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Vietnamese versus Chinese.

Updated on June 29, 2011

Vietnamese and Chinese culture are known of that we have a lot of similarities. We both celeberate Lunar new year. We give children red envelop with money enclosed in hope that they will have good luck and study harder and better in new year. We have the same lucky color- red. We have quite the same business etiquettes. We do not get down to the business with our partners. We takes time to understand them, and contracts or business deals are negotiated during meals. Just to name a few of similarities between two cultures.

The similarities are reasonable. For those who are interested in history, it is easy to get the answer, but for those who don't know much about history and geography it may take time to get the answer. Let me tell you in brief.

History is one of factors that leads to the similarities between my country and China. Chinese dynasties dominated Vietnam for one thousands years. During their domination, they devastated historical materials and cultural values of Vietnam in the wake of easing its domination process. They forced Vietnamese people to wear Chinese outfits, speak Chinese and do things like Chinese people. They destroyed our temples, buildings and burnt our books which recorded our history and other national values. By doing these, we could not know anything about our own culture, our ancestors. We therefore did not have national pride and it would be very easy for them to control our people whom they called retards. With these very powerful policies, I think not any country is able to immue from their influences.

The promixity is another factor. Vietnam and China have border with each other. China is in the north of Vietnam. It is understandable when neighboring countries without invasion have some common cultural features. Because of this, we even can group different countries into regional cultures. Why can we say Western culture and Eastern culture?

Due to similarities, some people just jump to the conclusion that Vietnamese people are originated from China based on these similarities. Even Vietnamese people sometimes joke that. In fact, despite China's endeavor to eradicate Vietnamese values, we still have a very strong national identity.

First, although in terms of areas, we are far much smaller than Chinal is, like China, we is one of cradles of human beings. Historicans found fossils of primitive humans at a mountain named " Nui Do" which is located in Thieu Hoa- Thanh Hoa- Vietnam. We have our own language. Chinese is ideographic based, but ours is phonetic based. We have alphabet similar to English and French.

The most significant traits to distinguish two culture is personality or behavioral culture. If we were originated from China, how could that be? " Chinese characteristics are decisive, adamant, rational and authoritarian. In contrast, Vietnamese characteristics are gentle, emotional-oriented, grateful for good deeds for a long time, but forgiveful for bad deeds". They ingrain in their mind what Japan facist did to them in the past. It can be said to be a feud between these two nations. However, like China, Vietnam were not only annexed by China,but aslo the U.S.A, the U.K, Japan. We even countered with Korean sometimes. In contrast, we put aside the painful history and look forward to the brighter future. Vietnam's tolerance and forgiveness are the answer to the question why U.S and Korean and also Japan become big foreign investors in Vietnam. According to Taiwan enterpreneurs, Vietnamese workers are more discipline and hard working than our Chinese partner. Another example is that conflict between Vietnam and China over South China Sea ever erupted in 2/1979. While Vietnam tried to put it to history, China had always mentioned it. Although it was 30 years after the conflict, we could easily came cross many articles talking about this conflict in Chinese online newspaper.

In this juncture, I would like to mention the fact that unlike Vietnamese people, many Chinese people cannot assess international social networks such as facebook, or twitter. So they do not have a just evaluation on what is going on in today's conflict over South China Sea. If they were able to access to broader information sources, they would know how Vietnamese people feel, and judge what Chinese government is doing.


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      Tri 4 years ago

      Just wish to inform you that the precise domination period is 968 years.

      The key word here is assimilation. China itself is created by unifying hundreds of cultures, boundaries, and people of different ethnics groups. Every province in China can break up and become a country.

      Vietnamese people are resilient to invaders. Nevertheless, the Chinese ruleof almost a millennial had its effect on language, culture, and eventually assimilation in every aspect.

      The Vietnamese language although does not sounds much like Mandarin, but it is extremely close to the dialect of Cantonese and Hainanese. Even words, terms, idioms are similar.

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      Hong Ha 4 years ago

      Many chinese people think that Vietnamese are origined from chinese. But they should know that China is combined (by invading and assimilating) by many nations with many languages and cultures. The first State of Viet people was started about 2000 years ago with the territory is bigger than its now (including Quanzhou and Quanxi). That's why they should not say that vietnamese are origined from chineses. Chineses are mixed of many nations including Vietnameses, or other words, vietnamese contribute to chinese people today. Vietnamese are proud of their country because they defeated many enemies by many times to be an independent country today. They are proud of their history to defeat Mongol three times while many big countries (in both Eastern and Western) were defeated and occupied for a long time ( China was occupied in 98 years with very little agaisnt until Mongol was become weak by themselve)

    • Thuyvu89 profile image

      Thuyvu89 5 years ago from Vietnam

      I know what you suggest. I hope you know what I mean with this short writing. I am not going to tell the story or recall history here.

      Anyway, thanks for your comments

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      asdf 5 years ago

      vietnamese alphabet is based on french =.= because It was created by a french priest. at first, it was restricted by the king, but because it was easy to learn and to write, so it was accepted later on. and that was only couple hundread years ago. Vietnamese original writing look alike to Chinese, because it was created based on Chinese characted. It was called "Chu Nom." in present, a lot of old knowledge man still writing that stuff during new year. update that information. And to tell you the truth, 70% of vietnamese are relative to chinese, because chinese made us their colony for more than 1000 years. the original vietnamese have their thumb toe touch each other, big forehead and they are really short. Dude, you have a lot of things to fix in here.