VIETNAMESE CULTURE VALUES AND IMPORTANT FACTORS


24 Jan 2021

Vietnam emerged on the world map as a country with many landscapes and rich cultural values. The diversity and uniqueness of culture is manifested through many aspects from cultural values, traditions, literature, religion to costumes and architecture. It is the beauty of traditional Vietnamese culture that attracts hundreds of tourists each year.

Table Contents
  • I - Overview of Vietnam culture and traditions
  • II - Vietnamese cultural values and facts and need to know
  • 1 - Typical Vietnamese cultural traditions
  • 2 - Typical Vietnam cultural values
  • 3 - Vietnam customs and traditions
  • 4 - Vietnam religion and culture
  • 5 - House architecture in Vietnamese culture
  • 6 - Martial arts in Vietnamese culture
  • 7 -  Traditional Music
  • 8 - Literature in Vietnamese culture
Vietnamese culture title
Source: Anne Lin

I - Overview of Vietnam culture and traditions

Culture can be simply understood as a combination of material and spiritual values ​​created by humans in the process of labor and production. It bears the imprint of the era including cultural - historical elements, as well as clearly demonstrates the spiritual life of each ethnic group in the territory of Vietnam. In which, there are 03 main characteristics:
- Vietnamese culture is part of the result of the harmony between Buddhism of the East, Confucianism of the North (Chinese characters and Confucianism).
- It is also the result of the process of preserving and maintaining the moral values ​​of the Vietnamese people over the centuries such as: patriotism, mutual love, water, remembering the source, ...
- However, in a certain angle, Vietnamese culture still has some stereotypical and qualitative elements.
Vietnam cultural differences: depending on different regions and ethnic groups, Vietnam has a huge diversity of cultural values and traditions. From the mountainous areas, to the coastal and the plain.  Traveling from north to south, tourists can see and experience many differences  and uniqueness in people’s lifestyle, traditions, norms and accent of language. 

II - Vietnamese cultural values and facts and need to know

Lunar New Year Vietnam cultural

The Lunar New Year (Source: Internet)

1 - Typical Vietnamese cultural traditions

During the historical development process, after many changes and reforms, up to the present time, Vietnam still retains intact typical cultural activities such as:
- The tradition of welcoming the new year - Lunar New Year is associated with the desire for a new year of peace, convenience and a good harvest. During Tet, there are typical activities such as wrapping banh chung, year-end rice tray, new year, spring travel activities, New Year greetings and lucky money (money to celebrate the age).
- The tradition of ancestor worship is the most popular culture in Vietnam’s traditions. Not only clearly shows the moral tradition "Remember the source of drinking water" as well as show the filial heart of the next generation to the previous generation. At the same time expressing the desire for a peaceful life and lots of luck.
- Marriage ceremony: From the Vietnamese perspective, getting married is one of the three great things of a person's life. Therefore, the wedding must be fully organized in order to wish for the marriage of the couple to always be strong, as well as to report to the ancestors and invite everyone to join the family.
- Funerals, death anniversary: ​​This is an opportunity to show the love of a family member in the family for the deceased. As well as praying for peace for loved ones who have died. 

2 - Typical Vietnam cultural values

Village Vietnam cultural values

Picture of village (Source: Vu Anh Dung)

Typical cultural values ​​create the characteristics of Vietnamese society and form typical social codes of conduct:
Family cultural values: The tradition of loving children and respecting the elderly in the Vietnamese family. As well as the family structure living in the multi-generational model (many generations living together). Elderly family members often have a voice because of a lot of knowledge and experience, and descendants often obey the instructions of adults.
Village and community cultural values: The culture of the village and the community lifestyle of the Vietnamese people is clearly shown through the proverb " Sell far brother and buy closer neighbor". Everyone always has the spirit to help and embrace each other.

3 - Vietnam customs and traditions

Vietnam's national dress is the ao dai, which has undergone many modifications to get the current shape. Vietnamese ao dai is divided into two main categories, namely men's ao dai and women's ao dai, with an indispensable accessory that is turban.
The Ao Dai first appeared in the Nguyen Dynasty with the name of the cross-collared robe, in the 17th century it was called the four-part dress, the 19th century it was the five- part dress, the Le mur Ao Dai in the 20th century. from the 1970s until now is the traditional ao dai.
Ao Dai is not only a kind of costume, but it also shows Vietnamese cultural value through many ups and downs of history. Not only is a symbol of tradition but also imparts cultural, moral and aesthetic values ​​of Vietnamese people to international friends.

