Vietnam is a multi-nationality country with 54 ethnic groups. The Viet (Kinh) people account for 87% of the country’s population and mainly inhabit the Red River delta, the central coastal delta, the Mekong delta and major cities. The other 53 ethnic minority groups, totaling over 8 million people, are scattered over mountain areas (covering two-thirds of the country’s territory) spreading from the North to the South.
Among ethnic minorities, the largest ones are Tay, Thai, Muong,Hoa, Khmer, and Nung with a population of around 1 million each, while the smallest are Brau, Roman, Odu with several hundred people each.
Living on the Indochina land – where it is a gateway in connection with Southeast Asia mainland with Southeast Asia islands, Vietnam is the mixture place of different cultures in the region.
Here, there are enough three big linguistics families in the Southeast Asia, the linguistics family of Southern islands and the Chinese-Tibeto linguistics family. The language of Vietnamese ethnic groups belongs to eight groups of different languages.
Việt-Mường Group: Chứt, Kinh, Mường, Thổ.
Tày-Thái Group: Bố Y, Giáy, Lào, Lự, Nùng, SánChay, Tày, Thái.
Mon-Khmer Group: Ba na, Brâu, Bru-Vân kiều,Chơ-ro, Co, Cơ-ho, Cơ-tu, Cơ-tu, Gié-triêng, Hrê, Kháng, Khmer, Khơ mú, Mạ,Mảng, M’Nông, Ơ-đu, Rơ-măm, Tà-ôi, Xinh-mun, Xơ-đăng, Xtiêng.
Mông-Dao Group: Dao, Mông, Pà Thẻn.
Kađai Group: Cờ Lao, La Chí, La ha, Pu Péo.
Austro-Polynenisian Group: Chăm,Chu-ru, Ê đê, Gia-rai, Ra-glai.
Chinese Group: Hoa, Ngái, Sán Dìu.
Tibeto Group: Cống, Hà Nhì, La Hủ, Lô Lô, PhùLá, Si La.
The voice of each ethnic group creates different languages, but due to Vietnamese ethnic groups live closely, one ethnic group may know languages of some others whom has regular relationship while their own culture character. The diversification culture of ethnic groups is put in general unification rule – the rule of advanced growth of country, like a united particularity in the common of philosophy category.
North of Vietnam – the cultural cradle of the country, is home to many immigrant minorities from southern China, Tibet, Lao… strongly attached to their freedom and traditional ways of life, they live harmony together in a magnificent world.
Below is not a comprehensive list of ethnic minorities’ portraits in northern Vietnam. We present only the ones you might encounter during your journey to this spectacular region.