During the sweltering summer months in Hanoi, it’s very common to see men posing with their t-shirts or singlets rolled up, more often than not to reveal quite a bulging stomach. In China, it’s called a Beijing Bikini. We’re not sure if it has a name in Vietnam. Let us know if you’ve heard one.
So why don’t these guys simply take off their shirts? Because walking or lounging around in public without a shirt is considered uncouth or “nhà quê” (a Vietnamese word that means rural and uncivilized – use it carefully, because it is usually an insult to tack this adjective onto a sentence!)