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:. The full list of licensees can be found on both the Japanese and American, Korean, Asian, European Hamtaro websites. Its characteristic flavor is sweet (sugar), spicy (serrano peppers), and flavored by a variety of mints. Full list of channels carrying Hamtaro is available on both the Japanese site and the English site. Vietnamese cuisine is based on rice, soy sauce, and fish sauce. This is just a partial list of channels. Southern music exudes a lively laissez faire attitude. However, Hamtaro floats down the river in a sunflower instead of a peach; thus they call him Himawaritaro(Sunfower Boy).

Central classical music shows the influences of Champa culture with its melancholic melodies. This story is based off of the old Japanese folk tale of Momotaro(Peach Boy). Vietnamese classical music can be traced to the Mongol invasions, when the Vietnamese captured a Chinese opera troupe. Hamutaro to Fushigi no Oni no Ehon Tou/Hamtaro and the Mysterious Ogre's Picture Book Tower:. Northern classical music is Vietnam's oldest and is traditionally more formal. Now Hamtaro must race the captain for Bijou's love!. 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. Bijou makes friends with the village hamsters, when a group of pirate hamsters suddenly show up! The captain falls in love with Bijou, and Hamtaro is jealous.

Others say that the Vietnamese' second religion is superstition and fatalism, brought on by the decades of war. Bijou is called to a distant land, and Hamtaro follows. The majority of Vietnamese are adherents to Mahayana Buddhism, influenced by Confucianism and Daoism, and with a strong emphasis on ancestor worship. Hamu Hamu Guran Purin/Ham-Ham Grand Prix:. Historically, passing the imperial Mandarin exams was the only means for Vietnamese people to socially advance themselves. It's a princess called ha Obi calling for help! Suddenly, the Ham-Hams are takes right out of their dreams and taken to a faraway land! Ha Obi is being forced to marry an evil cat genie! Can the Ham-Hams save the land from danger?. Education is highly prized. Hamtaro and the Ham-Hams are peacefully sleeping when Hamtaro suddenly has a vison.

Due to Vietnam's long association with China, Vietnamese culture remains strongly Confucian with its emphasis on familial duty. Hamu Hamu Hamu Maboroshi no Purincess/Ham-Ham-Ham Vison of Princess:. During the French colonial period, Quốc Ngữ, the romanized Vietnamese alphabet representation of spoken Vietnamese, became popular and brought literacy to the masses. However, an evil devil hamster is after it too! Will Hamtaro ever get his wish?. The celebrated epic Đoạn trường tân thanh (or Truyện Kiều) by Nguyễn Du is written in Chữ Nôm. The Ham-Hams then tell him about a magical sunflower seed that will grant you any wish you want-- Hamtaro is determined to find it so that he can tell Laura how much he loves her. In the 16th century, the Vietnamese developed their own set of characters called Chữ Nôm. It's Laura's birthday, and Hamtaro is feeling neglected.

In its early history, Vietnamese writing used Chinese characters. Hamu Hamu Rando Daibouken/Big Ham-Ham Land Adventure:. Main article: Culture of Vietnam. As of 2006, there are 4 Hamtaro movies. See also: List of ethnic groups in Vietnam. Same as Sandy/Maxwell, most Hamtaro fans have agreed that Oxnard and Pepper should be together. In recent years, English has become a more popular language to learn and is increasingly used in business, among other things. Whether or not they really are romantically involved is unknown.

Russian- and to a much lesser extent Czech or Polish- is often known among "baby-boomers" whose families had ties with the Soviet bloc. There was even one instance where Pepper thinks that Oxnard is interested in another girl and becomes upset. French, a legacy of colonial rule, is spoken by some (mostly older) Vietnamese as a second language. All of Pepper's appearances seem to indicate that both have definite feelings for each other. 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). Oxnard/Pepper Another visible couple in the series. Various other languages are spoken by the several minority groups in Vietnam. It is still not known if they will be a couple.

According to official figures, 86.2% of the population speak Vietnamese as a native tongue. Also, in 'Stucky's Tunnel' there was a brief scene where Stucky flirts with Penelope, which upsets Cappy. The figure was down to 86.9% at the 1989 census, and 86.2% at the 1999 census. In the game, Ham Ham's Unite, Cappy tells Hamtaro that he will not go back to clubhouse without Penelope. According to official figures, at the 1979 census the ethnic Vietnamese accounted for 87.4% of the total population. However, there has been some evidence. 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. So far, it has been fairly dispproved due to Penelope's love for the other races (currently, she loves Herbert the Pig).

