What is Vietnamese identity and Vietnamese culture?

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What is Vietnamese identity and Vietnamese culture?

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I don’t have enough knowledge to write about Vietnamese culture. Fortunately, Tim Tran wrote a fantastics answer about it. The answer is very thorough and well written with many example pictures. Please take a look!

In my opinion, Vietnamese identity is about the ability to fight off invading forces. Aside from the Chinese, all foreigners I know only know about Vietnam through Vietnam Wars. Some countries in Africa even teach highschool students about Vietnam War. Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap are the only Vietnamese names they know.

Another name that is sometimes mentioned is Tran Hung Dao, the Vietnamese general who defeated Mongol Army twice. But that name is only mentioned in history forums and books.

Aside from that, anything that Vietnam has done in history was dwarfed by its giant neighbour.

In short, the identity of Vietnam come from its ability to defend the country from powerful forces.Also, Vietnam definitely have a distinct culture different from China.

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Vietnamese identity is defined by the region-attachment , it isn’t a region that is strictly set of territorial boundaries, but instead, it is the rough notion that came from the ancient time, which has been described by different names throughout the history, for example, one of them is “ The River and Mountains of the Southern Country ”(Nam quốc sơn hà). And from it to expand outward, an expansion through either massive migration or political invasion, which then shaped the entire heartland of the Vietnamese people.

Vietnamese identity is expressed to be “a nation of survival”, dân tộc sinh tồn . To survive from fighting against outer invasion and to survive from environmental challenges. The desire to survive is the ground of Vietnamese culture, it generates the habit to adapt new things, whether from the invaders or from the new environment(places that they move to), and thus, as a result, Vietnamese culture is ongoingly evolving itself, it belongs to the model of cultural pluralism rather than a part of any single cultural sphere.

Survival is an avoidable fact, and the Vietnamese-ness is sensitive of keeping this fact psychologically.

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They have origins from ancient indigenous barbarians. They are direct descendants of the barbarians. The barbarians Luo then Jiao then Annamites in the past, many time revolted and fought off against the civilized Middle Kingdom, France, USA and they never surrender to lost identity and be assimilated.

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