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 New Players Theatre in London staged a revival in 2004 to honor its 21st anniversary, but some reviewers noted that its "feelgood" sentiments had not aged well. Its characteristic flavor is sweet (sugar), spicy (serrano peppers), and flavored by a variety of mints. In 1988, it was adapted into an animated TV special. Vietnamese cuisine is based on rice, soy sauce, and fish sauce. In its 1983 run in London's West End, it won an Olivier Award. Southern music exudes a lively laissez faire attitude. Snoopy!!! The Musical was a musical comedy based on the Peanuts comic strip, originally performed at Lamb's Theatre off-Broadway in 1982.

Central classical music shows the influences of Champa culture with its melancholic melodies. According to animated special Snoopy's Reunion, they are named Molly and Rover. Vietnamese classical music can be traced to the Mongol invasions, when the Vietnamese captured a Chinese opera troupe. Although Snoopy often mentions that he was one of eight puppies, the two other siblings never appeared in the comic strip. Northern classical music is Vietnam's oldest and is traditionally more formal. Belle, who looks like Snoopy with long eyelashes, is most notable in that there was a Belle stuffed animal available for many years. 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. Marbles has spots on his fur, wears shoes, and considers some of Snoopy's behavior very odd.

Others say that the Vietnamese' second religion is superstition and fatalism, brought on by the decades of war. Olaf, who wears a fur cap, is rotund in both body and face. The majority of Vietnamese are adherents to Mahayana Buddhism, influenced by Confucianism and Daoism, and with a strong emphasis on ancestor worship. Andy looks like a disheveled version of Snoopy. Historically, passing the imperial Mandarin exams was the only means for Vietnamese people to socially advance themselves. Spike is very thin, wears a fedora and has long whiskers. Education is highly prized. Most often seen is Spike, who lives in the desert (near the real-life locale of Needles, California) and is friends with cacti.

Due to Vietnam's long association with China, Vietnamese culture remains strongly Confucian with its emphasis on familial duty. Snoopy has seven siblings, five of whom appear at some point in the strip: Andy, Belle, Marbles, Olaf, and Spike. During the French colonial period, Quốc Ngữ, the romanized Vietnamese alphabet representation of spoken Vietnamese, became popular and brought literacy to the masses. In the late 1970s Snoopy embarked upon a journey to visit Daisy Hill, only to find that the puppy farm had been replaced by a six-story parking garage. The celebrated epic Đoạn trường tân thanh (or Truyện Kiều) by Nguyễn Du is written in Chữ Nôm. At one point in the series, Charlie Brown said that his parents bought Snoopy for him to cheer him up after another child threw sand in his face while they were playing in a sandbox. In the 16th century, the Vietnamese developed their own set of characters called Chữ Nôm. Shortly after his return to the farm, Snoopy was selected by Charlie Brown's parents as a companion for him.

In its early history, Vietnamese writing used Chinese characters. Snoopy's original owner was a little girl named Lila, who had to return him to Daisy Hill after her family moved to an apartment where dogs were forbidden. Main article: Culture of Vietnam. His father used to run with hunting dogs, but would secretly run ahead and warn the rabbits. See also: List of ethnic groups in Vietnam. Over the course of the strip's run, it was revealed that Snoopy had been born and raised at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. In recent years, English has become a more popular language to learn and is increasingly used in business, among other things. Snoopy also had his own little dance, which was named by an outside observer, the 'Snoopy Dance'.

Russian- and to a much lesser extent Czech or Polish- is often known among "baby-boomers" whose families had ties with the Soviet bloc. Snoopy is also bilingual, as he "understands a little french." His dog food brand is called "For Dogs who flew in World War I and understand a little french." He failed his high school geometry course, which was his excuse for not being able to follow a golf course's 90 degree golfcart driving rule. French, a legacy of colonial rule, is spoken by some (mostly older) Vietnamese as a second language. When Linus began to wear eyeglasses, Snoopy would abscond with them. 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). He used to torment Linus by grabbing one end of the blanket, taking Linus for a soaring glide, twirling him and letting him go flying. Various other languages are spoken by the several minority groups in Vietnam. Snoopy used to get onto "kicks": pretending to be a vulture, a vicious ape, a python or a "whirlydog".

According to official figures, 86.2% of the population speak Vietnamese as a native tongue. There was even a reference to a TV at one point. The figure was down to 86.9% at the 1989 census, and 86.2% at the 1999 census. Snoopy hates coconut candy and cookies, gets weed claustrophobia, and is deathly afraid of icicles dangling over his doghouse, which is dramatically larger inside than it is outside--or at least the basement is, being large enough to have a pool table and the paintings mentioned above. According to official figures, at the 1979 census the ethnic Vietnamese accounted for 87.4% of the total population. This story was later adapted as the animated special Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown. 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. However, she ran off with Snoopy's brother Spike, and later a coyote upon their arrival at Spike's desert.

