Vietnamese Culture Power Point


Presentation Description

This PowerPoint focuses on Vietnamese traditions in regards to health, nutrition, and exercise.


Presentation Transcript

Vietnamese Culture:

Vietnamese Culture By: Emily Ferguson, Loan Nguyen, and Brittany Qualkinbush


Culture The Vietnamese people are an ethnic group originating from present-day northern Vietnam and southern China The Vietnamese value system is based on : allegiance to the family yearning for a good name love of learning respect for other people


Illness The Vietnamese believe that illness is considered to be an imbalance of “vital forces.” Balance is created by changing diet when there is too much of one particular element. The Vietnamese, like residents of other poor, tropical countries, suffer from a wide range of maladies such as: Parasitic diseases Intestinal diseases Nutritional diseases STI’s Respiratory diseases

Coping & Wellness:

Coping & Wellness The Vietnamese community has many diverse medical systems. Western Biomedicine, mainly focusing on surgery and pharmaceuticals, is the most commonly consulted system, especially in urban areas Vietnamese also heavily rely on their traditional herbal healing practices For most Vietnamese, biomedicine is the first resort in cases of acute illness or bacterial or viral infections. With chronic illness, many will first try biomedical treatments, but if these fail, they will turn to herbal treatments In some cases, people use biomedical and alternative treatments in a complementary manner

Health care expectations:

Health care expectations Vietnamese patients greatly respect educated individuals, particularly physicians. When Vietnamese enter the American health care setting, they do so frequently with the goal to relieve symptoms. In general, the Vietnamese patient expects a medicine to cure the illness immediately. When a medication is not prescribed initially, the patient is likely to seek care elsewhere. They expect a diagnosis and treatment at the first visit. Many believe that doctors should be able to diagnose a problem simply by looking at a patient and feeling their pulse The concept of using further techniques for diagnosis may not be understood

Barriers to Treatment :

Barriers to Treatment Vietnamese people often feel uncomfortable with invasive lab/diagnostic tests. Blood loss is concerning, and perceived as a practice that will make one sicker; hence, surgery is feared. Removal of organs is seen as a last resort, as it alters the internal balance . A significant disparity exists in women's health screenings. Women seldom have Pap and breast exams done because of fears regarding invasion of privacy, embarrassment, and lack of knowledge on cervical, ovarian and breast cancer in the community Buddhism teaches that life is a cycle of suffering and rebirth . Buddhism stresses disconnection to the present, hence pain and illness are sometimes endured and health-seeking remedies delayed because of this belief in fate.


Biomedicine Vietnamese patients will typically discontinue medicines after symptoms diminish. If there are no symptoms, patients do not believe there is an illness. Thus, the prescription of preventive, long-term medications must be accompanied by patient education in a culturally sensitive manner.

Alternative Medicine:

Alternative Medicine When the Western methods don’t seem to be working, Vietnamese patients turn to herbal treatments. Vietnam has two main herbal traditions: Chinese herbal medicine ( thouc bac , “northern drugs”) Vietnamese herbal medicine ( thouc nam , “southern drugs”)

Alternative Medicine:

Alternative Medicine Vietnamese identify health in categories of air, fire, water, and earth; also as hot, cold, wet, and dry. Oral medications are considered to be “hot” and Vietnamese will rarely agree to take a pill for an illness that they consider to be “hot,” such as skin irritation. If the health care provider is knowledgeable about Vietnamese beliefs, they will prescribe a topical balm instead. Treatments for illness are designed to reinstate the balance within the body.

Why alternative medicine?:

Why alternative medicine? H erbal traditions theorize that illness results from humoral imbalances in the body. Belief that Herbal medicines are more effective in the long run. Idea that they deal with the true cause of illness, whereas biomedicine only treats the symptoms. The Vietnamese use methods such as spirit mediums or other spirit specialists. They are consulted in cases of prolonged physical or mental illness. These healers believe that disease and misfortune are caused by spirits or other malevolent entities.


Healers Methods that these healers use include: Contacting the spirit world Finding and identifying the offending spirit Determining what is needed to end the spirit’s torments

Alterative Therapies:

Alterative Therapies Other methods used for coping and healing include: Coining (“catch the wind”): a coin is dipped in mentholated oil is vigorously rubbed across the skin in a prescribed manner, causing a mild dermabrasion . This practice is believed to release the excess force “wind” from the body and hence restore balance. Cupping : a series of small, heated glasses are placed on the skin, forming a suction that leaves a red circular mark, drawing out the bad force. This practice is not as common as coining. Steaming : a mixture of medicinal herbs, such as eucalyptus, is boiled, the steam is inhaled, and the body bathed. Alternatively, a hot soup can be made and eaten, and then the patient would return to bed and cover themselves completely for about 45 minutes, and “sweat” out the illness.

