(VOVworld) – For Vietnamese, family meals are a time for family reunions. They help not only form family traditions and guarantee family happiness, maintain order and discipline, but also create the national cultural identity.
|Vietnam’s traditional meals are the string to link family members. (Photo: Xuan Thieu)
Having married each other for almost a decade, Nguyen Thu Trang and her husband from Hanoi’s outlying district of Thanh Tri have maintained at least a meal a day with the attendance of all family members.
The couple is at work from morning till late evening while their two children are day-boarders. So either breakfasts or dinners are the happiest time when they can stay together to exchange their stories during the day.
Trang said for her and many other women, “cooking a delicious meal for the family is happiness, a way to express the love of women for their husbands and children. At weekend I always cook the favorite dishes ò my husband and children or teach my daughter to cook traditional food to create a bond of affection and care among members.”
Nguyen Thuy Anh of Nam Dinh province said in modern life when everybody spends most of their time for work, there will surely be less time for family. But if family members have a sense of nurturing family life, cozy meals can still be maintained.
According to Ms. Thuy Anh, “the women should get other members together for daily meals at least dinner. It’s when all people in the family can share their emotion, exchange works, and better understand each other toward building a happy family.”
Phan Thi Hue of district 3 in Ho Chi Minh City said every day despite how busy she is, Hue goes to the market and does her own cooking to the taste of all family members.
Hue told sometimes “the little children ask for boiled eggs but my husband likes fish, especially sweet and sour fish soup. In that case, I often have to satisfy my children.”
|A tray of traditional Vietnamese food always includes pickled eggplant
Pham Thi Thuy, an MA of sociology and a psychotherapist, said a family meal signals if a family is happy or not, underlining the importance of “arranging time for a family meal. Sometimes a husband, children, or even a housemaid can prepare a supper. But the most important thing is all members should sit around the table to enjoy the dinner together.”
A happy family is a place where all members always take care of each other from the smallest and simplest thing. Do Vu who lives in Hanoi complained that it’s hard to gather all in three meals a day.
He said “for each Vietnamese family, preparing a family meal to unite grandparents, parents, and children after a workday is a beautiful traditional identity. It’s also a good way to keep a family happy. Young couples should uphold family meals regularly, particularly when they have children.”
A family meal is a mirror reflecting the happiness of a family.