The birth rate of the minorities is still very high, comparable to birth rates in Cambodia or Laos. The fans have paired the two together since they are the youngest of the ham hams. 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. Cappy/Penelope A couple that has gotten a small following. 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). There is also the fact that they have known each other longer than most of the other ham hams, but it is still an unknown. According to the 1999 census, ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) numbered 65,795,718 and thus accounted for 86.2% of the total population of Vietnam. Fans have paired Panda with Pashmina for pretty much the same reasons Stan was paired with Pashmina.

Protests and demonstrations by highland minorities have been reported. There is also a rumor about Stan falling for Flora, the nurse ham. 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. There have been a couple of instances where Pashmina seemed to like Stan (Stan impresses her at one point in 'Bijou's Favorite Ribbon' and in 'Pashmina's Present' Stan gives Pashmina a pink rose, which she likes until Stan reveals other roses for Bijou, Penelope, and even Sandy.) It is still not confirmed. 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. Many fans have paired Stan and Pashmina for various reasons (They look cute together, Stan should be with a girl ham...). 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. However, it is still unknown.

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. It also makes the most sense since Dexter is a more refined hamster compared to Howdy, who is rough and tells many bad jokes. Human Rights NGOs point out the Vietnamese government's poor record with respect to ethnic minorities. Currently, she isn't looking into a relationships, but a rumor of a japanese episode confirms that she loves Dexter. Sometimes, the name Montagnard is used specifically for the Mường ethnic group. Instead, she wants them to be friends. The name Montagnard is still sometimes used today. Dexter and Howdy are always seen fighting for her love, but she doesn't seem to be paying attention to them.

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. It is unknown who Pashmina really likes. Officially, the ethnic minorities are referred to as "national minorities". In the series, the love triangle involved Dexter, Howdy, and Pashmina, but fans have also added in Stan and Panda. 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. Dexter/Howdy/Stan/Panda/Pashmina Another often debated love triangle. There are some who are racially mixed with blacks as well, another product during the Vietnam War from American soldiers. Unlike all the other couples, almost all Hamtaro fans agree that Sandy and Maxwell should stay together.

There are also a few of those descended from Indian or Pakistani setttlers also during the colonial era. It ends with Maxwell barely admiting his feelings to Sandy and the two of them holding each other's paw on the night of Tanobata. 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. The episode showed that their relationship wasn't really solidified yet, despite the other episodes. Vietnam also has a small number of racial Eurasians, people of Asian and Caucasian (mostly white, but also Indian) parentage. In the Japanese episode 'Chisana Koi Monogatari', Maxwell is shown as being clueless about his relationship with Sandy, much to Sandy's dismay. Many of these 53 minority groups only have a few thousand members or so. Sandy was also seen giving Maxwell a Valentine's Day seed, though Stan wanted it.

Beyond these five largest ethnic minorities, there are 48 other minorities officially recognized by the Vietnamese government, giving a total of 53 minorities altogether. In 'Bijou's Favorite Ribbon' they were poked fun at by Stan. 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). Later episodes show Sandy and Maxwell together more often. Up to the 1979 Vietnamese census, the Hoa were the largest minority of Vietnam. After being forced by the other girls to tell Maxwell about Sandy's feelings, Hamtaro finally tells Maxwell, and he begins to love Sandy as well. 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. Sandy's feelings for Maxwell were first revealed in 'Let's Dance Sandy' when Maxwell helped her up after messing up during practice for the Sunflower Seed Festival.

The Hoa (ethnic Han Chinese) are mainly lowlanders and, more specifically, urban dwellers. Sandy/Maxwell The most clearly visible couple in the series. The Vietnamese government reported 1,055,174 Khmer Krom at the 1999 census. Even then, it's following is still just as strong as the Hamtaro/Bijou following. There is no consensus on the exact number of Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) living in Vietnam. From the looks of it, it seems like Boss/Bijou has no chance at becoming a canon couple with Boss dropping out. 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. Boss, on the other hand, seems to have a crush on this new French hamster.

The Mường live in the mountains of north central Vietnam and speak a Mon-Khmer language closely related to the Vietnamese language. One episode showed Bijou trying to help welcome her friend from France to Japan and Hamtaro and Bijou were dancing together at one point. 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. In the Japanese version, it seems that Boss has given up on Bijou at some point. 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. However, it is definitely not certain whether they will harbor any feelings for each other and Boss tends to think of Sparkle as an annoyance (especially in Ham Ham Games). This official "Thái" ethnicity should not be confused with the Thai people of Thailand. A japanese episode also showed Boss suddenly falling for Sparkle, but that was because Boss ate a seed that made him fall in love with her (the seed was originally meant for her to give to Hamtaro).