Mental Illness and Stigma:

Mental Illness and Stigma Mental health issues may be understood as an imbalance of energy For some people, mental health problems are viewed as the consequence of mistakes made in past lives or punishments for the wrongdoings of a relative. People with mental health problems often face stigma and discrimination Mental health issues are often kept secret or ignored and rarely discussed or shared with others because of the disgrace or blame individuals or families face. Depression or other mental health issues are dealt with through spiritual remedies Typically, Vietnamese people will not use psychologists or psychiatrists for this reason.

Demographics of Vietnamese Americans:

Demographics of Vietnamese Americans Median Age: 35.4 years old Families living below the Poverty Line: 12.1% Homeownership: 64.6% own homes 35.4% rent homes Employment Status: 66.9% population 16 yrs. and over in labor force Language Spoken at Home other than English: 87.5% Foreign-born Population estimates: 22.2% Native Born 67.8% Foreign Born

Percentage of Vietnamese Population in Harrisonburg, VA:

Percentage of Vietnamese Population in Harrisonburg, VA White: 84.84% 34334 people Black: 5.92 % 2394 people Vietnamese : 0.29% 117 people Other: 8.95% 4890 People

Percentage of Vietnamese Population in the United States (as of 2010):

Percentage of Vietnamese Population in the United States (as of 2010) United States total population: 308,745,538 White: 72.4% Black: 12.8% Other: 14.8% Vietnamese: .005% 1,548,449 People Virginia ranks 5 th in largest Vietnamese populations: 53,529

Prevalence and Incidence of Specific Diseases:

Prevalence and Incidence of Specific Diseases 10 Leading Cause of Death: Asian American & Pacific Islander Populations, U.S., 2007 Cancer Heart Disease Stroke Unintentional injuries Diabetes Influenza and Pneumonia Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease Suicide Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome, and Nephroisis Alzheimer’s Disease Other High Prevalence Health Issues: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) Hepatitis B HIV/AIDs Tobacco smoke Tuberculosis (TB)


Nutrition The traditional Vietnamese diet is based on agricultural lifestyle and is considered very healthy. Basic food in Vietnam is dry, flaky rice supplemented with vegetables, eggs, and small amounts of meat and fish. Cooking usually uses little fat or oil for frying.

Examples of Food:

Examples of Food Very fond of fruits: bananas, mangos, papayas, oranges, coconuts, and pineapple. Accustomed to little milk and cheese; many cannot produce the enzymes needed to properly digest dairy foods (lactose intolerance) Drink a large amount of hot green tea and coffee without adding sugar, milk, or lemon. Soybeans, mung beans, and peanuts are used extensively.

Average Meal:

Average Meal The Vietnamese have three meals a day with some snacking. Breakfast (light): Soup, “pho,” rice or rice noodles; thin slices of beef, chicken, or pork; bean sprouts; greens; green tea or coffee; boiled eggs; crusty bread. Lunch & Dinner (both similar in food content, with smaller portions for dinner): Rice, fish or meat; vegetable dish with fish sauce; tea or coffee Snacks: Fruits, clear soup

Vietnamese nutrition:

Vietnamese nutrition In their home country Vietnamese either grow food or purchase it daily. Diet varies with wealth. The poor often have limited amounts of protein in their diets and some only have the means to eat rice with a few leafy vegetables at every meal.

Nutrition: Compared to recommendations learned in This course:

Nutrition: Compared to recommendations learned in This course recommends that half of our plate be filled with fruits and vegetables. Vietnamese eat a wide variety of vegetables. Fruit is served as a dessert and snack. Common vegetables include cabbage, gai lan (Chinese broccoli), mustard greens, collard greens, and cucumbers.

Contrast to recommendations learned in course:

Contrast to recommendations learned in course Pregnant women do not increase their caloric intake. Due to the increasing energy needs, pregnant women should increase their caloric intake by 300 calories per day. Fish sauce and MSG are used often, resulting in a diet high in salt. Many Vietnamese lack calcium since sources such as milk, dairy products and soy products are not part of the diet.