4 - Vietnam religion and culture

Vietnam is a religion free country. Religions are introduced and developed to create a diversity of religions and beliefs and are a unique feature in culture of Vietnamese that has many impacts on the value system and ideology of the people.
In Vietnam, religions have been active and developed over the years such as Buddhism, Christianity including Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, endogenous religions such as Cao Dai and some other religions. These folk beliefs are still maintained and widely developed up to now.
Moreover, in Vietnam, the ancient customs and beliefs still exist. Vietnamese people have a belief in worshiping gods such as the village emperor, people who have made merit to the canonized country, people who died in war to protect their homeland, so on. This has created a diverse and rich cultural belief with many typical activities such as King Hung Temple Association, Giong Temple Association, ...

5 - House architecture in Vietnamese culture

House architecture in Vietnamese culture

Stilts houses (Source: Viet Pham)

In order to adapt to geographical conditions as well as weather, there will be different housing architectures in each region. Some typical architectural styles of houses:
Three-room house - North: This is a traditional house style and is still being built in many rural areas in the plain in new styles. Like its name suggests is a house consisting of 3 compartments with 1 main room and 2 sub-rooms.
Stilt house - Northwestern mountain forest: Considered as the cultural symbol of many ethnic groups, because it is a prominent leading image in the residence space of each ethnic group. Stilt houses usually have 3-5 rooms depending on each family and are built entirely of wood.
The communal house - Tay Nguyen: This is a typical design of stilt house, a cultural heritage. Not only has unique architecture but also has many sacred cultural meanings such as: being a communal house to organize festivals, a place to keep and worship artifacts with the same role as the village's god of destiny. ...
The thatched cottage - South: Like its name suggests, this is a cottage with dirt walls. It is a cultural feature bearing bold tradition from ancient times. 

6 - Martial arts in Vietnamese culture

Martial arts in Vietnamese culture

Traditional martial arts (Source: Wikipedia)

Vietnamese traditional martial art refers to the martial arts sects that have been handed down throughout the history of the Vietnamese nation, showing the spirit of self-reliance and willingness to defend the country. Today, it is diversified and richly developed into many sects such as Ky Son Vo, Nhat Nam, Shaolin Tay Son, ... In which, the most famous is Vovinam martial arts that is welcomed by many international friends. receive and want to learn.

7 -  Traditional Music

Traditional Music Vietnam cultural

Hue royal court music (Source: Erasmusu)

Vietnamese traditional music is formed and developed throughout the process of working and living of the people. Folk music and traditional music always play an important role in the lifestyle and development of Vietnamese culture. Music is a means of conveying educational content, ethical and spiritual values, a way of conveying love as well as a reflection of people's personal and emotional life.
At first, music was simply lyrics or lullabies, then underwent the process of music interference from other countries, typically the music of the Han people, but gradually developing more professional music genres such as Ca trù, quan-ho, and the culmination is the royal court music. Typical ethnic musical instruments must be mentioned as the gourd, erhu, flute, and rock guitar in the Central Highlands (Tay Nguyen) ... Currently, traditional music is still maintained and promoted to go hand in hand with modern music.

8 - Literature in Vietnamese culture

Literature in Vietnamese culture

The Tale of Kieu - Nguyen Du (Source: Internet)

It is undeniable that our country's immense literature over the ages is still preserved. Diverse literary genres such as poetry, stories, epic legends, ... Each stage will have different features.
Before the 10th century: Vietnamese literature was mainly a form of oral tradition with folk songs, proverbs, legends or fairy tales, songs, ... Not only expressing the experience of the ancients, but also is the soul expressing the "wishes" and belief of Vietnamese people in a good world. Famous stories such as Thanh Giong, Tam Cam, Thach Sanh, Bending the plow in the middle-road, ...
From the 10th to 19th centuries: Chinese literature appeared with genres such as: hù, statement, proclamation, expression, novel, memoir, etc. Major works: Great proclamation upon the pacification of the Wu by Nguyen Trai, Lament of the soldier's wife by Dang Tran Con, ...
At the end of the 19th century, Nôm literature was born and became one of the most important Vietnamese culture symbols: this genre was poetry with very few prose, recitation, singing and speaking. There are a number of genres learned from China such as: Tang poetry. Typically, the Tale of Kieu by Nguyen Du, the National anthem of Nguyen Trai, ...
In the early 30s of the 20th century: modern literature was formed: this is the period evaluated one day by thirty years, literature has many innovations with three literary lines: real literature, Romantic literature, revolutionary literature. Typical works such as: Pick-up Wife - Kim Lan; Red Fate - Vu Trong Phung, …
Above are the basic Vietnamese cultural factors preserved and handed down to this day. Despite the ups and downs of time and historical events, they are still not eroded. Hopefully Vietnamese culture facts will be richer and more developed!

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Hi, I am Linh ! A young & passionate Vietnamese who love the wandering days in exploring new things and experiencing the different cultures. Welcome to my Vietnamese travel guides & sharings.

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