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:. This, however, did not prevent the many Bionicle users from continuing to use the disputed words, resulting in the popular Bionicle website BZPower coming under a denial-of-service attack for four days by an attacker using the name Kotiate [1]. Its characteristic flavor is sweet (sugar), spicy (serrano peppers), and flavored by a variety of mints. Initially LEGO refused to withdraw the game, saying the names it used were drawn from many cultures, but later agreed that it had taken the names from Māori and agreed to change certain names or spellings to help set the toy line apart from the Māori legends. Vietnamese cuisine is based on rice, soy sauce, and fish sauce. The dispute was settled amicably. Southern music exudes a lively laissez faire attitude. The product line used many words that were an appropriation of Māori language, imagery and folklore.

Central classical music shows the influences of Champa culture with its melancholic melodies. In 2001 a dispute arose between Danish toymaker LEGO and several Māori tribal groups fronted by lawyer Maui Solomon, and also several members of an online discussion forum Aotearoa Cafe, over the popular LEGO toy line Bionicle. Vietnamese classical music can be traced to the Mongol invasions, when the Vietnamese captured a Chinese opera troupe. Despite significant social and economic advances during the 20th century, Māori still perform negatively in most health and education statistics, labour participation as well as being over-represented in criminal and corrections statistics. Northern classical music is Vietnam's oldest and is traditionally more formal. Māori politicians have seven designated Māori seats in the New Zealand parliament (and may stand in the General seats), and consideration and consultation with Māori are routine requirements for many New Zealand councils and government organisations. 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. Māori language has the equivalent status to English in government and law.

Others say that the Vietnamese' second religion is superstition and fatalism, brought on by the decades of war. Māori Television, a government-funded TV station committed to broadcasting primarily in te reo, began broadcasting on March 28, 2004. The majority of Vietnamese are adherents to Mahayana Buddhism, influenced by Confucianism and Daoism, and with a strong emphasis on ancestor worship. Māori culture and language is taught in most New Zealand schools, and pre-school kohanga reo or language nests, teach tamariki or young children exclusively in Māori. Historically, passing the imperial Mandarin exams was the only means for Vietnamese people to socially advance themselves. Generous state funding is assisting with the revival attempt. Education is highly prized. In many areas of New Zealand, Māori language ceased to be used as a living community language (by significant numbers of people) in the post-war years.

Due to Vietnam's long association with China, Vietnamese culture remains strongly Confucian with its emphasis on familial duty. As a result of the compensation paid, Māori now have significant interests in the fishing and forestry industries. During the French colonial period, Quốc Ngữ, the romanized Vietnamese alphabet representation of spoken Vietnamese, became popular and brought literacy to the masses. A special court, the Waitangi Tribunal, was established to investigate and make recommendations on such issues. The celebrated epic Đoạn trường tân thanh (or Truyện Kiều) by Nguyễn Du is written in Chữ Nôm. Sympathetic governments and political activism have led to compensation for certain historic instances of unjust confiscation of land and the violation of other property rights. In the 16th century, the Vietnamese developed their own set of characters called Chữ Nôm. Others seek to develop a New Zealand identity that incorporates strands of Māori identity.

In its early history, Vietnamese writing used Chinese characters. Some commentators express frustration with the "theme-parkisation" of Māori identity with tourist-driven performances and gift shop "art". Main article: Culture of Vietnam. No Māori live a traditional pre-European contact lifestyle today. See also: List of ethnic groups in Vietnam. Despite a high degree of intermingling between the Māori and European populations, Māori were able to retain their cultural identity and in the 1960s and 1970s, Māoridom underwent a cultural revival. In recent years, English has become a more popular language to learn and is increasingly used in business, among other things. The predicted decline did not occur, and population levels recovered.

Russian- and to a much lesser extent Czech or Polish- is often known among "baby-boomers" whose families had ties with the Soviet bloc. With the loss of much of their land, Māori went into a period of decline, and by the late 19th century it was believed that the Māori population would cease to exist as a separate race and be assimilated into the European population. French, a legacy of colonial rule, is spoken by some (mostly older) Vietnamese as a second language. Settlements such as Parihaka in Taranaki are remembered as sites of violent conflict that took place there during that period. 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). Although these resulted in relatively few deaths, large tracts of tribal land were confiscated by the colonial government. Various other languages are spoken by the several minority groups in Vietnam. In the 1860s, disputes over questionable land purchases and the attempts of Māori in the Waikato to establish a rival British-style system of royalty led to the New Zealand wars.