The birth rate of the minorities is still very high, comparable to birth rates in Cambodia or Laos. For a while in 1977, Snoopy was engaged to an unseen female dog he met while on guard duty at Peppermint Patty's house. 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. Snoopy's deft and droll throwaway lines were also an effective foil to Lucy's barbed remarks, making him less put-upon than the beseiged Charlie Brown or the slightly hapless Linus. 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). Snoopy wondered what would be the point, since Charlie Brown already did everything he (Snoopy) wanted. According to the 1999 census, ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) numbered 65,795,718 and thus accounted for 86.2% of the total population of Vietnam. Charlie Brown's tormentor Lucy once demanded to know when he would be taking Snoopy to obedience classes.

Protests and demonstrations by highland minorities have been reported. Charlie Brown was of course Snoopy's owner (although early in the strip he appeared to be a stray dog whom Charlie Brown and his friends had adopted (or vice versa)), but the relationship was anything but master and servant. 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. In fact Snoopy reviled all cats generally, once remarking that they were "the crab grass on the lawn of life" and taking umbrage at the expression "cats and dogs", insisting that the proper expression was always "dogs and cats". 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. During one series of daily strips, Snoopy antagonized the cat each day, and the cat's paw made one giant slash move that, day by day, decimated Snoopy's freshly-rebuilt doghouse to a greater extent than the day before. 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. "World War III").

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. His arch-enemy (other than the Red Baron) is the unseen "Stupid Cat Next Door" (a.k.a. Human Rights NGOs point out the Vietnamese government's poor record with respect to ethnic minorities. Other than his owner Charlie Brown, Snoopy's best friend and confidante is the undersized yellow bird Woodstock, who only "speaks" in apostrophe marks. Sometimes, the name Montagnard is used specifically for the Mường ethnic group. This Scouting theme reappears throughout the comic strip. The name Montagnard is still sometimes used today. Snoopy is also a "Beagle Scout", the Peanuts version of Eagle Scout and is the Scout leader for a troop comprised of Woodstock and his other bird friends.

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. Outside of his fantasy life he is the shortstop for Charlie Brown's Little League team (and the best player, nearly breaking Babe Ruth's record of 714 career home runs before Hank Aaron), and even owned a Van Gogh (later replaced by an Andrew Wyeth after his first doghouse caught fire and burned down). Officially, the ethnic minorities are referred to as "national minorities". He has also been a famous writer (who was actually published once, in an October 1995 storyline, in which one copy of his unnamed novel was written, but it failed to sell), an attorney (who once defended Peter Rabbit), a hockey player, an Olympic figure skater (who used to skate with Sonja Henie before she became "big time"), a world famous grocery checkout clerk who operated from the top of his dog house in an apron, the "Lone Beagle" (the first dog to fly solo across the Atlantic) and even the first astronaut to land on the moon. 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. Snoopy also became "Joe Cool," as he put on sunglasses and leaned against the wall (in standard "cool" fashion) doing nothing. There are some who are racially mixed with blacks as well, another product during the Vietnam War from American soldiers. For this character he would don goggles and a scarf and fly his Sopwith Camel (actually his doghouse), battling the Red Baron (who appeared vicariously through the bulletholes he left riddled in the doghouse).

There are also a few of those descended from Indian or Pakistani setttlers also during the colonial era. This soon became so commonplace as to be almost unnoticeable, as Snoopy developed a variety of alter egos, most notably the World War I flying ace. 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. Then, Snoopy started walking on two legs like a human. Vietnam also has a small number of racial Eurasians, people of Asian and Caucasian (mostly white, but also Indian) parentage. One of the first odd developments of Snoopy was his tendency to sleep on top of his doghouse, rather than inside it. Many of these 53 minority groups only have a few thousand members or so. I don't envy dogs the lives they have to live."1.

Beyond these five largest ethnic minorities, there are 48 other minorities officially recognized by the Vietnamese government, giving a total of 53 minorities altogether. Otherwise, he leads kind of a dull, miserable life. 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). Schulz summed up Snoopy's character in a 1997 interview: "He has to retreat into his fanciful world in order to survive. Up to the 1979 Vietnamese census, the Hoa were the largest minority of Vietnam. Peanuts book title Life's a dream, Charlie Brown). 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. The contrast between Snoopy's existence in a dream world and Charlie Brown's in the real world is central to the humour and philosophy of Peanuts (see e.g.

The Hoa (ethnic Han Chinese) are mainly lowlanders and, more specifically, urban dwellers. Many of Peanuts' memorable moments come in Snoopy's daydream as a writer: his eternal opener on the typewriter "It was a dark and stormy night..." is taken from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel Paul Clifford. The Vietnamese government reported 1,055,174 Khmer Krom at the 1999 census. In addition to Snoopy's ability to "speak" his thoughts to the reader, many of the human characters in Peanuts have the uncanny knack of reading his thoughts and responding to them. There is no consensus on the exact number of Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) living in Vietnam. Snoopy was a silent character for the first two years of his existence, but on October 19, 1952 he verbalized his thoughts to readers for the first time via a thought balloon; Schulz would utilize this device for nearly all of the character's appearances in the strip thereafter. 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. Schulz was originally going to call him "Sniffy" until he discovered that name was used in a different comic strip.

