THE PEOPLES OF VIETNAM

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THE PEOPLES OF VIETNAM

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THE PEOPLES OF VIETNAM

With a population of about 86 million people (2009 census), Vietnam comprises 54 ethnic groups: the Viet (Kinh) and 53 minority groups. Many of these include numerous local groups. The language of ethnic groups in Vietnam is also diverse with five linguistic families:
- Austroasiatic
- Thai - Kadai
- Hmong - Yao
- Sino - Tibetan
- Austronesian

Each ethnic group has its own cultural identity while still sharing certain similarities. The culture of the ethnic groups is a continuity of tradition, of mutual exchanges and mutual influences across and within national borders but also regionally, especially the influence of China, India, and Southeast Asia. Today with globalization, western cultural factors are being incorporated.

Traditionally, most of the groups rely on wet rice agriculture or swidden farming, combined with raising poultry, collecting, hunting, and fishing; handicrafts (weaving, forging, making pottery, carpentry) and on commerce of different levels. Most ethnic groups consider the village as the most important social unit; however, village organization, house styles, family, society and religious traditions are diverse. Beliefs of spirituality, still popular, are the basis for many ritual activities of the majority of ethnic people. Practicing Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam ... plays an important role for many parts of the population. At present, peoples are at different levels on the way of developing modern life and participating in international integration.

54 ethnic groups of Vietnam are introduced in the permanent exhibitions in the "Bronze Drum" Building in twelve following consecutive spaces:

1. Introduction
2. Viet
3. Muong, Tho, Chut
4. Tay-Thai Group
5. Kadai Group
6. Hmong-Yao Group
7. Sino-Tibetan Group
8. Northern Mon-Khmer
9. Truong Son Range - Central Highlands Mon-Khmer
10. Austronesian
11. Cham, Hoa, Khmer
12. Cultural exchange


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