Saturday, 18 Nov 2017

Hanoi with business culture

Updated at Thursday, 13 Jul 2017, 10:00
The Hanoitimes - At the current time, when street vending has mingled with various shops in crowded streets, there still exist many infamous food stores in Hanoi that have no manners or respects for customers. Many people suspect that despite various attempts to build a behavioral culture and commercial civilization, Hanoi does not really have a business culture.
Hide under many little things

Culture is not a tangible picture that can be painted today and shine tomorrow. The business culture of the Hanoians has concretized clearly, even though there are some dissatisfactions. 
With the unique characteristics of each civic area, the Hanoians have formed their own social and cultural lifestyles. In particular, the “Construction of Behavioral Culture for the Old Street citizens” project has been introduced to the Old Street of Hoan Kiem district, with the hope to serve tourists and establish commercial civilization. 

Tourists at a souvenir shop in Hang Gai Street.
Tourists at a souvenir shop in Hang Gai Street.
Since the initiation of the project (December 2008), residents of the Old Street have changed their business and communication lifestyles. The content of the campaign is to build a behavioral culture encapsulates in five standards: Thoroughly completion of the civic duties; communications in a civilized manner; maintenance of public security and the environment; neat and polite dressing; commercial civilization. Those little things have gradually intertwined in people’s daily lives, reducing the conflicts between customers and sellers. Products do not flood the sidewalks anymore. The situation of street vendors to pressure tourists also decreases. In addition, citizens in the Old Street have specific requirements for businesses to not sell fake goods or charge a ridiculous price. Shops on walking streets such as Hang Buom, Ma May, Ta Hien, Dao Duy Tu, Luong Ngoc Quyen, Hang Giay, etc. are encouraged to decorate their shops according to standards. They are forbid from dominating the sidewalks or roads. Many shop owners use sidewalks to operate their shops admit that they are always reminded to act politely to please customers. 

Purchasing and selling activities still dominate 36 street vendors. However, the manners of the past have conformed to the standards nowadays. Commercial civilization or business culture have been established from little things of daily lives. This is the traditional color of Hanoi. 

Deeply ingrained

Activities such as overpricing or pressuring tourists have not completely disappeared. Shops have not totally removed themselves from the sidewalks. Indeed, Hanoi is striving to limit fake or low-qualitied goods from being sold. In addition, the City is trying to control food street vendors to ensure food safety. Right in the Old Street area, many taxis and hotels still overprice foreign tourists. Various households do not voluntarily conform to urban order, environmental sanitation or business culture. However, the construction of business culture is similar to the journey establishing a habit for urban citizens. The process cannot last for merely a day or two but happens in a slow but firm manner.

An example is Hoi An, a city on Vietnam’s central coast known to tourists for its well-preserved Ancient Town. Some suggest Hanoi learning from the model “Civilized place of business” and street vendors planning to apply in the Old Quarters. The model is considered as a base to develop the civilized lifestyle in commercial – service, including the improvement of product quality and food safety. Despite being a part of cultural fabric of Vietnam, it is important for streets vendors to reduce case of persistent selling and customer stalking to really transform into a unique aspects of Hanoi.

Ngoc Thuy
Phu Gia -
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