According to official figures, 86.2% of the population speak Vietnamese as a native tongue. The treaty made the Māori British subjects in return for a guarantee of property rights and tribal autonomy. The figure was down to 86.9% at the 1989 census, and 86.2% at the 1999 census. This treaty was subsequently signed by many other Māori chiefs, though by no means all. According to official figures, at the 1979 census the ethnic Vietnamese accounted for 87.4% of the total population. On arrival in February, Hobson negotiated the Treaty of Waitangi with the surrounding northern chiefs. 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. Before he arrived, Queen Victoria annexed new Zealand by royal proclamation in January 1840.

The birth rate of the minorities is still very high, comparable to birth rates in Cambodia or Laos. Ultimately this led to William Hobson being dispatched with instructions to take possession of New Zealand. 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. With increasing European missionary activity and settlement in the 1830s as well as perceived European lawlessness, the British Crown, as a predominant world power, came under pressure to intervene. 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). Estimates vary between ten and fifty percent. According to the 1999 census, ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) numbered 65,795,718 and thus accounted for 86.2% of the total population of Vietnam. European diseases also killed a large but unknown number of Māori during this period.

Protests and demonstrations by highland minorities have been reported. During this period the acquisition of muskets by those tribes in close contact with European visitors destabilised the existing balance of power between Māori tribes, and there was a period of bloody inter-tribal warfare, known as the Musket Wars, during which several tribes were effectively exterminated and others were driven from their traditional territory. 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. Frederick Edward Maning, an early settler, wrote two colourful contemporaneous accounts of life at that time which have become classics of New Zealand literature: Old New Zealand and History of the War in the North of New Zealand against the Chief Heke. Governor George Grey learned the language and recorded much of the mythology. 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. When Pomare led a war party against Titore in 1838, among his warriors were 132 Pakeha mercenaries. 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. These Europeans were known as Pakeha Māori.

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. Pakeha were valued for their ability to describe European skills and culture and their ability to obtain European items in trade, particularly weaponry. Human Rights NGOs point out the Vietnamese government's poor record with respect to ethnic minorities. By 1830 it was estimated that there were as many as 2,000 Pakeha living among the Māori, status varying from slaves through to high ranking advisors, from prisoners to those who abandoned European culture and identified themselves as Māori. Sometimes, the name Montagnard is used specifically for the Mường ethnic group. There was also a continuous trickle of escaped convicts from Australia and deserters from visiting ships. The name Montagnard is still sometimes used today. From as early as the 1780s Māori had encounters with European sealers and whalers; some even crewed on their ships.

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. Inter-tribal warfare was a way of life, with the conquered being enslaved or in some cases eaten. Officially, the ethnic minorities are referred to as "national minorities". These early reports described the Māori as a fierce and proud warrior race. 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. The early European explorers, including Abel Tasman and James Cook, reported encounters with Māori. There are some who are racially mixed with blacks as well, another product during the Vietnam War from American soldiers. European colonisation of New Zealand occurred relatively recently, causing the late New Zealand historian Michael King to state in his book, The Penguin History Of New Zealand, that Māori were "the last major human community on earth untouched and unaffected by the wider world.".

There are also a few of those descended from Indian or Pakistani setttlers also during the colonial era. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the practice of tattooing for both men and women, as a sign of cultural identity and a reflection of the general revival of the language and culture; members of kapa haka (concert parties) often apply temporary markings to their faces to give an approximation of a tattooed appearance. 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. Simmons also mentions that the use of the painful traditional tattooing implements began to be abandoned in favour of grouped metal needles starting from about 1910 (ibid). Vietnam also has a small number of racial Eurasians, people of Asian and Caucasian (mostly white, but also Indian) parentage. Women were not as extensively tattooed: with some exceptions, only their lips and chin were decorated. Many of these 53 minority groups only have a few thousand members or so. It was an extremely long and painful process, and often leaves from the karaka tree were placed over the swollen incisions to hasten the healing process.

