Vietnam http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1243338.stm Language: Vietnamese Religion: Most people are Buddhist, although some are Taoist, Catholic, and Christian. Almost all Vietnamese worship and pray to their dead ancestors for help in life. History: Vietnam has had to struggle for centuries for independence, and the Vietnamese are very proud of their country. They don’t dwell on the past and don’t hold a grudge against the U.S. over the Vietnam War (they call it the “American War”). In fact, they are quite interested in the United States culture. Much of the population is rural, extremely poor, and neglected by the Vietnamese government. Education: The education system is free, and students are encouraged to finish high school. Schools in rural areas must often offer half-day schedules to accommodate all the students. Cultural Tidbits: Treating others respectfully is very important. That means that students are very respectful of their teachers and people are very punctual for appointments, and they expect others to be equally respectful. Many cultures - including the Vietnamese consider the head to be the most important part of the body. Therefore, one must ask permission before touching someone’s head. To call someone over using the index finger is rude, as is crossing your index and middle fingers. No public displays of affection are acceptable, although it’s common for women to hold hands with other women and for men to hold hands with other men in public. Extended families are important and often live together. Works Cited: Country Profiles. BBC News. Retrieved 7/1/06 from the World Wide Web:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1243338.stm. CultureGrams World Edition 2004. (2003). Lindon, Utah: Axiom Press, Inc.