Chủ Nhật, Tháng Tư 14, 2024
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HomeSorted by levelB2 - Upper IntermediateVietnamese siesta culture opens foreigners' eyes

Vietnamese siesta culture opens foreigners’ eyes

[Reading level: B2 – Upper Intermediate]

Tomomi from Japan was surprised to see her colleagues in Vietnam getting mattresses and pillows out after lunch for a snooze.

 

“When I first came to Hanoi for work earlier last year, what I saw during lunch break was the lights going out in the office, and everyone going to sleep,” said Tomomi, 27, an employee at a Japanese construction company in Vietnam.

 

It was a surprise for Tomomi, who said people in Japan often make use of the one-hour long lunch break to prepare their afternoon work.

 

“To a Westerner, it’s just a very strange sight, to be honest, so it does look a bit funny. If you were to work in an American office and you took a nap during lunch break, people would think you’re strange or even very lazy,” said Mark, a 31-year-old American who works as an English teacher in HCMC.

 

Mark said taking naps at noon could be a “very bad look” with many bosses in the U.S.

Mark nói ngủ vào buổi trưa có thể là hình ảnh không đẹp trong mắt nhiều ông chủ ở Mỹ..

 

For Tomomi, however, after spending over a year in Hanoi and seeing how Japanese managers also get some shut-eye at noon, she began to understand that siestas are commonplace in Vietnamese culture. So, she decided to try it out herself after having pulled an all-nighter the night before.

 

“One day in July, I decided to skip lunch and take a 30-minute nap. That afternoon, I was surprised to feel so alert after waking up, as if I had coffee,” said Tomomi after her first-ever siesta.

 

As for Mark, after six years of teaching in HCMC, he also takes a 30-minute nap at noon now.

 

“The only issue I see with it is when teenage students don’t sleep enough at night because they stay up late, and then they use the afternoon nap to make up for it,” he said, adding that students often become groggier after naps.

 

Foreigners who come to Vietnam for work are often surprised when their colleagues take out blankets and pillows to nap on the office floor, until they try it themselves.

 

Siestas are not something unique to Vietnam. Other cultures with hot climates, and even some in Southern Europe countries like Spain and Italy, also make use of afternoon nap-time.

 

In these countries, working hours are often scheduled around the hottest hours of the day. For example, in Spain, people often work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for their morning shifts and then take a two-hour siesta before coming back to work from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Alberto, from Barcelona, said it’s often too hot during breaks in Spain to do anything. That’s why they resort to naps, and it’s also a way for them to stay alert for work in the evening.

 

Mark and Tomomi both said that Vietnamese companies should not ban their employees from taking naps at the office out of fear that the culture may “shock foreign partners and affect company image.” The most important thing is for people to wake up on time and maintain their productivity in the afternoon, they agreed.

 

Scott, a 50-year-old manager from the U.S., said Western working culture focuses too much on maximizing working time and cutting noon breaks.”I love the work culture here,” he said, adding that he can always take quick naps without fear of judgment in Vietnam.

 

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnam-s-siesta-culture-eye-opening-for-foreigners-4607443.html

WORD BANK

colleague /ˈkɒl.iːɡ/ [A2] (n): đồng nghiệp

mattress /ˈmæt.rəs/ (n): nệm

snooze /snuːz/ (n): giấc ngủ ngắn

construction /kənˈstrʌk.ʃən/ [B2] (n): xây dựng

make use of sth (idiom): tận dụng cái gì

strange /streɪndʒ/ [A2] (adj): kỳ lạ

take a nap (idiom): chợp mắt

get some shut-eye (phrase): chợp mắt

siesta /siˈes.tə/ (n): giấc ngủ trưa (ở xứ nóng)

commonplace /ˈkɒm.ən.pleɪs/ (adj): không có gì xa lạ

culture /ˈkʌl.tʃər/ [B1] (n): văn hóa

try sth out (PhrV): thử cái gì

pull an all-nighter (idiom): thức trắng

alert /əˈlɜːt/ [C1] (adj): tỉnh táo

issue /ˈɪʃ.uː/ [B1] (n): vấn đề

stay up late (collo): thức khuya

make up for sth [B2] (PhrV): bù đắp cho cái gì

groggy /ˈɡrɒɡ.i/ (adj): uể oải

foreigner /ˈfɒr.ə.nər/ [B1] (n): người nước ngoài

unique /juːˈniːk/ [B2] (adj): lạ thường

schedule /ˈʃedʒ.uːl/ [B2] (v): sắp xếp (công việc cho khoảng thời gian nào đó)

shift /ʃɪft/ (n): ca làm việc

resort to sth [C2] (PhrV): phải làm cái gì vì không còn cách khác

maintain (v): duy trì

productivity /ˌprɒd.ʌkˈtɪv.ə.ti/ [C1] (n): năng suất làm việc

maximize /ˈmæk.sɪ.maɪz/ [C2] (v): tối đa hóa

judgment /ˈdʒʌdʒmənt/ [B2] (n): sự đánh giá


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