Beyond these five largest ethnic minorities, there are 48 other minorities officially recognized by the Vietnamese government, giving a total of 53 minorities altogether. Next, the chisel was dipped into a sooty pigment such as burnt kauri gum which was then smeared into the skin. 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). The first stage of the tattoo started with the carving of deep grooves into the skin (see Simmons 1997:19). Up to the 1979 Vietnamese census, the Hoa were the largest minority of Vietnam. The instrument used to tattoo in former times (up to 1925) was a bone chisel with an extremely sharp edge. 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. Apart from signalling status and rank, another reason for the practice in traditional times was to make a person more attractive to the opposite sex.

The Hoa (ethnic Han Chinese) are mainly lowlanders and, more specifically, urban dwellers. According to Simmons, in both men and women, the patterns used were highly significant of a person's rank, skills, knowledge, personal life history, tribal affilations and genealogy; in contrast Buck (1974:298) thought that because tā moko experts travelled widely to carry out their art the designs would have related more to the tribal affiliations of the tattooist rather than those of the tattooed. The Vietnamese government reported 1,055,174 Khmer Krom at the 1999 census. The receiving of tattoos constituted an important milestone on a person's journey to maturity and was accompanied by many rites and rituals. There is no consensus on the exact number of Khơ-me Crôm (Khmer Krom) living in Vietnam. It is thought that in traditional society many or most high-ranking persons were tattooed, and those who went without tattoos were seen as persons of lower social status; although Simmons (1997), cited below, contains references throughout to servants who were tattooed with patterns that signalled that they were the slave of a high ranking chief. 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. As a cultural practice tattooing (tā moko) was brought by the Māori from their Eastern Polynesian homeland, and the implements and methods employed were similar to those used in other parts of Polynesia (see Buck 1974:296, cited in References below).

The Mường live in the mountains of north central Vietnam and speak a Mon-Khmer language closely related to the Vietnamese language. These trends have contributed towards a worldwide interest in traditional Māori culture and arts. 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. Several actors who have recently appeared in high-profile movies filmed in New Zealand have come back wearing such jewellery, including Viggo Mortensen of The Lord of the Rings fame, took to wearing a hei matau around his neck. 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. These collectives have begun creating and exporting jewellery (such as bone carved hei matau pendants and greenstone jewellery) and other artistic items (such as wood carvings and textiles). This official "Thái" ethnicity should not be confused with the Thai people of Thailand. Several artistic collectives have been established by Māori tribal groups.

All these languages are closely related and belong to the Southwestern Tai subgroup of the Tai languages. For many Māori the wearing of such items relates to cultural identity; however, they are also popular with young New Zealanders of all races. 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. Other taonga (treasured possessions) used as items of personal adornment include bone carvings in the form of neck ornaments, earrings or necklaces. 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. After laborious and lengthy polishing, the completed pendant is suspended by a plaited cord and secured by a loop and toggle. The Tay people live primarily in the mountains and foothills of northern Vietnam. Creating a hei-tiki with traditional methods is a long, arduous process during which the stone is smoothed by abrasive rubbing; finally, using sticks and water, it is slowly shaped and the holes bored out.

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. The tilted head of the pitau variety of hei-tiki derives from the properties of the stone - its hardness and great value make it important to minimise the amount of the stone that has to be removed. The largest Protestant churches are the Evangelical Church of Vietnam and the Montagnard Evangelical Church. From the size and style of traditional examples of hei-tiki it is likely that the stone was first cut in the form of a small adze. Mainstream Pure Land schools and Zen-inspired syncretists); with a sizeable Roman Catholic following, Protestant, Cao Đài, and Hoa Hao minorities. Named varieties include translucent green kahurangi, whitish inanga, semi-transparent kawakawa, and tangiwai or bowenite. But according to the majority of other sources, Vietnamese people are predominantly Confucian and Mahayana Buddhist (esp. Pounamu is esteemed highly by Māori for its beauty, toughness and great hardness; it is used not only for ornaments such as hei-tiki and ear pendants, but also for carving tools, adzes, and weapons.

