Vietnam – the country and the people

Socialist Republic of Vietnam

  • Capital: Hanoi
  • Population: 99.210.843 
  • Area: 331.211,6 km²
  • National Day: September 2 (1945)
  • Geography: Vietnam is a long, slender, S-shaped country in the heart of Southeast Asia, on the eastern Indochinese Peninsula. 
  • Topography: Three-quarters of the territory consists of hills and mountains.
  • Resources: Abundant in forests, marine areas, tourists, and various minerals.
  • Administrative divisions: Divided into 63 provinces and cities.
  • GDP: 368 billion USD (2021)
  • GDP on average: 3.743 USD (2021)

Vietnam is an S-shaped strip of territory situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, bordering China to the north, Laos to the west, Cambodia to the southeast, and overlooking the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Vietnam’s coastline is 3,260 kilometers long, while the land boundary is 4,510 kilometers.

From the North pole to the South pole (along the bird line), the mainland is 1,650 kilometers long; from the East pole to the West pole, the broadest point is 600 kilometers (North) and 400 kilometers (South), while the narrowest point is 50 kilometers (West) (Quang Binh Province). Vietnam’s territory is between the meridians 102º 08′ and 109º 28′ east and the latitudes 8º 02′ and 23º 23′ north. Vietnam is the traffic hub between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

  • History: 

Vietnam has a history of more than 4,000 years, with the earliest state being Van Lang, which was ruled by the Hung Kings. Vietnam’s national history is marked by its battle against an invading enemy to protect its boundaries and attain freedom and independence.

On September 2, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence in Ba Dinh Square, announcing to the whole country and the world the creation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, today the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The liberation of the South on April 30, 1975, marked the beginning of the country’s reunification.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam was named on July 2, 1976, at the first session of the Sixth National Assembly. 

  • Culture: 

Vietnam’s history is well-renowned for centuries of battling invaders to maintain the border, obtain independence, and build the nation. The union of 54 different ethnicities has significantly increased the country’s variety, richness, and cultural characteristics.

This cultural identity is prominent in community life and economic activities, including traditions, attire, and culinary preferences.

  • Folkways:

Vietnam’s cultural diversity, richness, and particular beauty cannot be replicated by any other nation due to the country’s 54 distinct ethnic groups, each of which has its notable cultural characteristics.

Vietnam’s customs have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years; they are now considered binding laws and deeply ingrained in every Vietnamese person’s psyche.

Traditional Vietnamese culture is constantly evolving in response to societal changes and the ups and downs of Vietnam’s history. Betel nut chewing is one of the country’s oldest and most widespread cultural traditions. This is an ancient custom that goes back to the Hung Vuong Dynasty and is drawn from the Trau Cau folktale; it has evolved into the typical ideal of a Vietnamese brotherhood and couple.

Vietnam has not just a tradition of chewing betel nuts, but also a tradition of embracing the New Year, commonly known as the Tet holiday.

  • Costume

Vietnam’s outfit is one of the most distinguishing cultural characteristics from those of other nations. It not only imprints the Vietnamese people’s traditions, culture, and customs, but it is also the nation’s life force. Traditional Vietnamese attire is quite diversified and plentiful, but Ao Dai and Ao Tu than (four-part dress) stand out as the most striking.

Ao Dai is Vietnam’s national dress that embodies the form and spirit of Vietnamese. 

The classic Ao Dai consists of long sleeves divided into front and rear, long pants with heels, silk or plain cloth, and a variety of colors and designs. It not only highlights the soft, glossy beauty of Vietnamese women but also conveys a preserve and a certain charm.

Ao Dai has evolved throughout the years to take on a wide variety of forms, colors, and fabrics while yet maintaining its classic aesthetic.

  • Cuisine:

One of the things that makes any nation unique is its cuisine. Visitors to Vietnam are not likely to forget the country’s signature dishes, such as Pho, Banh mi, Banh xeo, or Nem cua be.

These are the dishes that made Vietnam famous throughout the globe and earned it a spot on CNN’s list of the top 8 fastest-growing cuisines. Vietnamese cuisine is known for its balanced flavors, which are never too hot, too sweet, or too salty. There is a variety of fragrant herbs, vegetable spices, fruits or young leaves, fermented spices, and spices distinctive to Southeast Asian peoples among the spice components.