All these languages are closely related and belong to the Southwestern Tai subgroup of the Tai languages. As a result, some fans have begun to pair Boss with Sparkle due to some of their similarities. 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. Sparkle, in the later japanese episodes, begins to have a crush on Hamtaro as well, and goes through great lengths to get Hamtaro to notice her, similar to how Boss tries to get Bijou to notice him. 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. However, a couple of the games and even the Ham Ham Grand Prix movie seems to support Hamtaro/Bijou more. The Tay people live primarily in the mountains and foothills of northern Vietnam. It is known that that Bijou loves Hamtaro and Boss loves Bijou, but Hamtaro's take on the relationship is never truly explained (although his actions at the end of "Bijou's Favorite Ribbon" suggest that he has feeling for Bijou).

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. Both couples have had equal amounts of evidence, and even entire episodes based on the two couples ('Bijou's Favorite Ribbon' supports the Hamtaro/Bijou pairing, while 'Scary Museum' supports Boss/Bijou). The largest Protestant churches are the Evangelical Church of Vietnam and the Montagnard Evangelical Church. Both Hamtaro/Bijou and Boss/Bijou have strong followings and often clash with each other. Mainstream Pure Land schools and Zen-inspired syncretists); with a sizeable Roman Catholic following, Protestant, Cao Đài, and Hoa Hao minorities. Hamtaro/Boss/Bijou/Sparkle A love triangle often debated between the fans. But according to the majority of other sources, Vietnamese people are predominantly Confucian and Mahayana Buddhist (esp. Of all the couples, Sandy/Maxwell, Hamtaro/Bijou, and Oxnard/Pepper are the most canonical.

According to the 1999 Socialist Republic of Vietnam's census numbers, eighty percent of Vietnamese subscribe to no religion. Couples often discussed and supported by the fans. 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. Azarashi-chan/あざらしちゃん: Never appears in English TV series. 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. Penguin Ham/Penhamu-kun/ペンハムくん: Never appears in English TV series. 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. How/Nande-kun/なんでくん: Never appears in English TV series.

The majority ethnic Vietnamese, also called Viet or Kinh, make up about 86 percent of the nation's population. Moguru-kun/もぐるくん: Never appears in English TV series. 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:. Candy/Kyandei-chan/キャンディーちゃん: Never appears in English TV series. Main article: Demographics of Vietnam. Ice/Aisu-kun/アイスくん: Never appears in English TV series. Many of the over 3 million annual visitors are Vietnam war veterans. Magical/Majikaru-kun/マジカルくん: Never appears in English TV series.

Tourism has become an increasingly important industry in Vietnam. Mystery/Misuteri-chan/ミステリーちゃん: Never appears in English TV series. 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. Okiinii-chan/オーキニーちゃん: Never appears in English TV series. The booming prices have given the poor land owners the opportunity to sell their homes for inflated prices. Sky Ham/Sorahamu-kun/そらハムくん: Never appears in English TV series. This has amazed many people because GDP per capita of this city is around US$1,000 per annum. Never appears in English TV series; appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak(video game).

In Hanoi, the capital, property prices can be as high as those in Tokyo or New York City. Broski/Safua-kun/サーファーくん: Surfing hamster. The reason lies in the high property prices. Gelato/Jieraado-chan/ジェラードちゃん: Never apperas in English TV series. The spending power of the public has noticeably increased. Never appears in English TV show; appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak(video game). This figure has been scaled down by the Government to 9.5% per annum to avoid the ‘double digit’ classification. Kurohamu-kun/くろハムくん: News reporter hamster.

Inflation rate is estimated at 14% per year in 2004. Minoko-chan/きのこちゃん: Never appears in English TV series. This translates to US$2700 per capita. Never appears in English TV show; appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak(video game). Vietnam, however, is still a relatively poor country with GDP of US$227.2 billion (est., 2004). Radar/Mimiyori-kun/みみよりくん: News reporter hamster. The country is attempting to become a member of the WTO. They never make an appearance in English TV show (with the exception of the Ham Ham Games episode); appear in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games(video game).

