Much of the population resides in Ho Chi Minh City and the capital city of Hanoi.
Climate is tropical in the south and monsoonal in the north.
Mountains in the north, highlands in the central area, and low, flat deltas in the south and northern areas.
Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City
Food Soy sauce, fish sauce, noodles and rice are staples of the Vietnamese diet. Vegetables, seafood, and pork are common in Vietnamese cuisine.
Dress Typical clothing for both sexes consists of slacks and a casual knit or cotton shirt. The nónlá(conical leaf hat) is frequently used for protection from the sun. The áodàiis an example of traditional Vietnamese clothing that is still worn today. A white áodài is a common uniform for school girls.
Language Vietnamese is monosyllabic: every syllable is a word. Vietnamese is a tonal language. A word can have up to six meanings, depending on in which tone it is said. Some common words in Vietnamese: Hello Xinchào (seen TSAU) Good-bye Tam biêt (TOM BEE-yet) Please Xin (seen) Thank you Cámón (come ON) Yes Vâng (vong) No Không (kong)
Holidays & Traditions There are 11 major lunar holidays (tet) in Vietnam. The most important holiday is the Lunar New Year (Tet Nguyen Dan). Everyone celebrates their birthday on this day. April 30th is Liberation Day, which commemorates the 1975 defeat of South Vietnam. September 2nd is National Day, the day Ho Chi Minh declared independence.
Economy Many Vietnamese farm rice for a living. Main exports include rice, seafood, shoes & clothing, crude oil, & coffee. The Vietnamese economy suffered as a result of years of war and the fall of the Soviet Union. Since 2001 Vietnam’s economic situation has improved, particularly after joining the WTO in 1997. Vietnamese dong
Games, Music, & Dance Soccer, volleyball, badminton, tennis & table tennis are popular sports. Martial arts such as tai kwon do, wushu, and tai chi are often seen as well. Traditional music includes Ca Tru, CaiLuong, and Hat Van. Traditional dances include the fan dance and the hat dance. (Click images below to view.)
History Vietnam was under Chinese rule from 200 BC to 939 AD. As a result, Vietnamese culture resembles Chinese culture in many ways. The French ruled Vietnam from 1883 to 1940. They introduced the Vietnamese to European schooling and customs. In 1954, Vietnam was divided into two parts: Communist North Vietnam and a republic in South Vietnam. In 1959, conflict between the two halves of Vietnam led to the beginning of the Vietnam War. In an attempt to stop the spread of Communism, the U.S entered the war in 1965. Many soldiers died on both sides, causing many people in America to protest the war. The U.S. finally signed a peace accord with Vietnam in 1973. South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam in 1975. The two united in 1976 under Communist leadership. In 1978 Vietnam invaded neighboring Cambodia, which caused tension between Vietnam and many other countries and led to a halt in business dealings between the countries. This caused serious economic issues for Vietnam. The U.S. finally lifted its ban on trade with Vietnam in 1994.
Famous People TrungTrac(1st Century) – Along with her sister, led a successful revolt against the Chinese Han Dynasty. Still considered a powerful female role model. Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) – Founding member of the Indochinese Communist Party. First president of North Vietnam. Declared independence for Vietnam in 1945, after Japan’s defeat in WWII. Tran HieuNgan (1974-) – Tae Kwon Do medalist. Won Vietnam’s first Olympic medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Find out about more famous Vietnamese people.