-old Japanese citizen? I didn’t realise that the way Keigo are being understood in the two countries. Vietnamese use keigo expressions to show our respect, but also our sentiments.
And here, not much of affection in Keigo, I suppose. That’s why it sounds cliché, heavy and weird when being used with your family. Like “we are family/ friends/ … drop your heavy words!” I kinda get it now.
You get on a public mean of transport in Vietnam, and you’ll get to know everything in this little world. Age, job, homeland, how much money earned a month, how many kids the person sitting next to you has. They start to talk even before their bottom touch the surface of the seat.
Here, no one looks at another. Even when the train are full of people. People just communicate with their phones, their books, or somewhere outside the window, not the person in front of them, or next to them. And despite the packed train, only the announcer’s voice can be heard.
I’m not saying which is good and which is bad. Who would ever want to be asked how much is their income per month? who would feel comfortable to be asked specifically where their home is? But in a space that is full of people ,and not any signs of reality communication, don’t you feel a little… “human-less”?
You graduated with a literature bachelor? You can work in Market researching too!
I mean… it’s not so important what you studied, you can apply for whatever you’re interested in, which is impossible in my country. For instance, to apply for an accounting position, and all you have is a foreign language bachelor? Well take a jar of sugar and go outside play with the ants. I’m joking! I mean, unless you have the exact certificates or qualifications of the job, there is nothing for you to do here.
But things are different in Japan. I never know I can code till Lightcafe took me in. They give the freshers the CHANCES, which is crucially important for an individual to challenge themselves, as long as they have the will to learn. And on behalf of those who has been given the chances, I’m really grateful.
I’ve heard of it quite a lot before coming here, but to see it in reality with my own eyes, somehow it makes more sense and explain quite many questions. Japanese people find their value of living, their existences in their jobs. That means, if not working, their lives are meaningless, especially with men. And it explains why my manager (in another company) didn’t come home for his grandfather funeral, and why they are willing to work overtime without making excuses like “my son is sick!” or “my wife need me go shopping for food today…” 1st priority is Work, the 2nd may also be work, and the 3rd probably is work too, I guess.
Vietnamese people, on the other hand, consider family is the most valuable. Family – for most of Vietnamese – are irreplaceable. You can get another job, but you can’t trade anything to get back your mother, your wife, your children once they are gone, and time spending with them are priceless. What is earning lots of money really for, if your love ones aren’t there to share it with you?
This way of thinking certainly has some pros and cons. It can help balance your life between family and work. But also provides some lazy people a fairy good excuse to not devote to say no when the company need them.
I got to be honest. Vietnamese are very flexible. They adapt quickly, mingle quite well, they are friendly, easy-going (well most of them), and clever… and that doesn’t sound there are not anything bad. I mean, they can learn something quite well without going through every basic steps, and that’s it. We are easy to satisfy, and we usually don’t try to make it to the best. That is why, why you can see the charm in a Vietnamese product, but to get closer, to dig deeper, it has nothing else to claim. The product itself can’t scream out loud: “this is our culture! this is years and years of labour and efforts!…” It’s just can barely say: “look at me, I’m beautiful and dot dot dot (…)”
A “made in Japan” product, well on the other hand, is “a little bit” high-end class. No one can deny, and don’t you waste your time to deny. Why? Because the worker have taken it to the level of its utmost realm. The devotion to work I found out above, the never easily satisfy spirit makes them work, try, and keep making it better and better till it gets nearest to perfection. That spirit flows inside the product, and makes it shine.
Vietnamese need that spirit, need that passion for what we devote ourself to. But with the expanding of Japanese culture to Vietnam lately, I’m quite optimistic, to see the Vietnamese young generation’s works, and watch their effort fruiting and spreading to the world more and more, I truly believe in the day when a Vietnamese product can mark their footsteps, like the Japanese’ do.
Well this is too much of me today! Thanks a bunch for being patient to read to this line. My deeply apology for this boring lengthy post!