Layoffs in the state sector and foreign-invested enterprises combined with the lasting effects of a previous military demobilization further exacerbated the unemployment situation. Rainbow Girls/Reinbokarusu/レインボーガールズ: Three members of Team Rainbow; Prince Bo is the leader of Team Rainbow. 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. Never appears in English TV series; appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games(video game). Simultaneously, investment grew three-fold and domestic savings quintupled. Stripes/Zebera-san/ゼブラさん: Member of Team Djungle. 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. Never appears in English TV series; appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games(Video game).

In many ways, this followed the Chinese model and achieved similar results. Bunny/Usagi-san/ウサギさん: Member of Team Djungle. 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"). Never appears in English TV series; appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games(Video game). Main article: Economy of Vietnam. Primarily wears a frog outfit, but often changes. 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). Warts/Kaeru-san/カエルさん: Member of Team Djungle.

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). Sabotenburazasu/サボテンブラザース: Never appears in English TV series. The climate is tropical and monsoonal; humidity averages 84 percent throughout the year. Leo/Taion-san/ライオンさん: Member of Team Djungle; never appears in English TV series, appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games(Video game). The south is divided into coastal lowlands, Dai Truong Son (central mountains) with high plateaus, and the Mekong River Delta. Ojare-chan/おしゃれちゃん: Never appears in English series. Phan Xi Păng, located in Lào Cai province, is the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143 metres (10,312 ft). Never appears in English TV series (with the exception of the Ham Ham Games episode), but appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games(Video game) and Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue.

The northern part of the country consists of highlands and the Red River Delta. Prince Bo/Nijihamu-kun/にじハムくん: Prince of Rainbow Land. Mountains account for 40 percent, hills 40 percent, and forests 75 percent. Chibikuri-chan/ちびくりちゃん: Never appears in English TV series. The topography consists of hills and densely forested mountains, with level land covering no more than 20 percent. Tomato/Tomato-kun/トマトくん: Never appears in English TV series. 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. Naasu-kun/ナッスーくん: Never appears in English TV series.

Main article: Geography of Vietnam. Sunflower/Himawari-chan/ひまわりちゃん: Never appears in English TV series. 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. Shake/Shieiku-chan/シェイクちゃん: Never appears in English TV series. Now, Saigon is understood as heart of the city (central area of the District 1). Potato/Poteto-kun/ポテトくん: Never appears in English TV series. Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Sài Gòn (Sài Gòn). Little Hams/Chibi-chanzu/ちびちゃんず: Never appears in English TV series.

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). Buster/Taiho-kun/たいほくん: Never appears in English TV series. Vietnam's capital (thủ đô, singular and plural) is Hà Nội (Hà Nội). Ook-Ook/Ukihamu-kun/ウキハムくん: Never appears in English TV series. Main article: Provinces of Vietnam. He also runs a photo studio in the Ham-Ham Clubhouse with his girlfriend, Barette. Vietnam is a member of the United Nations, La Francophonie, ASEAN, and APEC, and applied for membership to the World Trade Organization in 2001. Seamore never makes an appearance in the English TV series, but appears in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak(Video game).

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. Seamore/Kanehamu-kun/カメハムくん: Hamster with a turtle shell on his back; can swim. The Government of Free Vietnam has claimed responsibility for a number of guerilla raids into Vietnam, which the Vietnamese government has denounced as terrorism. Never makes an appearance in English TV series; makes an appearance in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak(Video game). The most prominent are the Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League, and the Government of Free Vietnam. Barette/Poniiteru-chan/ポニーテールちゃん: Runs the photo studio in the Ham-Ham Clubhouse with her boyfriend Seamore. These communities have supported demonstrations and civil disobedience against the government. Never made an appearance in English TV series; made an appearance in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak(Video game).

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. Spat/Debihamu-kun/デビハムくん: Hamster in a devil costume, fights Harmony and tries to ruin love for all hamsters. 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. Never made an appearence in English TV series; made an appearance in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak(Video game). From 2001 until now, Nong Duc Manh has been General Secretary of CPV. Harmony/Enjieru-chan/エンジェルちゃん: Hamster in an angel costume, fights Spat and tries to save love for all hamsters. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam exists today as a communist state. Flora/Nasu-chan/ナースちゃん: Nurse hamster; never made an appearance in the English TV show, but made an appearance in Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue and Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games(Video game).

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). Chef Ham/Koshiku-kun/コックさん: Chef hamster. Main article: Politics of Vietnam. In a later Japanese episode, Laura's Grandfather places Robo Joe in a Battlebots-like tournament. It reestablished diplomatic relations with the United States in 1995, one year after the United States' trade embargo on Vietnam was repealed. Robo Joe's main function is the ability to learn and mimic what he hears; both human language and ham ham language (When Laura's Grandfather plays back some of the sounds he's recorded, the ham ham's voices are heard normally). During much of the 1990s, economic growth was rapid, and Vietnam reintegrated into the international community. Mecha Jirou/Robo Joe: Created by Laura's Grandfather, Robo Joe is a robot hamster who's appearance seems to be based on Hamtaro.