The Mường live in the mountains of north central Vietnam and speak a Mon-Khmer language closely related to the Vietnamese language. Snoopy first made his appearance on the strip on October 4, 1950, two days after the strip premiered. 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 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. Snoopy began his life in the strip as a fairly ordinary dog, but eventually evolved into perhaps the strip's most dynamic character - and arguably one of the most recognizable comic characters in the world. This official "Thái" ethnicity should not be confused with the Thai people of Thailand. Schulz.

All these languages are closely related and belong to the Southwestern Tai subgroup of the Tai languages. Snoopy is the name of Charlie Brown's pet beagle in the long-running comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. 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. 27 (flip). 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. The Comics Journal, p. The Tay people live primarily in the mountains and foothills of northern Vietnam. "Charles Schulz at 3 o'clock in the morning".

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. Note 1: Groth, Gary (December 1997). The largest Protestant churches are the Evangelical Church of Vietnam and the Montagnard Evangelical Church. Snoopy is a 1983 computer game by Radarsoft. Mainstream Pure Land schools and Zen-inspired syncretists); with a sizeable Roman Catholic following, Protestant, Cao Đài, and Hoa Hao minorities. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a tradition existed between lifelong friends Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris where Willow, whose Orthodox Jew father discouraged Christmas accoutrements, would come to Xander's house each December to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas; Xander would entertain Willow by doing "the Snoopy Dance". But according to the majority of other sources, Vietnamese people are predominantly Confucian and Mahayana Buddhist (esp. Dejected, Brian lies atop a red doghouse with Peanuts music in the background.

According to the 1999 Socialist Republic of Vietnam's census numbers, eighty percent of Vietnamese subscribe to no religion. He points the guards to Snoopy, hiding in plain sight, and says, "What about him? He's gotta be in his 50s!" There is also an episode where Brian gets fired from The New Yorker magazine, and they hang a sign on the door that says "No Dogs Allowed", similar to Snoopy, Come Home. 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. Snoopy also appears in an episode of Family Guy where Brian dreams he is in Logan's Run and is set for extermination. 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. Dexter's dad then shows up with the incomprehensible gibberish of the cartoon Peanuts' adult world, but reveals that he's chewing taffy. 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. Dexter tries to hit the football, but it goes out of his reach as Dee Dee takes it at the last second, Dexter flying through the air like Lucy did to Charlie Brown.

The majority ethnic Vietnamese, also called Viet or Kinh, make up about 86 percent of the nation's population. In one episode of Dexter's Laboratory entitled "Sports a Poppin", As Dexter's dad was trying to show Dexter how to play football, we see Dee Dee, Dexter's annoying sister, lying on top of a red doghouse like Snoopy in the background. 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:. In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart finds his father passed out drunk atop a red doghouse in the backyard and says, "Good grief!". Main article: Demographics of Vietnam. The background music is the "sad" version of Vince Guaraldi's Christmas Time is Here. Many of the over 3 million annual visitors are Vietnam war veterans. In episode # 204 of Arrested Development, the character George Michael Bluth is seen walking dejectedly past a red dog house with a beagle relaxing on top.

Tourism has become an increasingly important industry in Vietnam. Snoopy is the name of the primary research vehicle of Check-Six.com Click here. 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. Air Force's B-58 Hustler bombers. The booming prices have given the poor land owners the opportunity to sell their homes for inflated prices. Snoopy is the name of one of the U.S. This has amazed many people because GDP per capita of this city is around US$1,000 per annum. In New Town Plaza, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, there is a mini theme park dedicated to Snoopy.

In Hanoi, the capital, property prices can be as high as those in Tokyo or New York City. He can be seen on the Tech Control emblem holding an old analog patch cord above his head as he walks on water. The reason lies in the high property prices. Snoopy is the US Air Force Technical Control mascot, as noted at http://3c2.us. The spending power of the public has noticeably increased. For many years, Snoopy, along with other characters from the Peanuts gang, have appeared in advertising campaigns for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), stating its corporate slogan, "Get Met, it pays!" In recent years, Snoopy has been the company's mascot, and the two MetLife blimps, Snoopy I and Snoopy II, feature images of him dressed as the World War I Flying Ace. This figure has been scaled down by the Government to 9.5% per annum to avoid the ‘double digit’ classification. Snoopy has appeared on amusement park logos owned by Cedar Fair, which operates Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America and Cedar Point.

Inflation rate is estimated at 14% per year in 2004. A series of postage stamps featuring Snoopy as a World War I flying ace was released on May 17, 2001 in Santa Rosa, California. This translates to US$2700 per capita. Apollo 10's lunar module was named "Snoopy", while its command module was named "Charlie Brown.". Vietnam, however, is still a relatively poor country with GDP of US$227.2 billion (est., 2004). The Royal Guardsmen recorded a few other songs featuring Snoopy and the Red Baron, including a Christmas version. The country is attempting to become a member of the WTO. A version by the ska group The Hotshots was a hit in the United Kingdom in 1973.

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 Red Baron", which made it to number 2 on request charts. 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. The Royal Guardsmen's debut album in 1966 featured the song "Snoopy vs. 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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