Described as one of the oldest cultures in Southeast Asia, Vietnam embodies cultures of significant historical influence, blended with modern day twists. Here are some fascinating facts about the culture of Vietnam.
1. Vietnam’s value system is based on Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. In practice, this means images of various gods can be found in temples and pagodas throughout Vietnam, while fortune telling and symbols of yin and yang are prevalent.
2. Given its proximity with China and a millennium of Chinese rule, the culture of Vietnam is heavily influenced by China. The Vietnamese language is said to have 80% of its words that are derived from Chinese language.
3. Diversity of culture is another dominant characteristic of Vietnamese culture, with more than 50 ethnic groups across the country. Many ethnic groups and their subsequent traditions can be found in remote, mountainous regions, where their distinctive ways of life are still preserved.
4. The non la is the Vietnamese conical hat that people from across the world recognise. In fact, pictures of these bamboo hats were seen in Vietnamese art as long as 3,000 years ago.
5. Market life in Vietnam is a large part of the culture, and has been for centuries. Some of the most popular markets include Hanoi’s market in the Old Quarter and the floating markets of the Mekong Delta. Haggling is a way of life in Vietnam – which even foreigners are expected to partake in!
6. Water puppetry is Vietnam’s most famous performing art, dating back to the 11th century. When the Red River burst its banks, it provided an opportunity for creative puppeteers to conceal their bodies and the mechanics behind the puppets they operated. Water puppet shows are still performed to this day, with puppeteers performing from positions half immersed in water.
7. Artisans and craftsmanship is a proud aspect of Vietnamese heritage, with the country’s abundant natural resources providing opportunities for locals to get creative. Nowadays, there are 1,500 handicraft villages in Vietnam
Immerse yourself in the culture of Vietnam on our trip
taking in some of the most famous and off-the-beaten-track culture and heritage sites of Vietnam.