In 1986, the Communist Party of Vietnam implemented economic reforms known as đổi mới (renovation). One of the very few who can stand Howdy's jokes. Only one month later, however, partially in retaliation, China launched a short-lived incursion into Vietnam: the Sino-Vietnamese War. Develops a short-lived crush on Dexter. In late 1978, the Cambodian people, with the support of the Vietnamese army, removed the Khmer Rouge from power. Hannah/Hana-chan/ハナちゃん: Childhood friend of Howdy. Millions of South Vietnamese became boat people over the next two decades. Despite this, he is a source of wisdom for the ham hams.

After reunification, political and economic conditions deteriorated to near-famine conditions. He is narcoleptic (he falls asleep often). 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. Elder Ham/Chorohamu/長老ハム: Elderly hamster who is always falling asleep while talking. All American troops were withdrawn by March 29, 1973. Used to be involved with Elder Ham. The war continued even after the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973, which formally recognized the sovereignty of both sides. Auntie Viv/Ohamubaa-san/おハムばあさん: Extremely fit elderly hamster with an attitude.

The conflict quickly escalated into the Vietnam War. At one point, Boss considered him more of a man than he was. During the Cold War, the North was supported by China and the Soviet Union while the South was supported by United States. Mainly, he's seed vendor that feeds anyone he sees. The Geneva Accords subsequently divided the country into North Vietnam and South Vietnam, separated by a demilitarized zone. He appears in the series from time to time with different roles. When the war ended, France attempted to re-establish control but failed, after they were defeated at Dien Bien Phu. Sabu/Sabu/サブ: Hamster with a dove named Françoise.

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. Left his wealthy owner to travel the world. The independent period ended in the mid-19th century, when the country was colonized by France. Omar/Oashisu-kun/オアシスくん: Hamster from a far away land that looks exactly like Snoozer. They eventually conquered the kingdom of Champa and much of the Khmer empire. Compared to Oxnard, however, she is a lot more braver and can be very rough. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, the Vietnamese expanded southward in a process known as nam tiến (southward expansion). She is the pet hamster of Kana's cousin, who lives in the country.

Feudalism in Vietnam reached its zenith in the Le Dynasty 1400s, especially with the emperor Le Thanh Tong. Pepper/Jajahamu-chan/じゃじゃハムちゃん: Pepper is Oxnard(Japanese: Koushi-kun)'s girlfriend. However, during the rule of the Tran Dynasty, it defeated three Mongol attempts of invasion by the Yuan Dynasty. Because of this and many other reasons, she has seen Bijou as a rival. For most of its history, Vietnam has been strongly influenced by its much bigger northern neighbor, China. She has been unsuccessful and may not get to be with Hamtaro since there have been small hints that Hamtaro loves Bijou. They gained complete autonomy a century later. In the japanese episodes, Sparkle began to bear a crush on Hamtaro and has since then been trying to get him to notice her.

In 939, the Vietnamese defeated Chinese forces at the Bach Dang River and gained independence. She didn't like the ham hams at first, but she progressively became attached to them. Sporadic independence movements were attempted, but were quickly extinguished by the Chinese army. Sparkle is a spoiled pop star hamster. 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. Sparkle/Kururin-chan/くるりんちゃん: Owned by Glitter. Whether this is indeed historically true or not is still subject to debate. Rivals Cappy in hide and seek, though the two have become best of friends lately.

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 chants "roly-poly" as he rolls to get around. He and his soldiers conquered the land and established a civilized society modeled after ancient Chinese customs. Stucky/Nekenai-kun/ぬけないくん: Run away hamster stuck in a hamster tube toy. 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. Being the worst ninja in his home, he left so he could be appreciated by non-ninja hams. Chinese historical records tell of an indigenous people that existed about 2,500 years ago. Nin-Ham/Ninhamu-kun/ニンハムくん: Ninja hamster who comes from a far away valley.

Vietnamese legends hold that native people populated and civilized the land more than 4,000 years ago. The English Wikipedia will refer to Hamtaro characters by the names used in the English-language editions. Its cognate name in Chinese, Yuè Nán (越南; Yut6 Naam4 in Cantonese) means "southern extension". The English name is listed after the Japanese name. 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. . . This television program teaches children about sharing, adventures, and real life situations.