According to the 1999 Socialist Republic of Vietnam's census numbers, eighty percent of Vietnamese subscribe to no religion. New Zealand greenstone consists of either nephrite (a type of jade, in Māori: pounamu) or bowenite (Māori: tangiwai). 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. The most valuable hei-tiki are carved from greenstone or pounamu. 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. Another less romantic theory holds that it served merely for personal adornment. 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. One theory of the origin of the hei-tiki suggests a connection with Tiki, the god who created human life, in which case the hei-tiki is a symbol of fertility.

The majority ethnic Vietnamese, also called Viet or Kinh, make up about 86 percent of the nation's population. The hei-tiki, a small ornamental pendant usually made of pounamu and worn around the neck, is often incorrectly referred to as a tiki, a term that actually refers to large human figures carved in wood, and, also, the small wooden carvings used to mark sacred places. 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:. The New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks, perform a haka before international matches not only as a reflection of the importance of the game that is about to be played but also to motivate themselves and their supporters to greater efforts; indirectly then, as in days of old on the Māori battlefield, they are paying a compliment to the perceived skills of their opponents. Main article: Demographics of Vietnam. In today's environment however, haka are often performed as a mark of respect for distinguished visitors, or to express a sense of the importance of an occasion. Many of the over 3 million annual visitors are Vietnam war veterans. The aim of the warriors was to kill all the members of the enemy war party, so that no survivors would remain to undertake revenge.

Tourism has become an increasingly important industry in Vietnam. Often, warriors went naked into battle, apart from a plaited flax belt around the waist. 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. If the haka was not performed in total unison, this was regarded as an bad omen for the battle. The booming prices have given the poor land owners the opportunity to sell their homes for inflated prices. It involved fierce facial expressions and grimaces, poking out of the tongue, eye bulging, grunts and cries, and the waving of weapons. This has amazed many people because GDP per capita of this city is around US$1,000 per annum. Its purpose was to invoke the god of war and to warn enemies of the fate awaiting them.

In Hanoi, the capital, property prices can be as high as those in Tokyo or New York City. In former times, the peruperu was performed before a battle. The reason lies in the high property prices. There are various types of war haka - one performed without weapons, usually to express public or private feelings, is known as the "haka taparahi"; another, the peruperu, is performed with weapons. The spending power of the public has noticeably increased. There are haka of song and joy, and warlike haka. This figure has been scaled down by the Government to 9.5% per annum to avoid the ‘double digit’ classification. A number of different types of haka are performed depending on the occasion.

Inflation rate is estimated at 14% per year in 2004. The haka is just one of many kinds of group dance or performance. This translates to US$2700 per capita. Today, tapu is still observed in matters relating to sickness, death, and burial. Vietnam, however, is still a relatively poor country with GDP of US$227.2 billion (est., 2004). In pre-contact society, tapu was one of the strongest forces in Māori life; however in the early 1800s, Māori enthusiastically embraced Christianity and its concepts and adapted them to their culture. The country is attempting to become a member of the WTO. Burial grounds and places of death were always tapu, and these areas were often surrounded by a protective fence.

Layoffs in the state sector and foreign-invested enterprises combined with the lasting effects of a previous military demobilization further exacerbated the unemployment situation. Not only were the houses of people of high rank perceived to be tapu, but also their possessions including their clothing. 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. A chief's house was tapu, and even the chief could not eat food in the interior of his house. Simultaneously, investment grew three-fold and domestic savings quintupled. In earlier times food cooked for a person of high rank was tapu, and could not be eaten by an inferior. 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. A violation of tapu could have dire consequences, including the death of the offender through sickness or at the hands of someone affected by the offence.

In many ways, this followed the Chinese model and achieved similar results. Death was the penalty. 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"). This was considered "pollution" and persons of a lower rank could not touch the belongings of a highborn person. Main article: Economy of Vietnam. In earlier times, tribal members of a higher rank would not touch objects which belonged to members of a lower rank. 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). A person, object or a place could be made sacred by tapu for a certain time.

