Dialectical differences often serve as important symbols of regional identity in social life.
As the official language, Vietnamese is taught in schools throughout the country.
The new emperor had chosen the name Nam Viet for his kingdom.
The word Viet he derived from the traditional name for the Vietnamese imperial domain and its people in what is now northern and central Vietnam.
Other significant ethnic groups include the Cham, Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Muong, and Tai, though none of these groups has a population over one million.
Expatriates of many nationalities reside in urban areas.
Their practices include hunting and gathering, slash and burn agriculture, and some irrigated rice agriculture.
The combination of warfare, land shortages, population surpluses, illegal logging, and the migration of lowlanders to highland areas has resulted in deforestation and environmental degradation in many mountainous areas.
As the usage of Viet indicates, the Vietnamese have for centuries had a sense of the distinctiveness of their society and culture.
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The name Vietnam originated in 1803 when envoys from the newly founded Nguyen dynasty traveled to Beijing to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese court.
However, as the inclusion of Nam shows, the land they inhabit has expanded over time, and also has its own internal divisions into northern, central, and southern regions.
Additionally, as evidenced by the name change, their history has been profoundly influenced by their contact with other, often more powerful, groups. It has been at peace for over a decade, but since the 1986 introduction of the "Renovation" or Doi Moi policy that began dismantling the country's socialist economy in favor of a market economy, the country has experienced tremendous social changes.