Vietnamese culture is among the oldest in the world, having evolved over nearly four thousand years. Some claim that Vietnamese culture is influenced by Chinese culture, but research shows that Vietnamese culture has distinct characteristics and a parallel development to Chinese culture. Vietnam’s history begins with the Trieu, Dinh, Ly, Tran, and Le Dynasties. Around the same time as the Chinese dynasties of Han, Duong, Tong, and Nguyen.
In accordance with scholarly sources, the Culture of Vietnam originally came during the Bronze Age from ancient Nam Viet, an old empire of Giao Chi people who have shared characteristics of Han Chinese cultures, and the ancient Dong Son Culture, regarded one of the most crucial progenitors of its indigenous culture. In 111 BC, Northern evaders occupied Nam Viet, resulting in the first Chinese domination of Vietnam lasting over a thousand years and introducing Chinese influences into Vietnamese culture in terms of Confucian philosophy, leadership, and the arts.
Gained independence from the Chinese in the 10th century, consecutive Vietnamese empire dynasties flourished as the nation decided to embark on a southern widening that acceded lands of the Champa and Khmer civilizations, resulting in regional variations in Vietnam’s modern society. During the French colonial period in the mid-nineteenth century, Vietnamese culture assimilated European influences such as architecture, Catholicism, and the adoption of the Latin alphabet, which resulted in the creation of the new official writing system that altered the previous Chinese characters and Nom story lines.
Following the departure of the French, Vietnamese culture was characterized by government-controlled propaganda emphasizing the importance of cultural exchanges with other communist countries such as the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba. Having followed the 1986 reform, Vietnam has continuously absorbed various Asian, European, and American cultural influences. Vietnamese culture, which is part of the East Asian cultural sphere, has distinctive features such as progenitor deification and worship, appreciate for family and community norms, and labor work religious belief. Four holy animals are important cultural symbols: dragons, turtles, phoenixes, and unicorns. The national blossom is lotus, and bamboo is the most common plant in Vietnam.
1. Vietnamese Culture Ethnic Group
Vietnam is a multiracial nation with over fifty different ethnicities (54 Totally). Each one has its own language, way of life, and traditional culture. Several of the hillside ethnicities are collectively termed as Montagnard or Degar in the West.
The largest ethnic groups are: Kinh (Viet) 85.7%, Tay 1.9%, Tai Ethnic 1.8%, Mường 1.5%, Khmer Krom 1.5%, Hmong 1.2%, Nung 1.1%, Hoa 1%, with all others comprising the remaining 4.3% (2009 census). The Vietnamese has term for ethnic group (literally “minority people”). One distinctive feature of highland ethnic minority groups in Vietnam is that they are colorfully attired whether at home, in the farm, traveling or in their home town.
Many ethnic groups elsewhere such as southern part of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, China, Papua New Guinea, and many other countries do not wear attractive clothes while engaged in their day-to-day activities. The clothing of one group is quite different from that of other groups and adds color to the social landscape. When you travel in Vietnam, you will meet and even talk to many of them. In the trip to Sapa, you may see dozens of them or some province as Lai Chau has 20 ethnic groups ( more than 3 hundreds thousand habitats). Dak Lak province has most in Vietnam with 47 ethnic groups.
2. Vietnamese Social Belief and Habits
In Vietnam, family is very important. Individualism is valued over family and clan (dng h). Clan is the country’s most important social unit, and each clan has a patriarch who leads the clan and a clan altar. Even nowadays, clan members living together in dwellings is a common practice in some parts of the country. It is also not uncommon for three to four members of the same family to live in the same house. Group members are blood relatives and frequently name their villages after their clan names. Clan members’ deaths are usually commemorated by all clan members and villagers.
Previously, weddings in Vietnam were primarily organized by parents, and people married at a young age. Nevertheless, things have changed dramatically in the years since Vietnam opened its doors to the rest of the world and tourism began to pick up in the early 1990s. Vietnamese youth have more freedom in terms of selecting the time and companion for their marriage. Weddings are still mostly conducted in the conventional behavior complete with elaborate rituals and ceremonies. The wedding date was specifically selected by the Feng Shui master or the most highly regarded man in the Clan.
In Vietnam, the conventional funeral ceremony is also quite sophisticated and lengthy. The deceased’s body is washed with fragrant water and meticulously dressed in special clothing. There is a lot of mourning that follows, and each tribe and location has a bit distinct ceremony. Subsequently, the body will indeed be buried, which is the most common method. People in some areas have recently chosen cremation over burial. Only one case of frozen remains and several cases of Monks’ bodies were kept within the statues…
Because men and women cannot touch hand if they are not husband and wife, Vietnamese people do not hug when they meet. They say “Xin Chao,” which translates to “handshake between men.”
People in the city speak softly and quietly, whereas people from the countryside or the sea speak loudly. They work on farms or on the ocean, and they have to speak more loudly than the breeze or the waves.
3. Vietnamese Culture Cuisine
Food in Vietnam is healthy and fresh, and it is becoming increasingly popular around the world. It is diverse, but it can be divided into three primary regions based on location: the north, south, and central regions of the country. Many different types of noodles and noodle soups, as well as various types of spring rolls, are popular here. It is preferable to use less oil and more fresh vegetables. Popular ingredients include soy sauce, fish sauce, mint, and basil. Rice is the main food and is eaten three times a day. Vietnamese cuisine has a wide range of flavors, from spicy and sour to sweet. The Noodle Soup, which originated in North Vietnam, is a well-known Vietnamese dish that combines rice noodles with beef, chicken, fish, and seafood….
4. Vietnamese Culture Traditional Costumes
Each of Vietnam’s 54 tribes has its own traditional costume. The traditional dress of the Vietnamese people changed dramatically over time and was heavily influenced by the whims and fancies of the region’s rulers. Prior to the Nguyen dynasty, the prevalent people of the country had more freedom in choosing their clothing. Several restrictions were imposed on the type and colors of clothing that could be worn by the common people of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty.