Vietnam

Motto: Độc lập - Tự do - Hạnh phúc

(Vietnamese, "Independence, liberty, happiness")

Anthem: Tiến Quân Ca
Capital Hanoi
21°2′ N 105°51′ E
Largest city Ho Chi Minh City
Official language(s) Vietnamese
Government President
Prime Minister
Communist single-party state
Trần Đức Lương
Phan Văn Khải
Independence
Declared
Recognized
From France
September 2, 1945
1954
Area
 • Total
 • Water (%)
 
329,560 km² (65th)
1.3
Population
 • 2005 est.
 • 1999 census

 • Density
 
83,535,576 (13th)
76,323,173

253/km² (31st)
GDP (PPP)
 • Total
 • Per capita
2005 estimate
$231.6 billion (39th)
$2,782 (131st)
HDI (2003) 0.704 (108th) – medium
Currency đồng (₫) (VND)
Time zone
 • Summer (DST)
(UTC+7)
(UTC+8, does not observe)
Internet TLD .vn
Calling code +84

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, or Vietnam, is a communist country in Southeast Asia. Situated in eastern Indochina, it borders China, Laos, Cambodia, as well as the South China Sea.

Terminology

The name of the country comes from the Vietnamese Việt Nam, which is in turn a reordering of Nam Việt, the name of an ancient kingdom from the ancestral Vietnamese that covered much of today's northern Vietnam. Its cognate name in Chinese, Yuè Nán (越南; Yut6 Naam4 in Cantonese) means "southern extension".

History

Vietnamese legends hold that native people populated and civilized the land more than 4,000 years ago. Chinese historical records tell of an indigenous people that existed about 2,500 years ago. Some historians, both in Asia and in the West, hold that the various peoples of today's Vietnam were brought together by a Qin Dynasty-era general who was fed up with the despotic rule of the Qin Shi Huang (First emperor of China proper) and escaped to the "southern Yue [Viet] mountains" to set up his own kingdom. He and his soldiers conquered the land and established a civilized society modeled after ancient Chinese customs. This Chinese general adopted the native language (which sounded similar to southern Chinese dialects anyway) and married local women, who gave birth to sons that inherited the kingdom. Whether this is indeed historically true or not is still subject to debate.

What is known for sure is that for most of the period from 207 BC to the early 10th century, it was under the rule of successive dynasties of China. Sporadic independence movements were attempted, but were quickly extinguished by the Chinese army. In 939, the Vietnamese defeated Chinese forces at the Bach Dang River and gained independence. They gained complete autonomy a century later. For most of its history, Vietnam has been strongly influenced by its much bigger northern neighbor, China. However, during the rule of the Tran Dynasty, it defeated three Mongol attempts of invasion by the Yuan Dynasty. Feudalism in Vietnam reached its zenith in the Le Dynasty 1400s, especially with the emperor Le Thanh Tong. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, the Vietnamese expanded southward in a process known as nam tiến (southward expansion). They eventually conquered the kingdom of Champa and much of the Khmer empire. The independent period ended in the mid-19th century, when the country was colonized by France.

French rule continued until World War II, when Japan briefly occupied Vietnam and used the country as a base to launch attacks against the rest of Indochina and India. When the war ended, France attempted to re-establish control but failed, after they were defeated at Dien Bien Phu. The Geneva Accords subsequently divided the country into North Vietnam and South Vietnam, separated by a demilitarized zone.

During the Cold War, the North was supported by China and the Soviet Union while the South was supported by United States.

The conflict quickly escalated into the Vietnam War. The war continued even after the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973, which formally recognized the sovereignty of both sides.

The Bản Giốc Falls in Cao Bằng, North Vietnam

All American troops were withdrawn by March 29, 1973. By April 30, 1975, North Vietnam had overtaken South Vietnam and by 1976, Vietnam was officially unified under the North Vietnamese government as The Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

After reunification, political and economic conditions deteriorated to near-famine conditions. Millions of South Vietnamese became boat people over the next two decades. In late 1978, the Cambodian people, with the support of the Vietnamese army, removed the Khmer Rouge from power. Only one month later, however, partially in retaliation, China launched a short-lived incursion into Vietnam: the Sino-Vietnamese War.

In 1986, the Communist Party of Vietnam implemented economic reforms known as đổi mới (renovation). During much of the 1990s, economic growth was rapid, and Vietnam reintegrated into the international community. It reestablished diplomatic relations with the United States in 1995, one year after the United States' trade embargo on Vietnam was repealed.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Vietnam

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is governed through a highly centralized system dominated by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) (Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam), which was formerly the Vietnamese Labor Party (1951-1976). The Socialist Republic of Vietnam exists today as a communist state. From 2001 until now, Nong Duc Manh has been General Secretary of CPV. Senior Politburo members (Trần Đức Lương, Phan Văn Khải, Nguyễn Văn An, Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Lê Hồng Anh, Phạm Văn Trà and Trương Quang Được) concurrently hold high positions in the Government and the National Assembly.

There are no legal opposition parties in Vietnam, although a number of opposition groups do exist scattered overseas among exile communities within countries such as France and the United States. These communities have supported demonstrations and civil disobedience against the government. The most prominent are the Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League, and the Government of Free Vietnam. The Government of Free Vietnam has claimed responsibility for a number of guerilla raids into Vietnam, which the Vietnamese government has denounced as terrorism.

Former political parties include the nationalist Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng of Nguyễn Thái Học, the Can Lao party of the Ngô Đình Diệm government and the Viet Nam Duy Tan Hoi of Phan Bội Châu during the colonial period.

Vietnam is a member of the United Nations, La Francophonie, ASEAN, and APEC, and applied for membership to the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Provinces

Main article: Provinces of Vietnam

Vietnam's capital (thủ đô, singular and plural) is Hà Nội (Hà Nội). There are also four municipalities (thành phố trực thuộc Trung ương, singular and plural) existing at provincial level: Cần Thơ, Đà Nẵng, Hải Phòng, and Hồ Chí Minh City (Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh). Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Sài Gòn (Sài Gòn). Now, Saigon is understood as heart of the city (central area of the District 1).

Besides the five cities, the country is divided into fifty-nine provinces (tỉnh, singular and plural): An Giang, Bắc Giang, Bắc Cạn, Bạc Liêu, Bắc Ninh, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Bến Tre, Bình Định, Bình Dương, Bình Phước, Bình Thuận, Cà Mau, Cao Bằng, Đắk Lắk, Đắk Nông, Điện Biên, Đồng Nai, Đồng Tháp, Gia Lai, Hà Giang, Hải Dương, Hà Nam, Hà Tây, Hà Tĩnh, Hòa Bình, Hậu Giang, Hưng Yên, Khánh Hòa, Kiên Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Châu, Lâm Đồng, Lạng Sơn, Lào Cai, Long An, Nam Định, Nghệ An, Ninh Bình, Ninh Thuận, Phú Thọ, Phú Yên, Quảng Bình, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Quảng Ninh, Quảng Trị, Sóc Trăng, Sơn La, Tây Ninh, Thái Bình, Thái Nguyên, Thanh Hóa, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Tiền Giang, Trà Vinh, Tuyên Quang, Vĩnh Long, Vĩnh Phúc, Yên Bái.

Geography

Map of Vietnam

Main article: Geography of Vietnam

The country is approximately 331,688 square kilometers (128,066 mi²) in area, which is slightly larger than New Mexico and slightly smaller than Germany. The topography consists of hills and densely forested mountains, with level land covering no more than 20 percent. Mountains account for 40 percent, hills 40 percent, and forests 75 percent. The northern part of the country consists of highlands and the Red River Delta. Phan Xi Păng, located in Lào Cai province, is the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143 metres (10,312 ft). The south is divided into coastal lowlands, Dai Truong Son (central mountains) with high plateaus, and the Mekong River Delta.

The climate is tropical and monsoonal; humidity averages 84 percent throughout the year. Annual rainfall ranges from 120 to 300 centimetres (47 to 118 inches), and annual temperatures vary between 5°C (41°F) and 37°C (99°F).

Land boundaries: Total: 4,639 km (2,883 mi) Border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km (763 mi), China 1,281 km (796 mi), Laos 2,130 m (1,324 mi)

Economy

Main article: Economy of Vietnam

In 1986, the Sixth Party Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam formally abandoned Marxist economic planning and began introducing market elements as part of a broad economic reform package called "đổi mới" ("Renovation").

In many ways, this followed the Chinese model and achieved similar results. On the one hand, Vietnam achieved around 8% annual GDP growth from 1990 to 1997 and continued at around 7% from 2000 to 2002, making it the world's second-fastest growing economy. Simultaneously, investment grew three-fold and domestic savings quintupled.

On the other hand, urban unemployment has been rising steadily in recent years due to high numbers of migration from the countryside to the cities, and rural unemployment, estimated to be up to 35% during nonharvest periods, is already at critical levels. Layoffs in the state sector and foreign-invested enterprises combined with the lasting effects of a previous military demobilization further exacerbated the unemployment situation. The country is attempting to become a member of the WTO. Vietnam, however, is still a relatively poor country with GDP of US$227.2 billion (est., 2004). This translates to US$2700 per capita. Inflation rate is estimated at 14% per year in 2004. This figure has been scaled down by the Government to 9.5% per annum to avoid the ‘double digit’ classification.

The spending power of the public has noticeably increased. The reason lies in the high property prices. In Hanoi, the capital, property prices can be as high as those in Tokyo or New York City. This has amazed many people because GDP per capita of this city is around US$1,000 per annum. The booming prices have given the poor land owners the opportunity to sell their homes for inflated prices. Corruption, bribery and embezzlement committed by many government officials have pushed property prices even higher, as real estate investment is a popular form of money laundering.

Tourism has become an increasingly important industry in Vietnam. Many of the over 3 million annual visitors are Vietnam war veterans.

Demographics

Street scene in Haiphong

Main article: Demographics of Vietnam

According to official figures from the 1999 census, of Vietnam's then population of 76.3m, the largest of 54 government recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam were:

  1. Viet/Kinh: 65.8m (86.2%)
  2. Tày: 1.5m (1.9%)
  3. Thái: 1.3m (1.7%)
  4. Mường: 1.1m (1.5%)
  5. Khmer Krom: 1.1m (1.4%)
  6. Hoa: 0.9m (1.1%)
  7. Nun: 0.9m (1.1%)
  8. Hmong: 0.8m (1.0%)

The majority ethnic Vietnamese, also called Viet or Kinh, make up about 86 percent of the nation's population. They are concentrated largely in the alluvial deltas and in the coastal plains and have little in common with the minority peoples of the highlands, whom they have historically regarded as hostile and barbaric. A homogenous social group, the Viet exert influence on national life through their control of political and economic affairs and their role as purveyors of the dominant culture. By contrast, the ethnic minorities, except for the Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) and the Hoa (ethnic Han Chinese), are found mostly in the highlands that cover two-thirds of the national territory.

Religion

On the way to the Perfume Pagoda outside Hanoi

According to the 1999 Socialist Republic of Vietnam's census numbers, eighty percent of Vietnamese subscribe to no religion. But according to the majority of other sources, Vietnamese people are predominantly Confucian and Mahayana Buddhist (esp. Mainstream Pure Land schools and Zen-inspired syncretists); with a sizeable Roman Catholic following, Protestant, Cao Đài, and Hoa Hao minorities. The largest Protestant churches are the Evangelical Church of Vietnam and the Montagnard Evangelical Church. Membership to Sunni and Bashi Islam are usually accredited to the ethnic Cham minority, but there are also a few ethnic Vietnamese adherents to Islam in the southwest.

Minorities

The Tay people live primarily in the mountains and foothills of northern Vietnam. Their language is a member of the Tai languages, belonging to the Central Tai subgroup and closely related to the Zhuang language of southern China.

Thái is a name used by Vietnamese authorities for a group of people also from the mountainous northern region of Vietnam and whom western linguists say actually speak separate languages: Tai Dam, Tai Dón, Tai Daeng, Tai Hang Tong, Tày Tac, and Tai Thanh. All these languages are closely related and belong to the Southwestern Tai subgroup of the Tai languages. This official "Thái" ethnicity should not be confused with the Thai people of Thailand. The Thai people of Thailand speak languages belonging to the Lao-Phutai branch of the Southwestern Tai subgroup, while the "Thái" of Vietnam speak languages belonging to the East Central branch of the Southwestern Tai subgroup. Although the Thái ethnicity is officially recognized in Vietnam, western linguistics do not recognize it and prefer to classify Tai Dam, Tai Dón, Tai Daeng, etc., as separate ethnic groups, in which case the Mường minority moves to second largest minority of Vietnam, Khmer Krom move to third position, and Hoa to fourth position.

The Mường live in the mountains of north central Vietnam and speak a Mon-Khmer language closely related to the Vietnamese language.

The Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) live in the fertile delta of the Mekong River in southern Vietnam and are ethnically the same as the Khmer people who make up the majority of the population of Cambodia. There is no consensus on the exact number of Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) living in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government reported 1,055,174 Khmer Krom at the 1999 census.

The Hoa (ethnic Han Chinese) are mainly lowlanders and, more specifically, urban dwellers. They speak predominantly Cantonese (known to the Vietnamese as Quảng Đông), but there are also speakers of Hakka (Khách Gia), Min Nan/Hokkien/Fujian (Mân Nam/Phúc Kiến), Chaozhou (Triều Châu), etc. Up to the 1979 Vietnamese census, the Hoa were the largest minority of Vietnam. However, since the North Vietnamese took over South Vietnam in 1975 many Hoa left Vietnam, especially in the 1980s, so that at the 1999 census the Hoa were only the fifth largest minority (or the fourth largest if the Thái are not considered as an homogenous ethnic group).

Beyond these five largest ethnic minorities, there are 48 other minorities officially recognized by the Vietnamese government, giving a total of 53 minorities altogether. Many of these 53 minority groups only have a few thousand members or so. Vietnam also has a small number of racial Eurasians, people of Asian and Caucasian (mostly white, but also Indian) parentage. Most of them are descendants of Vietnamese people mixed with either early French settlers or white American soldiers and personnel (or both), during the colonial period and Vietnam War. There are also a few of those descended from Indian or Pakistani setttlers also during the colonial era. There are some who are racially mixed with blacks as well, another product during the Vietnam War from American soldiers. Mixed race individuals face the most discrimination in Vietnamese society and government, especially ones who are product of American soldiers (white or black) from the Vietnam War.

Officially, the ethnic minorities are referred to as "national minorities". The French used the name Montagnard (plural Montagnards, meaning "mountain people") to call all the minorities (except the Khmer Krom and the Hoa), no matter what their actual language. The name Montagnard is still sometimes used today. Sometimes, the name Montagnard is used specifically for the Mường ethnic group.

Human Rights NGOs point out the Vietnamese government's poor record with respect to ethnic minorities. In particular, the large Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) minority of southern Vietnam is denied elementary human rights in an effort by the Vietnamese government to Vietnamize the Khmer Krom, or force them to leave their native land and relocate to Cambodia. The Vietnamese government is afraid that the large native Khmer Krom population in the Mekong delta could allow Cambodia to officially claim back the fertile areas of the delta that were annexed by Vietnam more than 200 years ago. On the other hand, some in the Vietnamese government still pursue the centuries old policy of colonizing Khmer land, and it was reported that in the 1980s and 1990s some local Vietnamese officials have pushed the Cambodian-Vietnamese border several kilometers inside Cambodian territory, annexing tens of Cambodian villages, in violation of international treaties, thus further increasing the ethnic Khmer population inside Vietnam.

Further north, there have been reports of tensions with the Tày people due to the government sponsored relocation of ethnic Vietnamese from the lowlands to the highlands inhabited by the Tày and other minorities. Protests and demonstrations by highland minorities have been reported.

Percentage of ethnic Vietnamese

According to the 1999 census, ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) numbered 65,795,718 and thus accounted for 86.2% of the total population of Vietnam.

In terms of land area, the ethnic Vietnamese inhabit a little less than half of Vietnam, while the ethnic minorities inhabit the majority of Vietnam's land (albeit the least fertile parts of the country).

The birth rate of the ethnic Vietnamese (and also the Hoa), which historically has been very high, decreased significantly since the 1980s and is now reaching much lower levels, comparable to the birth rates in Thailand or Malaysia. The birth rate of the minorities is still very high, comparable to birth rates in Cambodia or Laos.

As a result, the ethnic minorities are now growing at a faster rate than the ethnic Vietnamese, which means that the percentage of ethnic Vietnamese in the total population is slowly decreasing year after year. According to official figures, at the 1979 census the ethnic Vietnamese accounted for 87.4% of the total population. The figure was down to 86.9% at the 1989 census, and 86.2% at the 1999 census.

Languages

According to official figures, 86.2% of the population speak Vietnamese as a native tongue.

Various other languages are spoken by the several minority groups in Vietnam. The most spoken languages are: Tày (1.5 million), Mường (1.2 million), Khmer (1.05 million), Cantonese (870,000, this figure also includes speakers of other Chinese dialects), Nung (860,000), HMông (790,000), and Tai Dam (700,000).

French, a legacy of colonial rule, is spoken by some (mostly older) Vietnamese as a second language. Russian- and to a much lesser extent Czech or Polish- is often known among "baby-boomers" whose families had ties with the Soviet bloc. In recent years, English has become a more popular language to learn and is increasingly used in business, among other things.

See also: List of ethnic groups in Vietnam

Culture

Main article: Culture of Vietnam

In its early history, Vietnamese writing used Chinese characters. In the 16th century, the Vietnamese developed their own set of characters called Chữ Nôm. The celebrated epic Đoạn trường tân thanh (or Truyện Kiều) by Nguyễn Du is written in Chữ Nôm. During the French colonial period, Quốc Ngữ, the romanized Vietnamese alphabet representation of spoken Vietnamese, became popular and brought literacy to the masses.

Due to Vietnam's long association with China, Vietnamese culture remains strongly Confucian with its emphasis on familial duty. Education is highly prized. Historically, passing the imperial Mandarin exams was the only means for Vietnamese people to socially advance themselves.

The majority of Vietnamese are adherents to Mahayana Buddhism, influenced by Confucianism and Daoism, and with a strong emphasis on ancestor worship. Others say that the Vietnamese' second religion is superstition and fatalism, brought on by the decades of war.

Vietnam's cuisine and music have three distinct flavors, related to Vietnam's three regions: Bắc or North, Trung or Central, and Nam or South. Northern classical music is Vietnam's oldest and is traditionally more formal. Vietnamese classical music can be traced to the Mongol invasions, when the Vietnamese captured a Chinese opera troupe. Central classical music shows the influences of Champa culture with its melancholic melodies. Southern music exudes a lively laissez faire attitude. Vietnamese cuisine is based on rice, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Its characteristic flavor is sweet (sugar), spicy (serrano peppers), and flavored by a variety of mints.

See also:


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See also:. See also Webpage (Graphics), PDF (Layers), Mapquest, Google Maps, Google Earth or Yahoo! Maps. Its characteristic flavor is sweet (sugar), spicy (serrano peppers), and flavored by a variety of mints. Navy SEALs and Counter-Strike, that players choose to compete on, as a synonym for level. Vietnamese cuisine is based on rice, soy sauce, and fish sauce. The word "map" has also been used to describe places within video games, such as SOCOM II: U.S. Southern music exudes a lively laissez faire attitude. For example:.

Central classical music shows the influences of Champa culture with its melancholic melodies. From the computer scientist's standpoint, zooming in entails one or a combination of:. Vietnamese classical music can be traced to the Mongol invasions, when the Vietnamese captured a Chinese opera troupe. In-car satellite navigation systems are computerised maps with route-planning and advice facilities which monitor by satellite the position of the user. Northern classical music is Vietnam's oldest and is traditionally more formal. Interactive, computerised maps are commercially available, allowing users to zoom in or zoom out (respectively meaning to increase or decrease the scale), sometimes by replacing one map with another of different scale, centred where possible on the same point. Vietnam's cuisine and music have three distinct flavors, related to Vietnam's three regions: Bắc or North, Trung or Central, and Nam or South. Even when GIS is not involved, most cartographers now use a variety of computer graphics programs to generate new maps.

Others say that the Vietnamese' second religion is superstition and fatalism, brought on by the decades of war. Much of cartography, especially at the data-gathering survey level, has been subsumed by Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The majority of Vietnamese are adherents to Mahayana Buddhism, influenced by Confucianism and Daoism, and with a strong emphasis on ancestor worship. From the last quarter of the 20th century, the indispensable tool of the cartographer has been the computer. Historically, passing the imperial Mandarin exams was the only means for Vietnamese people to socially advance themselves. This allows the pilots to plot a great-circle route approximation on a flat, two-dimensional chart. Education is highly prized. The cone intersects the sphere (the earth) at one or two parallels which are chosen as standard lines.

Due to Vietnam's long association with China, Vietnamese culture remains strongly Confucian with its emphasis on familial duty. Airplane pilots use aeronautical charts based on a Lambert conformal conic projection, in which a cone is laid over the section of the earth to be mapped. During the French colonial period, Quốc Ngữ, the romanized Vietnamese alphabet representation of spoken Vietnamese, became popular and brought literacy to the masses. Perhaps the best-known world-map projection is the Mercator Projection, originally designed as a form of nautical chart. The celebrated epic Đoạn trường tân thanh (or Truyện Kiều) by Nguyễn Du is written in Chữ Nôm. Maps that depict the surface of the Earth also use a projection, a way of translating the three-dimensional real surface of the geoid to a two-dimensional picture. In the 16th century, the Vietnamese developed their own set of characters called Chữ Nôm. Geological maps show not only the physical surface, but characteristics of the underlying rock, fault lines, and subsurface structures.

In its early history, Vietnamese writing used Chinese characters. The most important purpose of the political map is to show territorial borders; the purpose of the physical is to show features of geography such as mountains, soil type or land use. Main article: Culture of Vietnam. Maps of the world or large areas are often either 'political' or 'physical'. See also: List of ethnic groups in Vietnam. For example, a road map may or may not show railroads, and if it does, it may show them less clearly than highways. In recent years, English has become a more popular language to learn and is increasingly used in business, among other things. With the end-user similarly in mind, cartographers will censor the content of the space depicted by a map in order provide a useful tool to that user.

Russian- and to a much lesser extent Czech or Polish- is often known among "baby-boomers" whose families had ties with the Soviet bloc. In fact, most commercial navigational maps, such as road maps and town plans, sacrifice an amount of accuracy in scale to deliver a greater visual usefulness to its user, for example by exaggerating the width of roads. French, a legacy of colonial rule, is spoken by some (mostly older) Vietnamese as a second language. The simple maps shown on some directional road signs are further examples of this kind. The most spoken languages are: Tày (1.5 million), Mường (1.2 million), Khmer (1.05 million), Cantonese (870,000, this figure also includes speakers of other Chinese dialects), Nung (860,000), HMông (790,000), and Tai Dam (700,000). This is not a cartogram (since there is no consistent measure of distance) but a topological map that also depicts approximate bearings. Various other languages are spoken by the several minority groups in Vietnam. A famous example of a map without scale is the London Underground map, which best fulfils its purpose by being less physically accurate and more visually communicative to the hurried glance of the commuter.

According to official figures, 86.2% of the population speak Vietnamese as a native tongue. Maps which use some quality other than physical area to determine relative size are called cartograms. The figure was down to 86.9% at the 1989 census, and 86.2% at the 1999 census. For example, maps designed for the hiker are often scaled at the ratio 1:24,000, meaning that 1 of any unit of measurement on the map corresponds to 24,000 of that same unit in reality; while maps designed for the motorist are often scaled at 1:250,000. According to official figures, at the 1979 census the ethnic Vietnamese accounted for 87.4% of the total population. A larger scale shows more detail, thus requiring a larger map to show the same area. As a result, the ethnic minorities are now growing at a faster rate than the ethnic Vietnamese, which means that the percentage of ethnic Vietnamese in the total population is slowly decreasing year after year. Many but not all maps are drawn to a scale, allowing the reader to infer the actual sizes of, and distances between, depicted objects.

The birth rate of the minorities is still very high, comparable to birth rates in Cambodia or Laos. If the map is prepared on a table, to be attached to the ceiling, then on the table it is a mirror image of a normal map. The birth rate of the ethnic Vietnamese (and also the Hoa), which historically has been very high, decreased significantly since the 1980s and is now reaching much lower levels, comparable to the birth rates in Thailand or Malaysia. Occasionally a map is on a ceiling, correctly showing directions; in that case, looking up we have in clockwise direction forward, left, backward, and right. In terms of land area, the ethnic Vietnamese inhabit a little less than half of Vietnam, while the ethnic minorities inhabit the majority of Vietnam's land (albeit the least fertile parts of the country). For a vertically positioned map representing a horizontal area true orientation is not possible, of course, but it is sometimes approximated by putting the forward direction up. According to the 1999 census, ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) numbered 65,795,718 and thus accounted for 86.2% of the total population of Vietnam. The practice of navigating in this way is orienteering.

Protests and demonstrations by highland minorities have been reported. If a person is located at an identifiable point within the area of such a map, then the map can be oriented in such a way that every point on the map lies in the same direction as the corresponding point in reality. Further north, there have been reports of tensions with the Tày people due to the government sponsored relocation of ethnic Vietnamese from the lowlands to the highlands inhabited by the Tày and other minorities. Maps that don't put north at the top:. On the other hand, some in the Vietnamese government still pursue the centuries old policy of colonizing Khmer land, and it was reported that in the 1980s and 1990s some local Vietnamese officials have pushed the Cambodian-Vietnamese border several kilometers inside Cambodian territory, annexing tens of Cambodian villages, in violation of international treaties, thus further increasing the ethnic Khmer population inside Vietnam. Conventionally, on most geometrically accurate maps text is upright when the map is oriented with the north up, hence north is identified with the top of a sheet. The Vietnamese government is afraid that the large native Khmer Krom population in the Mekong delta could allow Cambodia to officially claim back the fertile areas of the delta that were annexed by Vietnam more than 200 years ago. Many national surveying projects have been carried out by the military, such as the British Ordnance Survey (now a civilian government agency internationally renowned for its comprehensively detailed work).

In particular, the large Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) minority of southern Vietnam is denied elementary human rights in an effort by the Vietnamese government to Vietnamize the Khmer Krom, or force them to leave their native land and relocate to Cambodia. In terms of quantity, the largest number of drawn map sheets is probably made up by local surveys, carried out by municipalities, utilities, tax assessors, emergency services providers, and other local agencies. Human Rights NGOs point out the Vietnamese government's poor record with respect to ethnic minorities. Community maps, including GreenMaps, are growing in importance. Sometimes, the name Montagnard is used specifically for the Mường ethnic group. Road maps are perhaps the most widely used maps today, and form a subset of navigational maps, which also include aeronautical and nautical charts, railroad network maps, and hiking and bicycling maps. The name Montagnard is still sometimes used today. This conceit is elaborated in a one-paragraph story by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, generally known in English as "On Exactitude in Science".

The French used the name Montagnard (plural Montagnards, meaning "mountain people") to call all the minorities (except the Khmer Krom and the Hoa), no matter what their actual language. A character notes some practical difficulties with this map and states that "we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well". Officially, the ethnic minorities are referred to as "national minorities". Lewis Carroll made this point humorously in Sylvie and Bruno with his mention of a fictional map that had "the scale of a mile to the mile". Mixed race individuals face the most discrimination in Vietnamese society and government, especially ones who are product of American soldiers (white or black) from the Vietnam War. It is, of course, this abstraction that makes them useful. There are some who are racially mixed with blacks as well, another product during the Vietnam War from American soldiers. Because maps are abstract representations of the world, they are not neutral documents and must be carefully interpreted.

There are also a few of those descended from Indian or Pakistani setttlers also during the colonial era. Harley, Mark Monmonier, and Denis Wood. Most of them are descendants of Vietnamese people mixed with either early French settlers or white American soldiers and personnel (or both), during the colonial period and Vietnam War. Even today, maps can be powerful rhetorical tools beyond their purely practical value, and this has been the source of much fruitful map criticism over the last twenty years, notably in the works of J.B. Vietnam also has a small number of racial Eurasians, people of Asian and Caucasian (mostly white, but also Indian) parentage. By contrast, navigational (or "Portolan") charts of the Mediterranean from the same period are remarkably accurate. Many of these 53 minority groups only have a few thousand members or so. Medieval "T-O" maps, for example, show Jerusalem at the centre of the world, and in some cases related the "body" of the Earth to the body of Christ.

Beyond these five largest ethnic minorities, there are 48 other minorities officially recognized by the Vietnamese government, giving a total of 53 minorities altogether. Pre-modern maps, and mapping traditions outside the Western tradition, often merge geography with non-scientific cosmography, showing the relationship of the viewer to the universe. However, since the North Vietnamese took over South Vietnam in 1975 many Hoa left Vietnam, especially in the 1980s, so that at the 1999 census the Hoa were only the fifth largest minority (or the fourth largest if the Thái are not considered as an homogenous ethnic group). While we tend to think of maps today as products of a rationalistic, scientific world-view, maps also have a mythic quality. Up to the 1979 Vietnamese census, the Hoa were the largest minority of Vietnam. 142]. They speak predominantly Cantonese (known to the Vietnamese as Quảng Đông), but there are also speakers of Hakka (Khách Gia), Min Nan/Hokkien/Fujian (Mân Nam/Phúc Kiến), Chaozhou (Triều Châu), etc. [Harvey 2000, p.

The Hoa (ethnic Han Chinese) are mainly lowlanders and, more specifically, urban dwellers. One of the oldest surviving maps is painted on a wall of the Catal Huyuk settlement in south-central Anatolia (now Turkey); it dates from about 6200 BC. The Vietnamese government reported 1,055,174 Khmer Krom at the 1999 census. Map-making dates back to the Stone Age and appears to predate written language by several millennia. There is no consensus on the exact number of Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) living in Vietnam. . The Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) live in the fertile delta of the Mekong River in southern Vietnam and are ethnically the same as the Khmer people who make up the majority of the population of Cambodia. The science and art of map-making is cartography.

The Mường live in the mountains of north central Vietnam and speak a Mon-Khmer language closely related to the Vietnamese language. Most usually a map is a two-dimensional, geometrically accurate representation of a three-dimensional space. Although the Thái ethnicity is officially recognized in Vietnam, western linguistics do not recognize it and prefer to classify Tai Dam, Tai Dón, Tai Daeng, etc., as separate ethnic groups, in which case the Mường minority moves to second largest minority of Vietnam, Khmer Krom move to third position, and Hoa to fourth position. A map is a simplified depiction of a space, a navigational aid which highlights relations between objects within that space. The Thai people of Thailand speak languages belonging to the Lao-Phutai branch of the Southwestern Tai subgroup, while the "Thái" of Vietnam speak languages belonging to the East Central branch of the Southwestern Tai subgroup. http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Cartography.html. This official "Thái" ethnicity should not be confused with the Thai people of Thailand. Andrews University, 2002.

All these languages are closely related and belong to the Southwestern Tai subgroup of the Tai languages. Scotland : St. Thái is a name used by Vietnamese authorities for a group of people also from the mountainous northern region of Vietnam and whom western linguists say actually speak separate languages: Tai Dam, Tai Dón, Tai Daeng, Tai Hang Tong, Tày Tac, and Tai Thanh. Robertson, The History of Cartography. Their language is a member of the Tai languages, belonging to the Central Tai subgroup and closely related to the Zhuang language of southern China. and E.F. The Tay people live primarily in the mountains and foothills of northern Vietnam. O'Connor, J.J.

Membership to Sunni and Bashi Islam are usually accredited to the ethnic Cham minority, but there are also a few ethnic Vietnamese adherents to Islam in the southwest. Mark Monmonier, How to Lie with Maps, [ISBN 0226534219]. The largest Protestant churches are the Evangelical Church of Vietnam and the Montagnard Evangelical Church. [ISBN 0767908260, cited above; also ISBN 0375501517]. Mainstream Pure Land schools and Zen-inspired syncretists); with a sizeable Roman Catholic following, Protestant, Cao Đài, and Hoa Hao minorities. New York : Random House, 2000. But according to the majority of other sources, Vietnamese people are predominantly Confucian and Mahayana Buddhist (esp. Miles Harvey, The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime.

According to the 1999 Socialist Republic of Vietnam's census numbers, eighty percent of Vietnamese subscribe to no religion. David Buisseret, ed., Monarchs, Ministers and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Government in Early Modern Europe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992, [ISBN 0226079872]. By contrast, the ethnic minorities, except for the Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) and the Hoa (ethnic Han Chinese), are found mostly in the highlands that cover two-thirds of the national territory. For a single raster graphics image (2) applies until the pixels in the image file correspond to the pixels of the display, thereafter (3) applies. A homogenous social group, the Viet exert influence on national life through their control of political and economic affairs and their role as purveyors of the dominant culture. The map may also have layers which are partly raster graphics and partly vector graphics. They are concentrated largely in the alluvial deltas and in the coastal plains and have little in common with the minority peoples of the highlands, whom they have historically regarded as hostile and barbaric. Similarly, a road represented by a double line may or may not become wider when one zooms in.

The majority ethnic Vietnamese, also called Viet or Kinh, make up about 86 percent of the nation's population. Text is not necessarily enlarged when zooming in. According to official figures from the 1999 census, of Vietnam's then population of 76.3m, the largest of 54 government recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam were:. (1) may apply to the text (displaying labels for more features), while (2) applies to the rest of the image. Main article: Demographics of Vietnam. (2) may apply to text and (3) to the outline of a map feature such as a forest or building. Many of the over 3 million annual visitors are Vietnam war veterans. The increase in detail is, of course, limited to the information contained in the file: enlargement of a curve may eventually result in a series of standard geometric figures such as straight lines or arcs of circles.

Tourism has become an increasingly important industry in Vietnam. Typically (2) applies to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. Corruption, bribery and embezzlement committed by many government officials have pushed property prices even higher, as real estate investment is a popular form of money laundering. A variation of this method is that interpolation is performed. The booming prices have given the poor land owners the opportunity to sell their homes for inflated prices. enlarging the same map with the pixels enlarged (replaced by rectangles of pixels); no additional detail is shown, but, depending on the quality of one's vision, possibly more detail can be seen; if a computer display does not show adjacent pixels really separate, but overlapping instead (this does not apply for an LCD, but may apply for a cathode ray tube), then replacing a pixel by a rectangle of pixels does show more detail. This has amazed many people because GDP per capita of this city is around US$1,000 per annum. enlarging the same map without enlarging the pixels, hence show more detail.

In Hanoi, the capital, property prices can be as high as those in Tokyo or New York City. replacing the map by a more detailed one. The reason lies in the high property prices. Medieval European T and O maps such as the Hereford Mappa Mundi were centred on Jerusalem, with East at the top. The spending power of the public has noticeably increased. Labels on the map are oriented in such a way that you cannot read them properly unless you put the imperial palace above your head. This figure has been scaled down by the Government to 9.5% per annum to avoid the ‘double digit’ classification. Old maps of Edo show the Japanese imperial palace as the "top," but also at the centre, of the map.

Inflation rate is estimated at 14% per year in 2004. Other modern maps put south on top, generally either out of a sense of playful confusion or to make a political statement about the North-South divide. This translates to US$2700 per capita. These are primarily intended as novelty and tourist maps. Vietnam, however, is still a relatively poor country with GDP of US$227.2 billion (est., 2004). To someone used to seeing the map the other way around, this map may appear to be "upside down". The country is attempting to become a member of the WTO. Some rectangular maps produced in Australia show the south pole at the top.

Layoffs in the state sector and foreign-invested enterprises combined with the lasting effects of a previous military demobilization further exacerbated the unemployment situation. Dymaxion maps. On the other hand, urban unemployment has been rising steadily in recent years due to high numbers of migration from the countryside to the cities, and rural unemployment, estimated to be up to 35% during nonharvest periods, is already at critical levels. Polar maps. Simultaneously, investment grew three-fold and domestic savings quintupled. On the one hand, Vietnam achieved around 8% annual GDP growth from 1990 to 1997 and continued at around 7% from 2000 to 2002, making it the world's second-fastest growing economy.

In many ways, this followed the Chinese model and achieved similar results. In 1986, the Sixth Party Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam formally abandoned Marxist economic planning and began introducing market elements as part of a broad economic reform package called "đổi mới" ("Renovation"). Main article: Economy of Vietnam. Land boundaries: Total: 4,639 km (2,883 mi) Border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km (763 mi), China 1,281 km (796 mi), Laos 2,130 m (1,324 mi).

Annual rainfall ranges from 120 to 300 centimetres (47 to 118 inches), and annual temperatures vary between 5°C (41°F) and 37°C (99°F). The climate is tropical and monsoonal; humidity averages 84 percent throughout the year. The south is divided into coastal lowlands, Dai Truong Son (central mountains) with high plateaus, and the Mekong River Delta. Phan Xi Păng, located in Lào Cai province, is the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143 metres (10,312 ft).

The northern part of the country consists of highlands and the Red River Delta. Mountains account for 40 percent, hills 40 percent, and forests 75 percent. The topography consists of hills and densely forested mountains, with level land covering no more than 20 percent. The country is approximately 331,688 square kilometers (128,066 mi²) in area, which is slightly larger than New Mexico and slightly smaller than Germany.

Main article: Geography of Vietnam. Besides the five cities, the country is divided into fifty-nine provinces (tỉnh, singular and plural): An Giang, Bắc Giang, Bắc Cạn, Bạc Liêu, Bắc Ninh, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Bến Tre, Bình Định, Bình Dương, Bình Phước, Bình Thuận, Cà Mau, Cao Bằng, Đắk Lắk, Đắk Nông, Điện Biên, Đồng Nai, Đồng Tháp, Gia Lai, Hà Giang, Hải Dương, Hà Nam, Hà Tây, Hà Tĩnh, Hòa Bình, Hậu Giang, Hưng Yên, Khánh Hòa, Kiên Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Châu, Lâm Đồng, Lạng Sơn, Lào Cai, Long An, Nam Định, Nghệ An, Ninh Bình, Ninh Thuận, Phú Thọ, Phú Yên, Quảng Bình, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Quảng Ninh, Quảng Trị, Sóc Trăng, Sơn La, Tây Ninh, Thái Bình, Thái Nguyên, Thanh Hóa, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Tiền Giang, Trà Vinh, Tuyên Quang, Vĩnh Long, Vĩnh Phúc, Yên Bái. Now, Saigon is understood as heart of the city (central area of the District 1). Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Sài Gòn (Sài Gòn).