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). A person, an object or a place, which is tapu, may not be touched by human contact, in some cases, not even approached. The climate is tropical and monsoonal; humidity averages 84 percent throughout the year. There are two kinds of tapu, the private (relating to individuals) and the public tapu (relating to communities). The south is divided into coastal lowlands, Dai Truong Son (central mountains) with high plateaus, and the Mekong River Delta. Tapu can be interpreted as "sacred", as "spiritual restriction" or "implied prohibition"; it involves rules and prohibitions. Phan Xi Păng, located in Lào Cai province, is the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143 metres (10,312 ft). According to some, the supreme god of the Māori is Io; however this idea is controversial.

The northern part of the country consists of highlands and the Red River Delta. Tane is the god of the forest and the origin of all birds, and Rongo is the god of peaceful activities and agriculture. Mountains account for 40 percent, hills 40 percent, and forests 75 percent. In accordance with the Polynesian tradition, Tangaroa is god of the ocean and the origin of all fish. The topography consists of hills and densely forested mountains, with level land covering no more than 20 percent. Certain people and objects contain mana - spiritual power or essence. 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. Māori religion is closely related to nature and to the ancestors, and all things are conceived of as possessing a life force or mauri, since all living things are connected by a common descent through whakapapa or genealogy.

Main article: Geography of Vietnam. Oratory, the making of speeches, is especially important in the rituals of encounter, and it is regarded as important for a speaker to include allusions to traditional narrative and to a complex system of proverbial sayings, called whakataukī. 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. The history of individual tribal groups is kept by means of narratives, songs and chants, hence the importance of music, story and poetry. Now, Saigon is understood as heart of the city (central area of the District 1). Finally, soil is heaped over the hāngi to keep the heat in. Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Sài Gòn (Sài Gòn). The hāngi is then covered with leaves or mats woven out of flax (or wet sacks) and left to cook.

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). The food is placed on top of the stones, the meat first, with the vegetables, such as kumara and potatoes, on top of it. Vietnam's capital (thủ đô, singular and plural) is Hà Nội (Hà Nội). When the stones are hot the hāngi is prepared for cooking by leaving the hot stones and some of the coals at the bottom of the hole. Main article: Provinces of Vietnam. A fire is prepared in the hole and stones are placed on the top of it. Vietnam is a member of the United Nations, La Francophonie, ASEAN, and APEC, and applied for membership to the World Trade Organization in 2001. The hāngi consists of a shallow hole dug in the ground.

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. Although marae have modern cooking facilities, the hāngi, a traditional way of cooking food in Polynesia, is still used to provide meals for large groups because the food it produces is considered flavourful. The Government of Free Vietnam has claimed responsibility for a number of guerilla raids into Vietnam, which the Vietnamese government has denounced as terrorism. When Māori refer to themselves as tāngata whenua this is not done solely to emphasise their indigenous status, as is often assumed, because the connotation in Māori of the phrase is one not of separation but rather of welcome and inclusion. The most prominent are the Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League, and the Government of Free Vietnam. Should other groups of manuhiri arrive, the manuhiri who arrived previously - regardless of their race - are considered tāngata whenua for the purposes of formally welcoming the new group. These communities have supported demonstrations and civil disobedience against the government. Should a group of people come to stay on a marae, they are considered manuhiri (guests) while the owners of the marae are known as tāngata whenua.

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. This is when the phrase tāngata whenua (people of the land) comes into play. 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. Locals and visitors have to respect certain rules, especially during the rituals of encounter. From 2001 until now, Nong Duc Manh has been General Secretary of CPV. The older people have the authority on the marae, and they impart to the young people traditions and cultural practices including legends, songs or the arts of weaving or carving. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam exists today as a communist state. On the marae official functions take place including formal welcomes, celebrations, weddings, christenings, tribal reunions, and tangihanga (funerals).

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 marae symbolises group unity and generally consists of an open grassed area in front of a large carved meeting house, along with a dining hall and other facilities necessary to provide a comfortable stay for visiting groups. Main article: Politics of Vietnam. The marae is a communal ceremonial centre where meetings and ceremonies take place in accordance with traditional protocols. It reestablished diplomatic relations with the United States in 1995, one year after the United States' trade embargo on Vietnam was repealed. The people also wore highly decorative personal ornaments, and people of rank were often extensively tattooed. During much of the 1990s, economic growth was rapid, and Vietnam reintegrated into the international community. Art was and is a prominent part of the culture as seen in the carving of houses, canoes, weapons, and other items.

