7 things Donald Trump definitely shouldn't do while in Vietnam
Donald Trump will touch down in Vietnam on Friday, following a flurry of diplomatic trips across Asia including Japan, South Korea and China and the Philippines.
As with any foreign dignitary visiting a state, there are a number of things the US President should avoid doing to ensure the trip goes well.
Here are seven top tips:
1. Don’t get angry
Losing your temper is considered a sign of weakness, so if Trump wants to achieve anything, he’d better avoid getting aggressive or using gestures such as putting his hands in his pockets or placing his hand on his hips.
2. Don’t leave your shoes on
Like in many parts of Asia, the Vietnamese often prefer visitors to remove their shoes at the threshold of someone’s home and most temples as a sign of respect. It’s also about cleanliness – tracking dirt through someone’s home is hardly polite.
3. Don’t point or beckon with a finger
Using other large gestures is also considered impolite. Trump should instead gesture towards people using his entire hand facing down if he really has to, although this can also be misconstrued.
4. … Or with your feet
(gpointstudio/ Getty Images/PA)
If Trump chooses to cross his legs during meetings or at events, he should be very careful about where he points his feet. Pointing at someone with the soles of your feet indicates you think that person is below you in status.
5. Don’t pat anyone on the back or touch their head
Patting people on the back is considered disrespectful.
The head is the most symbolic part of the body, so touching someone’s head or shoulders is quite invasive.
6. Do not cross fingers
It may be considered a way of wishing for luck in the UK and the US, but crossing your fingers in Vietnam is an obscene gesture.
7. Do not give an inappropriate gift
Bringing a gift is customary for visiting dignitaries all over the world. However, deep thought must be put into such a gift.
The American delegation should not give handkerchiefs as these are considered to be symbols of sombre farewell. Other items to be avoided are anything black (the colour symbolises death), yellow flowers or chrysanthemums.
A better bet is a useful gift. Whatever they buy should be wrapped in colourful paper.