There are also four municipalities (thành phố trực thuộc Trung ương, singular and plural) existing at provincial level: Cần Thơ, Đà Nẵng, Hải Phòng, and Hồ Chí Minh City (Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh). Vietnam's capital (thủ đô, singular and plural) is Hà Nội (Hà Nội). Main article: Provinces of Vietnam. Vietnam is a member of the United Nations, La Francophonie, ASEAN, and APEC, and applied for membership to the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Former political parties include the nationalist Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng of Nguyễn Thái Học, the Can Lao party of the Ngô Đình Diệm government and the Viet Nam Duy Tan Hoi of Phan Bội Châu during the colonial period. The Government of Free Vietnam has claimed responsibility for a number of guerilla raids into Vietnam, which the Vietnamese government has denounced as terrorism. The most prominent are the Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League, and the Government of Free Vietnam. These communities have supported demonstrations and civil disobedience against the government.

There are no legal opposition parties in Vietnam, although a number of opposition groups do exist scattered overseas among exile communities within countries such as France and the United States. Senior Politburo members (Trần Đức Lương, Phan Văn Khải, Nguyễn Văn An, Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Lê Hồng Anh, Phạm Văn Trà and Trương Quang Được) concurrently hold high positions in the Government and the National Assembly. From 2001 until now, Nong Duc Manh has been General Secretary of CPV. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam exists today as a communist state.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is governed through a highly centralized system dominated by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) (Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam), which was formerly the Vietnamese Labor Party (1951-1976). Main article: Politics of Vietnam. It reestablished diplomatic relations with the United States in 1995, one year after the United States' trade embargo on Vietnam was repealed. During much of the 1990s, economic growth was rapid, and Vietnam reintegrated into the international community.

In 1986, the Communist Party of Vietnam implemented economic reforms known as đổi mới (renovation). Only one month later, however, partially in retaliation, China launched a short-lived incursion into Vietnam: the Sino-Vietnamese War. In late 1978, the Cambodian people, with the support of the Vietnamese army, removed the Khmer Rouge from power. Millions of South Vietnamese became boat people over the next two decades.

After reunification, political and economic conditions deteriorated to near-famine conditions. By April 30, 1975, North Vietnam had overtaken South Vietnam and by 1976, Vietnam was officially unified under the North Vietnamese government as The Socialist Republic of Vietnam. All American troops were withdrawn by March 29, 1973. The war continued even after the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973, which formally recognized the sovereignty of both sides.

The conflict quickly escalated into the Vietnam War. During the Cold War, the North was supported by China and the Soviet Union while the South was supported by United States. The Geneva Accords subsequently divided the country into North Vietnam and South Vietnam, separated by a demilitarized zone. When the war ended, France attempted to re-establish control but failed, after they were defeated at Dien Bien Phu.

French rule continued until World War II, when Japan briefly occupied Vietnam and used the country as a base to launch attacks against the rest of Indochina and India. The independent period ended in the mid-19th century, when the country was colonized by France. They eventually conquered the kingdom of Champa and much of the Khmer empire. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, the Vietnamese expanded southward in a process known as nam tiến (southward expansion).

Feudalism in Vietnam reached its zenith in the Le Dynasty 1400s, especially with the emperor Le Thanh Tong. However, during the rule of the Tran Dynasty, it defeated three Mongol attempts of invasion by the Yuan Dynasty. For most of its history, Vietnam has been strongly influenced by its much bigger northern neighbor, China. They gained complete autonomy a century later.

In 939, the Vietnamese defeated Chinese forces at the Bach Dang River and gained independence. Sporadic independence movements were attempted, but were quickly extinguished by the Chinese army. What is known for sure is that for most of the period from 207 BC to the early 10th century, it was under the rule of successive dynasties of China. Whether this is indeed historically true or not is still subject to debate.

This Chinese general adopted the native language (which sounded similar to southern Chinese dialects anyway) and married local women, who gave birth to sons that inherited the kingdom. He and his soldiers conquered the land and established a civilized society modeled after ancient Chinese customs. Some historians, both in Asia and in the West, hold that the various peoples of today's Vietnam were brought together by a Qin Dynasty-era general who was fed up with the despotic rule of the Qin Shi Huang (First emperor of China proper) and escaped to the "southern Yue [Viet] mountains" to set up his own kingdom. Chinese historical records tell of an indigenous people that existed about 2,500 years ago.

Vietnamese legends hold that native people populated and civilized the land more than 4,000 years ago. Its cognate name in Chinese, Yuè Nán (越南; Yut6 Naam4 in Cantonese) means "southern extension". The name of the country comes from the Vietnamese Việt Nam, which is in turn a reordering of Nam Việt, the name of an ancient kingdom from the ancestral Vietnamese that covered much of today's northern Vietnam. .

Situated in eastern Indochina, it borders China, Laos, Cambodia, as well as the South China Sea. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, or Vietnam, is a communist country in Southeast Asia. (Vietnamese, "Independence, liberty, happiness"). Music of Vietnam.

Cuisine of Vietnam. Hmong: 0.8m (1.0%). Nun: 0.9m (1.1%). Hoa: 0.9m (1.1%).

Khmer Krom: 1.1m (1.4%). Mường: 1.1m (1.5%). Thái: 1.3m (1.7%). Tày: 1.5m (1.9%).

Viet/Kinh: 65.8m (86.2%).

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