Collection Description

Brief Culture Description

Culture Name

Vietnamese

Culture Description

The Vietnamese speak the Vietnamese language (a monosyllabic and tonal language of composite origin), and are the major ethnic group in Vietnam, a country south of China and east of Laos and Cambodia. The Vietnamese constitute more than 85 per cent of the population of Vietnam. A majority of Vietnamese still engage in agriculture although services and industry have become increasingly important to the economy.

Note

Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.

Region

Asia --Southeast Asia

Countries

Vietnam

OWC Code

AM11

Collection Information

Number of Documents

84

Note: Select the Collection Documents tab above to browse documents.

Number of Pages

12393

Collection Overview

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Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The AM11 Vietnamese file consists of 62 documents, 14 in English and 48 translations from the French. Documents in the file cover all three main areas culturally recognized by the Vietnamese as the Northern

(Bac Bo)

, Central

(Trung Bo)

, and Southern

(Nam Bo)

, regions, with Hanoi, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), serving as the main cities of each of the three regions. In a file of this size the cultural data are diverse, but generally the best overall coverage of Vietnamese ethnography will be found in: Gourou, 1936, no. l; Huard, 1990, no. 179; Cima, 1989, no. 187; and supplemented with brief summaries in: Landes, 1880, 1881, 1881, 1881, nos. 134-137; and in Luro, 1878, no. 65. In addition to the above, some of the other major ethnographic topics discussed in this file are: community studies in Langrand, 1945, no. 8; Hickey, 1964, no. 173; Kleinen, 1999, no. 174; Hendry, 1964, no. 176; and Luong, 1992, no. 178. Gender studies with the emphasis on women’s roles and status in Vietanmese society will be found in: Gentile-Duquesne, 1925, no. 47; Lusteguy, 1935, no. 61; Coughlin, 1950, no. 172; Gammeltoft, 2001, no. 177; and Luong, 1989, no. 182. Law and legal norms are emphasized in: Dang, 1933, no. 45; Gentile-Duquesne, 1925, no. 47; Nguyen, 1932, no. 58; Chau-Thanh-Kien, 1940, no. 74; Aubaret, 1865, no. 93; and Jeanselme, 1906, no. 98. Economics are discussed in: Hendry, 1964, no. 176; Malarney, 1998, no. 185; Cosslett, 1989, no. 190; Chau-Thanh-Kien, 1940, no. 74; and Dumarest, 1935, no. 49, Dumoutier, 1907, 1897, nos. 106 and 131; Nguyen, 1930, no. 133; Cadiere, 1915, 1929, nos. 139 and 146; Tran-Nuong Han, 1882, no. 161; Kleinen, 1999, no. 174; and Rambo, 1982, no. 175, all deal with different features of Vietnamese religion. Information on the French colonial period in Vietnam, although touched on to some extent in many of the studies in this file, is given specific attention in: Thompson, 1937, no. 7; Bonhomme, 1931, no. 43: Dumarest, 1935, no. 49; and Rouilly, 1929, no. 60. Medicine and medical care are topics discussed in: Jeanselme, 1906, no. 98; Gammeltoft, 2001, no. 177; and Ladinsky, 1987, no. 186. Discussions on social change occur frequently throughout the file but are given special attention in: Dang, 1950, no. 64; Hickey, 1964, no. 173; Kleinen, 1999, no. 174; Luong, 1992, no. 178; and Kerkvliet, 1995, no. 181. Data on politics and political development are found in: Hammer, 1947, 1951, nos. 38 and 73; Michaud, 1949, no. 39, and Cima, 1989, no. 191.

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in the file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

This culture summary is a revised version of the article “Vietnamese” by Neil Jamieson, in the Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Vol. 5, East and Southeast Asia, 1993. Paul Hockings, ed. Boston, Mass.: G. K. Hall & Co. Information on economy, demography, marriage, political organization and religion was updated in February, 2009 by Carol Ember with guidance from Neil Jamieson. The synopsis and indexing notes were written by John Beierle in March 2006.