Situated in eastern Indochina, it borders China, Laos, Cambodia, as well as the South China Sea. The show also features the household's dog, Brandy (Burandon or "Don-chan" in the Japanese series). The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, or Vietnam, is a communist country in Southeast Asia. Hamtaro is owned by a girl named Laura Haruna (Hiroko Haruna or "Roko-chan" in the original Japanese). (Vietnamese, "Independence, liberty, happiness"). Supporting characters include other hamsters. Music of Vietnam. Hamtaro is licensed by ShoPro Entertainment in North America.

Cuisine of Vietnam. The anime is based on Ritsuko Kawai's animated storybooks. Hmong: 0.8m (1.0%). Hamtaro (Japanese: とっとこハム太郎 Tottoko Hamutarō, Trotting Hamtaro) is a children's anime television program whose main character is the eponymous hamster named Hamtaro (Hamutaro in the original Japanese). Nun: 0.9m (1.1%). Ebichu mainly differents from Hamtarou, for containing sex scenes. Hoa: 0.9m (1.1%). Another manga about a hamster, Oruchuban Ebichu, is thought to be the "anti-Hamtaro".

Khmer Krom: 1.1m (1.4%). Daiwon C&A Holdings: All market character products from Japan and United States. Mường: 1.1m (1.5%). Seiko: Limited Edition watches. Thái: 1.3m (1.7%). VIZ Media: books, English-language comics, videos/DVDs. Tày: 1.5m (1.9%). Smuckers: Smucker's Snacker's.

Viet/Kinh: 65.8m (86.2%). Banpresto: Arcade kiddie ride. Sega: Arcade painting game, Sega Pico titles (Japanese market only), Cocopad titles (Japanese market only). For the Game Boy Advance: Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak, Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue, Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games/Ham-Ham Sports, Hamtaro E-Cards for the E-Card reader(Japanese market only). For the Game Boy Color: Hamtaro (Unreleased in the US/Rest of the World), Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite.

Nintendo: video games -

    . The Learning Company: Hamtaro: Wake Up Snoozer! for the IBM PC/PC compatibles/Apple Macintosh. Hasbro: plushies, collectable toy line. Ltd.: Plushes, collectible toy line, talking toys, musical toys, standalone electronic games (for the Japanese/Asian market only, but can also be found in some import stores in North America and Europe).

    Epoch Co. Columbia Music Entertainment: Japanese music CDs. Shogakukan: Ritsuko Kawai's books, other Hamtaro related titles, Japanese videos/DVDs. In Taiwan on YOYO TV.

    In Mexico on TV Azteca. In New Zealand on Cartoon Network Pacific and TV3 (New Zealand). Also aired for a short time on Network Ten. In Australia on Cartoon Network Pacific.

    In Hong Kong on TVB Jade. Those who live near the borders the might be able to get Hamtaro on NTV7 and/or RCTI as well. In Singapore on Channel I over Starhub cable (previously known as Singapore Cable Vision) and TCS Central. In Italy on Italia1.

    In Indonesia on RCTI. In Thailand on Channel 7 and UBC. In Malaysia (and possibly Brunei) on NTV7 (It may be possible that Brunei viewers also get Hamtaro on NTV7 via the Kristal-ASTRO satellite service). In the Philippines on GMA Network.

    In Korea on SBS (Korea) (2001), AniOne TV (2002) and Tooniverse (2003) (hangul:방가방가 햄토리, Banga Banga Hemtori). In Latin America on Cartoon Network LA (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico). In Mainland Europe on Fox Kids. In Finland on MTV3.

    In Germany on RTL 2. In the United Kingdom on Fox Kids. In Canada on YTV. Hamtaro has not broadcasted since then in the USA.

    It included the long-awaited 1 hour Hamtaro OVA, Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games, followed by a Hamtaro marathon of the last 6 episodes that were in English. Hamtaro has been canceled on Cartoon Network since March, 2004, although in late-August of 2004, Cartoon Network's "Saturday Block Party" was featuring Hamtaro. In the United States on the Cartoon Network, some rumor it may end up on Nick Jr. In Japan on TV Tokyo and TV stations of TXN.

    Don-chan / Brandy - Laura's dog. Burandon a.k.a. Tonkichi / Herbert - Jingle's pet pig. They currently have a child.

    Yoshi. After some conflict with her father, she finally get married to Mr. After several dates, she decides she and Philip should get married. He hated Philip Yoshi, who Charlotte loves.

