Vietnamese History and Culture

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1. What are the main characteristics of Vietnamese History & Culture? - Firstly, Vietnam has a long history filled with a lot of wars, especially resistant wars against foreign invaders. During the Van Lang – Au Lac civilization, Chao To conquered Au Lac in 179BC and then established Nan Yue Kingdom until 111BC when Han Dynasty replaced, starting 10 centuries of Chinese domination. During this period, there were a lot of Vietnamese people’s uprisings against Chinese ruler such as uprising 2 sister Trung, Ms Trieu, Phung Hung, Ly Bi, Trieu Quang Phuc, … Finally, in 938AD, Ngo Quyen defeated Southern Han troops on Bach Dang River, beginning an independent era of our country. After that, there was a civil war between 12 warlords until Dinh Bo Linh unified the country. In the Earlier Le Dynasty, Le Hoan defeated Sung troops from China. After that, our army won against 0.5 million Mongolian – Yuan troops when they attacked our country 3 times during Tran Dynasty. Later, Le Loi swept out Ming troops, established Later Le Dynasty in 1427-1428. However, in the next period, Vienam faced a national division into Northern Court, ruled by the Mac and Southern Court, ruled by the Le. When Mac collapsed in 1592, civil wars and peasant wars took place, the most significant one is Trinh – Nguyen War, which finally ended in the 18th century when 3 Tay Son brothers stood up. In 1788 – 1789, Nguyen Hue defeated 290,000 Tsing troops, only 5,000 survived, starting Tay Son Dynasty. In 1858, Vietnam was attacked by French colonials. While fighting against the French, our army also had to face 200,000 Tuong Gioi Thach troops from China. From 1846 to 1954, there was Indochina War which was a resistant war against French imperialism. Soon after we defeated the French, we immediately faced The Vietnam War – which was a resistant war against American for nation salvation. The final general offensive and uprising 1975 totally defeated the Neo-colonialism and unified our country. After seizing independence, Vietnam armies faced Southwest Border War and fought against 600,000 Chinese troops in 1979. Up until now, we still have to fight over sea territory against China. - Secondly, Vietnam has special culture which has acculturation, or, cultural exchanges. The most important exchanges are Sinicization and DeSinicization - the process whereby non-Han Chinese societies come under the influences of dominant Han Chinese state and society and conversely, the elimination of Chinese influences. Sinicization includes normal exchanges and compulsory exchanges – which were the result of Chinese assimilation during 1000 years of Chinese domination. However, Vietnam also went Desinicized, which means choosing the bets to improve. For example, Vietnamese people did not completely use Han scripts but changing to Nom scripts, which was based on Chinese but included newly invented characters meant to represent native Vietnamese words... Moreover, we even pronounced in Han – Vietnamese. Another acculturation is Westernization and Dewesternization, which started from the 16th century until now. Like Sinicization, Westernization also had normal and compulsory exchanges, including the adoption of the Latin alphabet and the spread of Catholicism and Protestantism – which soon became a new religion in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Dewesternization was shown through the process of how Vietnamese people build the structure of university and education system. We learnt to apply Western technology. Art and music was also affected. Some foreign words that we borrowed from Western languages were Vietnamized in pronunciation. Marxism was approved and adapted through Ho Chi Minh ideology. Currently, Vietnam is in the process of Dewesternization to build up modern Vietnamese culture with Vietnamese identity. On the other hand, Vietnamese culture also acquired Hinduisation, for example, My Son Holy Land in the central Vietnam. - Thirdly, Vietnamese history & culture has 2 cycles of...
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