Vietnamese culture is a millennia culmination of labouring, innovation, and preservation of 54 ethnic groups. Each ethnic group in Vietnam has its own distinct identity, which unifies the country’s many cultures. It contains positive messages about the way Vietnamese people live and interact with their environment, including the sea, mountains, and forests.

Our culture exemplifies the oneness of a nation’s culture and stands firmly against cultural coercion and prejudice amongst nations. Although several ethnic groups have migrated into Vietnamese territory throughout different historical periods with thousands years of residence or recent habitation, they stay close-knit and build a strong bond since they all have a similar remembrance of their ancestors.

54 dân tộc anh em trên dải đất hình chữ S Việt Nam

Vietnam was a sizable cultural group being formed and prospered from 1000 BC until the first century AD, according to historical records. It is a highly developed culture with Southeast Asian and rice paddy civilization traits that belongs to the Dong Son cultural community.

Van Lang-Au Lac’s cultural era, the early Bronze Age (about the year 3000 to the end of the first millennium BC), left traces of Vietnamese history and culture as well as the beginnings of nation-building and defense of the 18 Hung Kings’ realm.

Many researchers have split Vietnamese culture into six distinct periods over the country’s history: Prehistoric, Van Lang-Au Lac, Anti-Chinese domination, Dai Viet, Dai Nam, and finally Modern period. From these six periods, we divide it into three primary cultural classes: the cultural indigenous, the cultural interaction with China, and the cultural interchange with the West.

In spite of going through Chinese millennial dominance, the great vitality of the native cultural roots has not only prevented Vietnamese culture from being lost or assimilated to other cultures but it has also enriched the culture.

Văn hóa Việt Nam tổng hòa 3 yếu tố văn hóa núi, văn hóa đồng bằng và văn hóa biển


54 ethnic groups in Vietnam belong to 8 language groups: Viet – Muong, Mon – Khmer, Tay-Thai, Hmong – Mien, Malay – Polynesian, Tibetan – Burmese, Han and Ka Dai.

The Viet-Muong (Vietic) laguage is spoken widely by 4 ethnicities: Kinh, Mường, Tho, Chứt (Cheut) whose livelihoods depend on rice cultivation and fishing. There are practices of honoring ancestors in their spiritual life and high-level traditional crafts.

The Mon-Khmer (Austroasiastic) language is spoken by 21 ethnicities: Bahnar, Brau, Bru, Chơ Ro, Co, Koho, Cơ Tu, Giẻ Triêng, H’re, Kháng, Khmer, Khmu, Mạ, Mảng, Mnong, Ơ Đu, Rơ Măm, Ta Oi, Xinh-Mun, Sedang, Stieng. Their livelihood is commonly farming on fallow land using a big stick to poke in the land and then drop the seed. Mon – Khmer population have distinctive cultural traits such as the architecture of communal housing, Tay Nguyen longhouses, Khmer pagodas, knitted crafts, and community cultural events.

The Tay-Thai (Tai-Kadai, Tai) language is commonly spoken by 8 ethnicities: Bo Y, Giáy, La0, Lu, Nùng, San Chay, Tay, Thai (Tai Daeng, Tai Dón, Tai Dam). The majority of the population relies on rice farming in valleys, along rivers and streams. A system exists to move water by widening ditches directing water around obstacles, putting troughs, and living in stilted homes. The spiritual life is rich with several distinctive dances and melodies, and forging and weaving are developed with lovely and delicate items.

The Hmong-Mien language group has 3 ethnicities: H’mong, Dao, and Pa Then The Tibetan-Burmese language group has 6 ethnicities: Ha Nhi, La Hu, Phu La, Lo Lo, Cong, Si La. The Kadai language group has 4 ethnicities: Co Lao, La Chi, La Ha, Pu Peo. These ethnicities are skilled in terraced fields and shifting agriculture. Village fair is a cultural venue that amplify the highland culture, such as culinary tradition, costume culture, needlework, cloth printing, musical performances, and traditional dances.

The Malay – Polynesian language goup consists of 5 ethnicities, which are Cham, Chru, Rade, Jarai, Roglai with matriarchal culture mainly inhabit in the Central Highlands and the central coastal strip. The Chinese language group has 3 ethnicities, that are Hoa, Ngái, San Diu, residing in the north, central and south of Vietnam. Their culture is boldly patriarchal.

Vietnam’s culture is made of 7 distinctive cultural regions: the Northern Delta, the Northeast, the Northwest and the mountainous areas of the North Central, the North Central Coast, the Central Coast and the South Central Coast, Truong Son- Central Highland, Southern Vietnam. Each of these regions have its own unique traits blending to create unity and cultural diversity in Vietnam.


Each ethnic group in Vietnam has its own traits expressed through culinary culture, housing, customs, traditions, festivals, religious beliefs, social organizations, literature and art, clothes… These recognizable signs help them to understand each other. Among them, traditional clothes are a cultural symbol that vividly reflects the customs, beauty and identity of each ethnic group. Traditional clothes of these ethnic minorities associated with the long process of labor and creativity contain the artistic and historical values.

Each ethnic group’s clothing shows its own individuality via the forms and decorations. The way that women dress varies depending on their ethnicity. Costumes’ decorative designs eloquently depict the people, their culture, and their love of nature,… .They serve as the foundation for appreciating that ethnic woman’s boldness and inventiveness. The designs on the costumes have an impact on women’s preferences, emotions, and behaviors, providing joy and happiness to both work and life.

Trang phục truyền thống trong lễ cưới của người Dao Đỏ

The tangible and spiritual cultural artifacts associated with ethnic communities which reflect the identity of the ethnic groups are now being conserved and promoted. Each ethnic group’s distinctive cultural traits, such as customary dress, religious practices, festivals, and daily rituals, have contributed to the development of Vietnam’s distinctive culture. These traits are loved by foreigners, and they are both the pride of ethnic people and Vietnamese in general.

Hanita tổng hợp
(Nguồn: Thế Dương, Báo điện tử ĐCSVN)


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