Overview by

John Beierle

Collection Indexing Notes

Association of Elderly Pagoda Women – use "CONGREGATIONS (794)"

Bo (Dao) – province – use "PROVINCES (635)"

Bonzes – Buddhist monks – use "PROPHETS AND ASCETICS (792)"

Brevets – royal awards – use "STATUS, ROLE, AND PRESTIGE (554)”

Brigade – teams of cooperative work groups within a commune –- use "COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATION (474)" with "MUTUAL AID (476)"

Cadre – use "SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND GROUPS (571)" and/or "POLITICAL PARTIES (665)"

Canton ( Tong) -- a political unit consisting of several villages all headed by a chief – use "TOWNS (632)", sometimes with "DISTRICTS (634)"

Commanderies – use "TERRITORIAL HIERARCHY (631)"

Communes – use "COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATION (474)"

Corvee – labor as a form of taxes – use “PUBLIC WORKS (653)" with

"LABOR RELATIONS (466)"

Cuu quoc – national salvation associations – use "PRIVATE WELFARE AGENCIES (747)"

Dinh – communal house –use "PUBLIC STRUCTURES (344)", and/or RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURES (346)" (depending on context)

Doi – housing clusters of former production teams in a village (see also Brigade) – use "COMMUNITY STRUCTURE (621)", “COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATION (474)" with MUTUAL AID (476)"

Fatherland Front, The – an organization set up by the Communist Party in 1954 - use "POLITICAL PARTIES (665)" with "SODALITIES (575)", and/or "COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATION (474)",

(depending on context)

Ngoi Kinh – a clairvoyant – use “REVELATION AND DIVINATION (787)" with "MAGICIANS AND DIVINERS (791)"

Duyen – fate - use "LUCK AND CHANCE (777)"

Giap – territorial and voluntary associations; essentially a mutual aid society - use "SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND GROUPS (571)", possibly with "SODALITIES (575)" and/or "LINEAGES (613)"

Ho (Nha) – households - use "HOUSEHOLD (592)

Ho Bo Hau – an elderly men’s association – use "SODALITIES (575)", with "AGE STRATIFICATION (561)"

Ho Gia Dinh – the nuclear family – "NUCLEAR FAMILY (594)"

Hoi Dong Hao Muc – councils or notables or village elders – use "COUNCILS (623)"

Hoi Dong Toc Bieu – the Council of Lineage Representatives – use "COUNCILS (623)", with "LINEAGES (613)"

Huong-Hoa – worship endowment; family worship property – use "CULT OF THE DEAD (769)" with "INHERITANCE (428)"

Huyen – district – use "DISTRICTS (634)"

Ly Truongs – village chiefs use - "COMMUNITY HEADS (622)"

Mandarins – civil and military officials – use "ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES (647)",

"STATUS, ROLE, AND PRESTIGE (554)" with "CLASSES (565)"

Ngoi Kinh – a clairvoyant – use "REVELATION AND DIVINATION (787)" with "MAGICIANS AND DIVINERS (791)"

Pagoda ( Chua) – a religious or memorial structure - use "RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURES (346)" with “SACRED OBJECTS AND PLACES (778)"

Peoples General Committee – use "COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATION (474)", with "POLITICAL PARTIES (665)"

Phien (or Phe) – voluntary organizations based largely on age – use "SODALITIES (575)"

Prefecture – use "PROVINCES (635)"

Royal dynasties – use "CHIEF EXECUTIVE (643)" with "TRADITIONAL HISTORY (173)"

Thay Cung – the village priest – use "PRIESTHOOD (793)"

Thay Phap – Doctor of Magic – use "MAGICIANS AND DIVINERS (791)"

Thon (Lang) – village – use "COMMUNITY STRUCTURE (621)"

Work points – a unit of non-monetary payment for work done by collective members of the commune – use "WAGES AND SALARIES (465)"

Xa – village, administrative village, or commune – use "COMMUNITY STRUCTURE (621)," with"COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATION (474)"

Indexing Notes by

John Beierle

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