Vietnam Culture & Language
The Culture of Vietnam which is the agricultural civilization based on the wet rice cultivating is one of the oldest of such in the Asia Pacific region. In terms of prehistory, most Vietnamese historians consider the ancient Dong Son culture to be one of the defining aspects of early Vietnamese civilization.
- Long periods of domination and interaction with its northern neighbor, China, has resulted in Vietnam's historic inclusion as part of the East Asian Cultural Sphere, known widely as Chinese Cultural Sphere. Historically, passing the imperial Mandarin exams was the only means for Vietnamese people to socially advance themselves.
- Following independence from China in the 10th century AD, Vietnam began a southward expansion that saw the annexation of territories formerly belonging to the Champa civilization (now Central Vietnam) and parts of the Khmer empire (today southern Vietnam) which resulted in minor regional variances in Vietnam's culture due to exposure to these different groups.
- During French colonial period, Vietnamese culture received merchant influences from the Europeans, including the spread of Catholicism and the adoption of Latin alphabet—to this day, Vietnam is the only non-island nation of Indochina which uses the Latin alphabet to write the national language. travel vietnam.
- In the socialist era, the cultural life of Vietnam has been deeply influenced by government-controlled media and the cultural influences of socialist programs. For many decades, foreign cultural influences were shunned and emphasis placed on appreciating and sharing the culture of communist nations such as the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and others. Since the 1990s, Vietnam has seen a greater re-exposure to Asian, European and American culture and media.
- The people of Vietnam speak Vietnamese as a native language. In its early history, Vietnamese writing used Chinese characters. In the 13th century, the Vietnamese developed their own set of characters called Chữ nôm. The celebrated epic Đoạn trường tân thanh (Truyện Kiều or The Tale of Kieu) by Nguyễn Du was written in Chữ nôm.
- During the French colonial period, Quốc ngữ, the romanized Vietnamese alphabet used for spoken Vietnamese, which was developed in 17th century by Jesuit Alexandre De Rhodes and several other Catholic missionaries, became popular and brought literacy to the masses.
- Various other languages are spoken by several minority groups in Vietnam. The most common of these are Tày, Mường, Khmer, Chinese, Nùng, and H'Mông.
- The French language, a legacy of colonial rule, is still spoken by some older Vietnamese as a second language, but is losing its popularity. Vietnam is also a full member of the Francophonie. Russian — and to a much lesser extent German, Czech, or Polish — is sometimes known among those whose families had ties with the Soviet bloc.
- In recent years, English is becoming more popular as a second language. English study is obligatory in most schools. Chinese and Japanese have also become more popular.