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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Vietnam Life

    Thousands of years ago, people moved into the Vietnam area from the north and from islands to the south. The Vietnamese people probably developed out of these two groups. Today, they make up almost 90 per cent of Vietnam's population. Tay, Thai, Chinese, and Khmer are the largest minority groups in Vietnam.     
Of Viet-Muong origin, the Vietnamese have slim body build, black hair, and brown or black eyes. Over seventy million people of 54 ethnic groups live in harmony in Vietnam territory.
The largest group is Viet or Kinh accounting for 80% of the whole population. The Vietnamese inherit an age-old civilization which dated back to 4000 years as proved in various scientific and archaeological researches.

    Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. The people speak three major dialects (local forms) of Vietnamese--northern, central, and southern. But these dialects differ little from one another. Many members of the country's minority groups speak Vietnamese in addition to their own languages.   
 In spite of 1000 years being dominated by Chinese, the Vietnamese have their own language. They modified Chinese characters once. Since 1900 they absorbed the Latin system through the Western missionaries. Vietnamese is a monosyllabic language.
Each sound has a meaning. English, French and Japanese can be communicated in many shops, restaurants, hotels and resorts.
Many Vietnamese people, especially those living in the cities, can also speak English, French, Chinese, or Russian.

    The Communist leaders of Vietnam discourage all religious practices. Most of the Vietnamese people who practise a religion are Buddhists.
There are no national religions. However Buddhism is relatively popular in Vietnam. Some Catholic churches and Buddhist pagodas are attractive to tourists.
In the South there is a special religion namely Caodaism, a mixture of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism and Worship of Genie. Majority of Vietnamese practise the ancestral worship.
Two small religious groups--the Hoa Hao and the Cao Dai--have developed since 1920 in the south. Hoa Hao is closely related to Buddhism. Cao Dai combines certain beliefs of Taoism and Buddhism with those of several other religions.



Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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