Vietnamese Americans:

Vietnamese Americans Due to dietary and lifestyle changes, Vietnamese in America are susceptible to weight gain, high cholesterol and diabetes. Use of coconut milk and coconut oil as well as increased meat intake leads to heavy consumption of saturated fats. Vietnamese in the U.S. also tend to increase their meat consumption . Vietnamese with diabetes have trouble controlling their blood sugar on account of an emphasis on white rice in their diets . Many Vietnamese adults are lactose intolerant; most children growing up in the U.S., however, drink milk.


Exercise Vietnamese often practice Tai Chi: Referred to as “meditation in motion” because it promotes serenity through gentle movements, connecting the mind and body. Involves a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner, with the body being in constant motion. Many different styles: some focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi. All forms include rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing to help you achieve a sense of inner calm. The concentration required for tai chi forces you to live in the present moment, putting aside distressing thoughts. Other Forms of Exercise walking , gardening, and other activities that raise the heart rate, as well as typical exercise, such as running

Exercise: Compared to Recommendations Learned in this course:

Exercise: Compared to Recommendations Learned in this course Vietnamese people do not deliberately exercise when they are healthy. View exercise as a way to restore health, rather than preventing disease In a study on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Knowledge of Symptoms Among Vietnamese Americans, Medical Professionals found that 40 % of Vietnamese Americans, did not engage in any moderate or vigorous activity. Physical activity measures in this study included walking, gardening, and other activities that raise the heart rate, as well as typical exercise, such as running. Thus, cultural differences in activities that constitute exercise may exist. (Nguyen, T. T. et al., 2008)

Community and Online Resources:

Community and Online Resources Community Resources Virginia Council of Churches Refugee Resettlement Program 250 E. Elizabeth St., Suite 109. Harrisonburg, VA 22802. What they do? They are a multicultural and multilingual staff that advocates for and guides refugees in the areas of housing, employment, health, ESL and Education for Children. Along with this, they work to teach self-sufficiency based on healthy relationships with local people. Buddhism Temple: Lotus Garden 1991 Pine Grove Road, Stanley, VA 540-778-2405 What they do? They are a center that is used primarily as a group and individual retreat an study center of Tibetan Buddhism. A majority of Vietnamese Americans are Buddhist and believe in spiritual tranquility to restore health and so this is a great resource in Harrisonburg to do that. Online resource:


References Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Asian American Populations. Office of Minority Health & Disparities (OMHD). Retrieved from http:// Eating Right During Pregnancy . (2008) Retrieved from http :// Feinberg , E. n.d. Mental health in the Vietnamese community: stigma & discrimination. Retrieved from http :// Gordon, S., Bernadett , M., Evans, D., Shapiro, N., & Dang, L. (2006). Vietnamese culture: Influences and implications for health care . Retrieved from culture - influences and implications for health care_material and test.pdf?E =true How Much Fruit is Needed Daily . (2012) Retrieved from http :// Malarney , S. (2012). Countries and their cultures- vietnam . Retrieved from http:// Mayo Clinic Staff. (2009) Tai chi: Discover the many health benefits . Retrieved from http ://


References Mindrolling International. (2012). About the Center. Lotus Garden: The North American Seat of Mindrolling International. Retrieved from http:// Nguyen , A. T. (2011, June). The Vietnamese Population in the United States: 2010. The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from Nguyen, T. T., Liao, Y., Gildengorin , G., Tsoh , J., Bui-Tong, N., & McPhee, S. J .(2008, December 18). Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Knowledge of Symptoms Among Vietnamese Americans. PubMed Central. Retrieved from / Rasbridge , L. ( n.d. ). Vietnamese culture health refugees immigrants . Retrieved from Smith, K. (2010). Cultural diversity :Eating in America- Vietnamese. Ohio State University Extension , Retrieved from http://


References Tu , J. (2001, March 28). Nutrition and fasting in vietnamese culture . Retrieved from http:// U.S . Census Bureau. (2010). 2010 Census Data. United States Census 2010. Retrieved from Vietnamese Culture and Tradition. (2006). The Vietnamese Value System. Retrieved from http:// Vietnamese view of health and illness and utilization of health care. (2012). Retrieved from Virginia Council of Churches Refugee Resettlement Program. ( n.d. ) What Does the Harrisonburg Refugee Office Do?. About. Retrieved from

authorStream Live Help