Societal Situation in Hue, Vietnam
There are several main parts of a social lifestyle that will be covered in the report that follows. Social lifestyle of a place can be broken down into the following:
- Cost and Standard of Living
Financial Status and Cost of Living
Regarding the financial status of the people in Hue, the people in Hue generally seem to be rather poor. However, that is measured by our standard. The standard of living over in Hue is also lower and the cost of living is also significantly lower than that in Singapore. However, this lack of financial stability is a key factor is affecting the number of Vietnamese that can go overseas to universities to study. This is one of the main reasons as to why many Vietnamese stop their education at only the Junior College level. These are two examples of the differences in living cost in Vietnam and Singapore.
- The cost of an hour in a LAN shop, or an internet cafe is about $1.50 an hour in Singapore, but only about 3000 dong, or 30 cents an hour in Hue.
- A typical Singaporean kid would get about five dollars a day in secondary school, but a Vietnamese student would be considered well off just to have 5000 dong, 50 cents a day.
From these two examples alone, we can easily see the difference in the cost of living in Vietnam and Singapore.
Standard of Living and Housing
Housing conditions in Hue is not very high. On the average, there are many people still living in very dilapidated houses. There are, of course, some people living in houses that are in good condition. However, these are only in cases where the owners are wealthier. The majority do not have such a luxury. Standard of living is of course associated with the housing conditions in Hue.
- Tap water in Hue is not potable, not drinkable.
- Families purchase large tanks of water to drink from.
Regarding the transport system in Hue, it is really rather disorganized. For one, there is no real public transport system other than taxis which are relatively expensive. There seem to be no buses nor train systems other than a single train track that seems to carry cargo rather than passengers. The most common mode of transport therefore is private transport, mostly by either bicycles or by motor cycles. Cars are a rare sight.
The type of food that is commonly eaten in Hue is very similar to the type of food that Singaporeans are used to eating. Rice and noodles are their main staples. As with the cost of living, the cost of food is also low.
- A full meal for a single person would cost about 20000 dong, about two dollars.
Food for home meals is usually acquired from the wet markets. There are very few supermarkets in Hue and only the more financially stable can afford to purchase their food from there.
The environment is not too clean. For one, there is an obvious pollution level in the air probably due to the exhaust of the motor cycles. It could be perhaps due to the lack of newer technologies that help in reducing the emissions of these vehicles. Another factor could be that the roads are usually just dirt and the people commuting cause the dirt to be thrown up into the air.
The people that live in Hue have a very different lifestyle in comparison to Singaporeans. For one, they have much more time together with their families and have a much slower pace of life.
- Siesta is lunchtime in Hue when all the members of the family try to return home for lunch together.
- During this time, which is from around noon to 1.30pm, school stops and work is suspended, for all to return home for lunch and a nap if time permits.
It is very different from the rushed lunch that all Singaporeans have.