The ethnic diversity of Vietnam
The Vietnamese community is composed of 54 ethnic groups, 53 of which are minorities, 84% are Kinh, the majority ethnic group.
Over the centuries, the Vietnamese ethnic groups have lived together in solidarity. This tradition is highlighted in a popular poem known by all Vietnamese in which two types of cucurbit plants, “bâu” and “bi”, are personified :
« Bâu, have compassion for bi.
Although he is not your relative, he shares the same arbor with you ».
For thousands of years, Vietnamese ethnic groups have always stood side by side in the struggle against aggressors, for freedom and independence, against natural disasters, and in the building of the country.
Vietnam’s ethnic mosaic
Almost every ethnic group has its own traditional dress, dialect, script and cultural identities. These are clearly manifested in community and economic activities. Despite the differences in language, customs, rites and religions, Vietnamese ethnic groups are all hardworking, courageous, peace-loving and friendly, kind, tolerant, modest, nature-loving, determined and uncompromising towards their enemies.
Linguistically, the 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups can be divided into eight groups :
-The Viet – Muong group with four ethnicities : Viet (Kinh), Chut, Muong, Thô.
-The Tày – Thai group with eight ethnic groups : Bô-y, Giay, Lào, Lu, Nùng, San-chay, Tày, Thai.
-The Môn – Khmer group with 21 ethnic groups : Ba-na, Brâu, Bru-Vân Kiêu, Cho-ro, Co, Co-ho, Co-tu, Gié-triêng, Hrê, Khang, Khmer, Kho-mu, Ma, Mang, M’Nông, O-du, Ro-Mam, Tà-ôi, Xinh-mun, Xo-dang, Xtiêng.
-The Mông – Dao group with three ethnic groups : Dao, Mông, Pà-then.
-The Kadai group with four ethnic groups : Co-lao, La-chi, La-ha, Pu-peo.
-The Han group (Chinese) with three ethnic groups : Hoa, Ngai, San-diu.
-The Nam Dao group (Austronesian) with five ethnic groups : Cham, Chu-ru, Ê-dê, Gia-rai, Ra-glai.
-The Tang group (Tibetan) with six ethnic groups : Công, Hà-nhi, La-hu, Lô-hô, Phù-la, Si-la.
The question of the ethnic groups and the solidarity of the ethnic groups occupy a strategic place in the Vietnamese revolution. The Vietnamese Constitution and law recognize the equality of ethnic groups, whether they are numerous or small in number. Since coming to power and especially since the outbreak of the revival, the Party and the Vietnamese State have promulgated several policies and carried out several programs for the socio-economic development of the mountainous regions where most ethnic minorities live. These communities have built their villages on the mountains or on their slopes and live mainly from agriculture. Fiercely attached to their freedom and faithful to their ancestral ways of life, they live peacefully in a serene and hardworking atmosphere and have managed to preserve their customs and traditions despite the passage of time.
Their authentic and colorful markets
The trip to meet the ethnic groups in Vietnam
A trip at your own pace, a guarantee of total immersion, to explore, with family or friends, the ethnic diversity of Vietnam and the cultural richness that comes with it.
If for you the word “travel” rhymes above all with contacts with local inhabitants, rich and warm human exchanges, our ethnic tours should enchant you. It is through magnificent mountain paths that we will meet these tribes of the heights by plunging in the heart of their ways of life and their traditions. The H’mong workers in colorful traditional dress, the Nung, skilled hunters, the Lu women adorned with silver jewelry and lacquered teeth, the unique lifestyle of the Lolo but also the elegant Thai women of the fertile valleys … This is the real discovery of a true ethnic mosaic composed of minorities who inhabit remote villages surrounded by rice fields of intense green carved in the mountains far from the chaos of large urban cities.
Their rice terraces
From the rice terraces of the northwest to the lakes, waterfalls and karst peaks of the northeast, discover the traditions and daily life of the different regions and share special moments with their inhabitants. During these tours, we will discover the most beautiful rice terraces of the country, different cultures, authentic rural life and breathtaking natural sites, meet many ethnic minorities, stay with local people in their villages in the middle of nature and attend their colorful traditional markets.
Live extraordinary experiences, both on a human level and in terms of unique landscapes of rare beauty.
Their different traditional dresses
Responsible tourism in the heart of the local populations
For these tours we have at heart to minimize our impact by proposing a responsible tourism, which benefits the local populations and which is not monopolized by intermediaries and by organizing the individual trips in very small groups just for the couple, a family or between friends.
To best help the ethnic communities, we contribute significantly to the local economy by staying with local people, eating locally, buying locally, and using local services (boat, bicycle, guide…), while respecting the local culture and environment. By staying with local people, the traveler is made aware of the cultures, traditions, and the environment on which the members of the communities depend. He participates in a social and solidarity economy. This responsible consumption, in addition to improving local living conditions, also allows the creation of jobs for the inhabitants in the villages (hosts, cooks, local guides, porters…).
Lodging in the homes of ethnic groups in North Vietnam
You can contribute, if you wish, by offering to the schools of the villages school supplies bought on the spot and for the ethnic host families, some foodstuffs and utensils bought on the local market (rice, oil, childcare products, kitchen utensils, etc), the guide will help you in your steps.
You can also bring clothes, even if they are used but correct, or buy some on the spot (on the markets or in small shops), to give to the children in the remote areas. Winters are harsh in the mountains, people are poor and have real needs.
The extension of the trip
These itineraries are customizable according to your desires, can end with a cruise in the magical Lan Ha Bay, a less frequented part of the great Halong Bay, with a visit to the historic cities of Hue and Hoi An and with boat rides in the Mekong Delta in the South.
>> Read also : Hiking and treking in Vietnam
Here are our tours to meet the ethnic minorities of Vienam :