Korean blogger loves Vietnamese meal hospitality

By Bich Phuong   February 10, 2024 | 04:00 am PT
Park Wow Sung, a South Korean content creator, loves the subtle nuances of the ways in which Vietnamese host guests for home-cooked meals featuring an array of dishes.

Park's work boasts nearly 400,000 likes on his TikTok channel and a YouTube channel with over 150,000 followers.

Having spent 15 years in Ho Chi Minh City, he is not only fluent in Vietnamese, but also harbors a deep passion for Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, he even ventured into the culinary realm by opening a Vietnamese restaurant in central Seoul, South Korea.

Driven by his love for the culture of Vietnam, Park shares content on social media platforms in Vietnamese. His posts often explore Vietnamese food and dining customs.

In a TikTok video posted at the close of 2023, Park delved into the customs Vietnamese people employ when hosting guests for meals. Drawing from firsthand experience, he noted that Vietnamese are fond of inviting friends over, urging them to stay for dinner, and then serving an array of vastly diverse dishes.

An image from a video in which Wow Sung tried several dishes during a meal at his Vietnamese friends house. Photo courtesy of TikTok/wowsung

A screenshot from one of Park Wow Sung's TikTok videos showing dishes he was treated during a meal at his Vietnamese friend's house. The question means "How can three people finish this much food?" Photo courtesy of TikTok/wowsung

What intrigued him most was Vietnamese hosts' tendency to not just prepare a single dish, but to create a multi-faceted feast. In the video, Park captured the scene when a Vietnamese friend invited him to home to serve him a spread of dishes such as steamed sausage, fish soup, and duck.

According to Park, Vietnamese find joy when their guests indulge heartily in the food served, but they also express disappointment when guests consume less.

The video garnered nearly 1 million views, drawing attention from the Vietnamese online community, with many expressing interest in the Korean blogger's fluency in Vietnamese and his understanding of Vietnamese culture.

The majority of comments aligned with Park's sentiment that Vietnamese people are exceptionally hospitable. One follower commented: "When visiting a relative's house, if you decline an invitation to eat, the host might scold you, saying things like if you don't eat, you aren't really family."

Blogger Hàn Quốc tự tay làm món ăn Việt. Ảnh: Wow Sung

Park Wow Sung tries making Vietamese vegetarian summer rolls. Photo courtesy of Park Wow Sung

However, some Vietnamese viewers spotted a cultural oversight in the video when Park accidentally received the food from somebody else with his chopsticks during the meal.

In Vietnamese culture, when receiving food from someone else, one must make sure to receive it directly in their bowl, avoiding the transfer of food between chopsticks. Avoiding this taboo is believed to steer one clear of potential bad luck.

This isn't the first time the warmth of Vietnamese hospitality has left an impression on foreign writers. Matthew Pike, a blogger, and Culture Trip travel site reporter who also once resided in Saigon, expressed his admiration for Vietnamese people, emphasizing their hospitality in an article.

"It's quite usual to witness groups of tourists being welcomed into local homes for a meal. Particularly during festivals, you might be treated to local cuisine and revel in festivities until the late hours. This is an aspect of Vietnamese culture that never fails to leave a positive impression on international tourists," according to Pike.

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