At left: Map of Vietnam. Center: A woman in the attire of the Hmong people. At right: a woman in an áo dài, a part of traditional Viet attire.
Vietnam is a beautiful country located in the heart of Southeast Asia. The country is divided into three regions, North Vietnam, Central Vietnam, and South Vietnam. Vietnam has a tropical climate in the south and a subtropical climate in the north, and both are impacted by monsoons.
North Vietnam is characterized by a hot and humid dry season from mid-October to mid-September as well as a warm and dry season mid-October to mid-March with two short transition periods. In the south, the seasons come later and in Central Vietnam rainfall is heaviest between September and January when the coast is subject to tropical storms.
There are about 60 ethnic groups in Vietnam including the Viet, Champa, H’Mong and Khmer people. Vietnam’s diversity of people live by the common values that include a love of family, doing good, a love of learning, and respect for other people, especially elders. These beliefs are closely interrelated and the most essential part of the value system is the family.
Vietnam is considered a part of the East Asian Cultural Sphere, and there are many cultural similarities with other East Asian cultures, such as eating with chopsticks. Vietnam is also known for its rich tradition of dance and music. Vietnamese cuisine is enjoyed around the world. It exhibits great diversity and is classified into three primary categories, including the north, south, and central regions of the country. Rice is a delicious part of all meals complimented by the flavors of the food that accompany it, ranging from spicy to sweet. Vegetables, soy sauce, fish sauce, mint, and basil are favorite ingredients with many types of noodles included to create savory meals.
Faith beliefs in Vietnam are many and can include Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Catholicism. Three of the most notable festivals in Vietnam are the Mid-autumn lantern festival, Buddha’s Birthday, and the Lunar New Year. Other noteworthy cultural influences include a well-developed tradition of martial arts and literature that includes romanticism to realism.
Murray, Geoffrey, and Thu Hang Lê . Vietnam – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture. Kuperard, 2016.
Engelbach, Ben. Vietnam: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette. Marshall Cavendish International, 2017.
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