The ancestors of the Vietnamese are said to be the nomad Mongols who hailed from China and also, the refugees from Indonesia.
The history of Vietnam divulges that the nation was founded in 2879 B.C. by Hung Vuong who is believed to be the first ruler of Vietnam. The country was ruled by China from the 111 B.C. to the 15th century and was given the status of a helot state. During that period, it was called Nam Viet. This era is also known as the era of Nationalist expansion and during this time, Cambodians were pushed out of the present day southern Vietnam.
After about a century, Europeans came into the area of Vietnam. The first Europeans to enter Vietnam were the Portuguese. The invasion of France in Vietnam started in the year of 1858 and was concluded by the end of 1884. Thus, in 1887 Vietnam became a region under the French Indochina. After the World War II, Vietnam attained independence but even after that the French rulers continued to govern the country till the 1954. During this year, the French were subjugated by the forces of Communist parties under the ruler named Ho Chi Minh, who ruled the northern area after his victory.
In an endeavor to strengthen the Vietnamese government, the United States provided military and economic assistance to South Vietnam during the 1960s. But after a ceasefire agreement in 1973, the armed forces from the United States were withdrawn. After two years, the forces from the North Vietnam swarmed the South. This led to a great disturbance of peace in the country.
The impacts of such disturbances persisted even after two decades in the form of low economic growth which was a result of conventional policies of leadership.
After 2001, the authorities and the government of Vietnam started to pay heed towards the liberalization of the economy and in this concern; many structural reforms were passed in a light to renew the economy and to produce the competitive industries that can boost the trade of the country.
The country also faces oppositions and protests from the Montagnard minority of the Central Highlands. The reason behind these oppositions is the loss of land which was taken over by the Vietnamese colonizers. These protests still continue to the present day.
LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY
The Social Republic of Vietnam (SRV) is located at the middle of the Southern Asian Region. It is located at the eastern most fringe of the Indochina Peninsula. It is bordered by South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand and Gulf of Tonkin. The country shares its boundaries with countries like China in the North and Laos and Cambodia in the West. The country’s map resembles the ‘S’ shape.
Vietnam is situated between 8°and 24°N latitudes and 102° and 110° E longitudes. The coastline of Vietnam is around 3260 Kilometers (1258.693 square miles) and the inland borderline is around 3730 Kilometers (1440.1611 square miles) in length. From the northernmost point to the southernmost point, the length of Vietnam measures to around 1650 Kilometers (637.0686 square miles). The width of Vietnam, when measured from the eastern coast to the western border, is measured to be 600 Kilometers (231.661 square miles) at the widest area and 50 Kilometers (19.3051 square miles) at the narrowest area at the central coast in the province of Quang Binh. The continental shelf area is around 700,000 square kilometers in measurement.
A diversity of topographic reliefs and the difference in latitudes makes the climate different from place to place in Vietnam. Basically, Vietnam is positioned in a tropical zone. The climate of Vietnam is illustrated by sunny days, strong monsoon influence and a high proportion of humidity and rain. The places which are situated in the mountainous or tropical areas witness temperate climate.
Throughout the year, the average temperature in Vietnam ranges from 22°C to 27°C.
The basic division of climate in Vietnam can be seen by two seasons through the year. The cold season or winters can be experienced from the month of November to April while the hot season or summers continue from May to October.
PEOPLE, CULTURE AND RELIGION
The population of Vietnam is basically composed of 90% Vietnamese. This makes it the most racially uniform country of the Southeast Asia. The indigenous groups of which the ethnic minority population is composed of belong to the Thai and Hmong. These minorities contribute 85% to the population and have put down their roots in the mountainous area of the country since centuries. The mid of the Southern Vietnam is inhabited by the Chinese population that makes the 3% of the total population.
The language used by the people of Vietnam is a blend of Mon-Khmer and Tai. Most of the words used for authoritative, technical and literary purposes are derived from Chinese language. The system of writing used in Vietnam is called Chunom.
The religion followed by the people in Vietnam is Buddhism. This religion is being followed in Vietnam since ages and on a very wide scale. There are millions of followers of Buddhism and around 20,000 pagodas in Vietnam. But this is not the only religion adopted by the Vietnamese as there have been a number of imported religions from time to time. For instant, Catholicism is the second major religion in the country which was brought by the missionaries from Europe. There are around 6,000 churches in Vietnam. Indigenous religions also exist in Vietnam like Hoa Hao sects and Cao Dai. People often embrace ancestor worship, animism, theism etc.
Vietnam is a land of an assortment of historic and picturesque vistas that attract a lot of tourists to the country. The most eminent tourist spots in Vietnam are Ho Chi Minh City that possesses the historic evidences in the war museums and the scenic beauty can be witnessed at the Ha Long Bay in the North which is adorned with the towering islands, caves and junk boats. Hanoi, Da Lat and Sa Pa are also some of the most renowned tourists places in Vietnam.
Thus, the economy of Vietnam is greatly influenced by its globally famous tourism.