    She is the daughter of Chairman Rooster, who is very strict and wants Charlotte to marry a wealthy husband, who can support her and the Rooster name. Sakura Inatori (稲鳥さくら Inatori Sakura) / Charlotte Rooster - Laura's teacher's girlfriend, who later becomes his wife. He is now married to her and even has a child in the japanese version, who the ham hams often try to protect. However, he has conquered his fear several times to win Charlotte Rooster's heart.

    Outside of his job, he is more wimpy and has a constant fear of chickens. A young teacher, who is very good at his job. Philip Yoshi - Laura's teacher. Ichiro Yamada (山田一郎 Yamada Ichirō), later Ichiro Inatori (稲鳥一郎 Inatori Ichirō) / Mr.

    They love Cappy very much and so, they constantly spoil him. Yu and Sae / Kip and Sue - Cappy's owners. Unfortunately, he is very shy, the opposite of Stan. Has a crush on Hillary.

    Norio (ノリオさん Norio-san) / Noel - Stan's owner. Best friends with Kylie. Jun (ジュンち Jun-chan) / June - Pashmina's owner. Her athleticism has inspired Sandy's own athletic nature.

    A very athletic girl who has one several gold medals in gymnastics. Hikari / Hillary - Sandy's owner. Best friends with June. Kyoko (キョウコちゃん Kyōko-chan) / Kylie - Penelope's owner.

    Maria (マリアちゃん Maria-chan) - The owner of Bijou. Laura has a crush on him. Taichi Kimura (木村太一 Kimura Taichi) / Travis - Laura's friend. The only human character who can actually talk to the ham hams.

    Momo Iwata (岩田モモ Iwata Momo) / Mimi - Panda's owner. Best friends with Laura. Kana Iwata (岩田カナ Iwata Kana): Oxnard's owner. Yume Haruna / Willow Haruna - Laura's grandmother.

    Yumetaro Haruna (春名ユメ太郎 Haruna Yumetarō) / Forrest Haruna - Laura's father. Hiromi Haruna (春名ヒロミ Haruna Hiromi) / Marian Haruna - Laura's mother. Best friends with Kana.
    . Several episodes involve the ham hams trying to help Laura with whatever problem she's facing.

    Laura cares for Hamtaro very much just as Hamtaro cares for her. Roko-chan (ロコちゃん) / Laura Haruna - Hamtaro's owner and the main human character. Hiroko Haruna (春名ヒロ子 Haruna Hiroko) a.k.a. Lazuli or (in Japan) Lazuli-chan (ラズリーちゃん Razuri-chan) - owner unknown, not yet made television debut outside Japan.

    Lapis or (in Japan) Lapis-chan (ラピスちゃん Rapisu-chan) - owner unknown, not yet made television debut outside Japan. Whenever he is corrected, he usually replies "You changed your name again?". Whenever he appears, he usually mispronounces someone's name (Hamtaro most of the time). He also has a habit of forgetting names.

    In 'Hamtaro, Please Come Home' and all other appearances afterwards, he is seen with Herbert the Pig. Always seen carrying his guitar. He is also very clueless about many things, but tends to let out some wise advice. He speaks in rhymes, which often confuse the other ham hams.

    Appears occassionally throughout the series. Tongari (トンガリくん Tongari-kun) / Jingle - a field hamster. He has developed some sort of a rivalry with Stucky, especially when it comes to hide and seek. While he loves his home, he doesn't like being spoiled and even looks up to Boss due to Boss' independence as a field hamster.

    The two hats he mostly commonly carries are his green swimming cap and the giant saucepan that he usually is hiding under. One of the younger ham hams, Cappy loves hats. Kaburu (かぶるくん Kaburu-kun) / Cappy - Owned by Kip and Sue. Has built and repaired many things throughout the duration of the anime as well as the game.

    A ham ham who's fur matches his name, he is the builder/carpenter of the ham hams. Panda (パンダくん Panda-kun) - Owned by Mimi. He is always sleeping, but often utters some helpful advice when the ham hams are in need of it. It is unknown where he came from.

    Neteru (ねてるくん Neteru-kun) / Snoozer - A mysterious hamster that Boss found in his hideaway (which would soon become the clubhouse). He is often seen shaking his maracas or riding his skateboard. Initially, Sandy and Stan were seperated when Noel (who had a crush on Hillary) offered to take care of one of her hamsters. As a result, he is often an annoyance to the other guys, especially Boss, Howdy, and Dexter.

