VIETNAM

Paige P. 2nd period

Introduction

Vietnam is in South East Asia. Beautiful Vietnam borders many bodies of water including, the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Vietnam has an efficient system of government called communism. A workers paradise! Most of our 80 million people belong to the Vietnamese background and speak the Vietnamese language. In out recent years out great communist leaders have opened up the country to western ideas and tourists and have loosened government controls. Come and visit!

"Vietnam- The Workers paradise!"

Geography and Climate

Vietnam has seasonal monsoon periods from May-September then from October-April. But, there are short periods in between when the winds are light and variable. Our country is very mountainous to the north and low plains border the South China Sea. We have a heavy rainfall season in the May-September monsoon period. Rainfall is light and infrequent the rest of the year. Temperatures are high all year primarily in the southern and central region of this great country. Though, in the northern region, temperatures are slightly less.

People and Culture

80 million people live in Vietnam. We have the biggest population on South East Asia. 80 percent of our people live in rural areas and are of Vietnamese background. Most are Buddhist and speak the Vietnamese language. Food is a major aspect of Vietnamese life. There is certain philosophy behind the preparation and ingredients of the dish. 'Everything is used and nothing is wasted' is a major principle of cooking the dish. Some dishes are based on Buddhist and Yin Yang principles. Most dishes include pork, chicken, beef and a wide variety of seafood.


Family is a center point in the Vietnamese way of life. Homes include immediate as well as extended family and its not uncommon to see 3 generations under one roof. If you are invited to a Vietnamese home, bring gifts of flowers, sweets or fruit and these gifts should be wrapped in colorful paper. Some rules of etiquette are, pass items with both hands, do not point fingers, use your hand, do not stand with your hands on your hips or with your arms crossed over your chest, do not pass any thing over someone's head and shorts are only to be worn at the beach. If you are eating dinner with a Vietnamese family, wait to be shown where to be seated, rest your chopsticks on the chopstick rest or plate every few bites or when beginning to drink or speak, hold the bowl close to your face and place your chopsticks on your rice bowl when you are finished eating.


Forms of entertainment are varied in Vietnam. Martial arts are very popular. So are more western sports like, football, golf and tennis. Theme parks like Dem Sen park and the Ice house in Saigon ( Ho Chi Minh City) are wonderful to visit! Fabulous beaches border the coast like Danang beach, one of the top 20 beaches in the world! There are many holidays too including Tet Nguyen Dan or the lunar new year. Tet begins a week before Mung Mot, the first day of lunar new year. This is when the Kitchen god returns to the Kingdom of Heaven and presents the annual report of earthly matters to the jade emperor before returning to Earth on new years eve. During the week long journey to heaven, the Vietnamese guard themselves from evil spirits. Sounds like fun right?



Government

Vietnam is based off a single party Socialist government. President Truong Tan Sang is head of state while Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung, is the head of government. Our one party is the Communist Party of Vietnam. One of our great cities, Ho Chi Minh city was named after out first great communist leader.


The President is elected every five years by the National Assembly. He runs for a five year term and acts as commander in chief for the army and chairman for the council of Defense and Security. The government is the main state of power in Vietnam and is headed by the Prime Minister.


To vote in Vietnam you must be a qualified elector, be of 21 years of age or older and have Vietnamese citizenship. The only illegitimacy not to vote is if you have insanity. Marriage laws and restrictions are the same for both genders. The legal age to marry is 18 for women and 20 for men. You can serve up to 2 years in prison for marrying under the legal age. Parental Authority is granted to both parents and both genders have the right to divorce.


Education is very important for many Vietnamese families. Children enjoy 12 years of learning before moving on to higher level learning. Devotion to studying is one of our society's core characteristics. Education is also seen as a chance of improvement. in general, families in Vietnam invest lost of time and money into a good education for youth.

Economy

Vietnam has shifted from a centralized planned economy to a more socialist oriented market economy. As a result of rapid economy growth, Vietnam has been accepted into the global economy. We have been a leading agricultural exporter and a target investment country from foreign businesses.


At first, Vietnam's economy had been built upon agriculture. Then after the French colonization, the North had been for industrial production and the South had been put to agricultural production. Although this created region divisions, advancement in exports simulated domestic business. After the political split in 1954, both regions developed different economic ideas, communism to the North and capitalism to the South. After South Vietnam's loss in the Vietnam war, we were very dependent on the Soviet Union and allies for trade. After the loss of trading partners Vietnam was forced to recognize trade, lower the exchange rate to increase trades, and start on a path to new economic development. Since then we have launched a economic renewal campaign to transition from a centralized economy to a more socialist oriented economy.


Imports of Vietnam-

Refined Petroleum Products

Medicines

Machinery

Military Supplies

Vehicles

Food


Exports of Vietnam-

Coal

Peanuts

Rice

Tea

Handmade Bamboo Products and Rattan Products