In 1986, the Communist Party of Vietnam implemented economic reforms known as đổi mới (renovation). Main tasks were separated for men and women, but there were also a lot of group activities involving food gathering & food cultivation, and warfare. Only one month later, however, partially in retaliation, China launched a short-lived incursion into Vietnam: the Sino-Vietnamese War. Seasonal activities included gardening, fishing and the hunting of birds. In late 1978, the Cambodian people, with the support of the Vietnamese army, removed the Khmer Rouge from power. The harakeke (flax plant) served as a replacement for coconut fronds and hibiscus fibre in the manufacture of mats, baskets, rope, fishing nets and clothing. Millions of South Vietnamese became boat people over the next two decades. Great ingenuity was required to grow the tropical plants they had brought with them from Polynesia, including taro, kumara, gourds, and yams; this was especially difficult in the chillier southern parts of the country.

After reunification, political and economic conditions deteriorated to near-famine conditions. After arriving in New Zealand, Māori had to rapidly adapt their material culture and agricultural practices to suit the climate of their new land, cold and harsh in comparison to tropical island Polynesia. 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. The East Polynesian ancestors of the Māori were hunters, fishermen and gardeners. All American troops were withdrawn by March 29, 1973. There is no credible evidence of human settlement in New Zealand prior to the Māori voyagers; on the other hand, compelling evidence from archaeology, linguistics and physical anthropology indicates that the first settlers were East Polynesians who became the Māori. The war continued even after the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973, which formally recognized the sovereignty of both sides. Migration accounts vary among Māori tribes or iwi, whose members can identify with the different waka in their genealogies or whakapapa.

The conflict quickly escalated into the Vietnam War. In fact nowhere in the authentic voyaging traditions is there an account of several canoes all arriving together at one place and time. During the Cold War, the North was supported by China and the Soviet Union while the South was supported by United States. The spurious fleet scenario was then accepted by some Māori including Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck), and won general acceptance until it was debunked in the 1960s by the research of David Simmons and others. The Geneva Accords subsequently divided the country into North Vietnam and South Vietnam, separated by a demilitarized zone. More recent research has revealed that this concept originated with European researchers including Percy Smith who attempted to cobble together various unrelated Māori legends. When the war ended, France attempted to re-establish control but failed, after they were defeated at Dien Bien Phu. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the idea arose that Māori had voyaged to New Zealand in the so-called 'Great Fleet of 1350AD' which claims that seven canoes arrived simultaneously.

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. Māori oral history describes their arrival from Hawaiki (a mythical homeland in tropical Polynesia) by large ocean–going canoes (waka). The independent period ended in the mid-19th century, when the country was colonized by France. Archaeological and linguistic evidence (see Sutton 1994 cited in References section below) suggests there were probably several waves of migration from Eastern Polynesia to New Zealand between 800 and 1300. They eventually conquered the kingdom of Champa and much of the Khmer empire. Māori origins therefore cannot be separated from those of their Polynesian ancestors (for more information see Polynesian culture). Between the 13th and 17th centuries, the Vietnamese expanded southward in a process known as nam tiến (southward expansion). Polynesian voyagers are believed to have migrated to what is now New Zealand from eastern Polynesia in the latter part of the 1st millennium.

Feudalism in Vietnam reached its zenith in the Le Dynasty 1400s, especially with the emperor Le Thanh Tong. New Zealand was one of the last areas of the planet to be reached by humans. 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. It is also the name of the people and language of the Cook Islands, referred to as Cook Islands Māori. They gained complete autonomy a century later. "Māori" has cognates in some other Polynesian languages such as Hawaiian in which the word maoli means native, indigenous, real or actual.

In 939, the Vietnamese defeated Chinese forces at the Bach Dang River and gained independence. The word māori means "normal" or "ordinary" in the Māori language and denotes mortal beings as distinct from the gods. Sporadic independence movements were attempted, but were quickly extinguished by the Chinese army. Māori is the name of the indigenous people of New Zealand, and their language. 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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