    Sandy's twin (older) brother, who is often caught flirting with the other girls. Torahamu-kun (トラハムくん Torahamu-kun) / Stan - Owned by Noel. In the english version, she has a valley girl accent. While it seems like the two have confessed in the English version, a Japanese episode confirms that they aren't romantically involved yet.

    She has a crush on Maxwell. Her interest in gymnastics have been influenced by Hillary, who is a gold medal gymnast. A sporty young girl ham who carries a ribbon. Torahamu-chan (トラハムちゃん Torahamu-chan) / Sandy - Owned by Hillary.

    Though not revealed in the English version, he tends to be just as clueless as Hamtaro when it comes to love. Has a crush on Sandy. Always carries a book around and is often turned to for knowledge. Noppo (のっぽくん Noppo-kun) / Maxwell - Owned by the eldest son of a bookstore owner.

    Unlike the other ham hams, Penelope can't say anything more than 'ookwee' or 'ookyoo' (though she has been heard saying 'bookwee' during the Halloween episode) Though not explained, fans have speculated that this is due to her age. This includes Herbert the Pig, a boy by the name of Ethan (who later befriends Mimi, much to Penelope's dismay), and a rabbit at Ethan's school. In season two, she has been seen to have affection for characters beyond her own race. She is both innocent and naive, but due to her age, she often gets herself into trouble more than most of the other ham hams.

    She feels attached to Pashmina, though she's friendly to everyone else. Considered the youngest of all the ham hams, Penelope is usually never caught out in the open without wearing her yellow blanket (though a few seconds in the opening theme shows her blanket coming off, revealing her brown fur). Chibimaru (ちびまるちゃん Chibimaru-chan) / Penelope - Owned by Kylie. She would rather have them get along.

    Dexter and Howdy often fight for her affection, but she doesn't seem to notice. She always wears her pink scarf and loves the color pink. Considered to be the more motherly ham ham as seen with Penelope. Mafura (マフラーちゃん Mafura-chan) / Pashmina - Owned by June.

    He loves Pashmina, but often battles with Howdy for her affection. A refined hamster and is incredibly smart. Megane (めがねくん Megane-kun) / Dexter - Owned by Curtis. He often rivals for Pashmina's affection with Dexter, causing many bouts between them.

    In the english version, he has a southern accent and a kansai accent in the japanese version. A ham ham notorious for telling bad jokes, especially at the wrong times. Maido (まいどくん Maido-kun) / Howdy - Owned by Goldie. Most of the time, Oxnard's predictions come true, especially for Boss (which usually end in Boss getting hurt in some way).

    He is also a great at tarot card reading, which soon attracts the other girls, much to the dismay of the other boys. He originally started as an easily frightened ham ham, but he has been a lot more braver and more dependable in recent episodes. He has the biggest appetites of the ham hams and also has a crush on Pepper. One of Hamtaro's best friends in the series.

    Koushi (こうしくん Kōshi-kun) / Oxnard- Owned by Kana. However, he cannot deal with the sea for he is prone to sea sickness. He has even developed a field hamster sense that tells him what kind of weather is rolling in. Because he is a field hamster, he is more familiar with nature and is more independent compared to the other ham hams.

    He has a bit of a temper, but he is very dependable, courageous, and nice, even shy at times (especially around Bijou). Often times, he will try to look like he knows everything, only to have it backfire in his face. The self proclaimed leader of the ham hams (though the ham hams do consider him the leader most of the time). Boss has a crush on Bijou.

    Taisho (大将君 or タイショーくん Taishō-kun) / Boss - a field hamster. She used to live in France before moving to where she is now (most likely Japan) and feels more attached to Japan and even refused to go back to France. A somewhat conceited hamster who loves her blue ribbons, but she isn't above getting dirty when she needs to help her friends and has been known to be generous and helpful. Bijou has a crush on Hamtaro.

    Ribon (リボンちゃん Ribon-chan) / Bijou - Owned by Maria. He is also very clueless about...pretty much a lot of things, especially love (much to Bijou and Sparkle's dismay). However, he cannot stand being ignored by Laura, and when she once did this, Hamtaro left her and tried to make his own home, which brought them to Ham Ham Land (As shown in the first Hamtaro movie). One of the more courageous ham hams, Hamtaro isn't above helping out his friends and his owner Laura.

    Hamtaro is involved in a love triangle between himself, Bijou, and Boss. Hamutaro (ハム太郎 Hamutarō, sometimes ハム太郎くん Hamutarō-kun) / Hamtaro - Owned by Laura.

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