Why Some Schools In Vietnam Give Students 2 Hours For Lunch

When most people think of Vietnamese cuisine, bánh mì sandwiches and Vietnamese iced coffee often come to mind. But like most countries, Vietnamese culture extends well beyond a few notable recipes. Visitors can gaze at vibrantly green rice fields, kayak to nearby islands, and explore mysterious caves (via Lonely Planet). Locals may, on occasion, partake in such activities, but for the most part, life revolves around working in agriculture, manufacturing, or wholesale trade, according to Statista. For those who aren't old enough to work, schooling takes up the majority of the day.

iTour Vietnam states that just like the school system in the United States, students in Vietnam attend classes from September to May, with a three-month holiday break during the summer months. A Monday through Friday schedule is typical, though some students attend classes on Saturday mornings. One of the biggest differences between the American and Vietnamese school systems lies in the school hours, as students are often given a two-hour lunch break. 

Many schools don't serve lunch

The Takeout states that, for the most part, the only schools able to afford to serve lunch to students are those that are located in major cities. For students attending schools in small towns, lunch isn't served due to costs, so students go home to eat. Thus, the two-hour window allows for enough time to trek home, eat a meal, and head back to class.

According to iTour Vietnam, school starts at 7 in the morning. Lunch occurs around 11 o'clock, and after the break, classes continue until the afternoon. A similar schedule applies to those in the workforce, reports iTour Vietnam, and an early work day often calls for a big lunch. These longer lunch breaks also provide opportunities to mingle with friends, families, and coworkers. In contrast to fast American lunch breaks, long lunch gaps are a recognized and accepted part of Vietnamese culture.