Vietnam occupies approximately 127,243 square miles, an area roughly equivalent to New Mexico. The current population is approximately seventy-seven million composed almost exclusively of indigenous peoples. Vietnamese is the dominant language, spoken by an estimated 86.7 percent of the population. Vietnam is composed of 58 provinces The capital is Hanoi and the currency is the vietnamese dong. 1 Vietnamese dong = 0.000046 US dollar
The gold five-pointed star symbolizes the five groups of workers in the building of socialism (intellectuals, peasants, soldiers, workers and youths), while the red symbolizes bloodshed, and the revolutionary struggle.
Rice is the dietary staple which most people eat three meals a day. Rice is usually consumed jointly by family members. The common practice is to prepare several dishes that are placed on a tray or table that people sit around. Individuals have small bowls filled with rice, and then take food from the trays as well as rice from their bowls with chopsticks.
Vietnam is home to fifty-four official ethnic groups.The most frequent problem is competition for resources, either between different highland groups or between highland groups and lowland groups that have settled in the midlands and highlands.
Vietnamese life is profoundly influenced by ancestor worship. Children learn at a very early age that they owe everything to their parents and their ancestors. Doing well in school and working hard honors one’s parents and the family name. Respect for parents and ancestors is extended to all elders, whose life experiences are valued. Marriage and family are very important in Vietnam. In the countryside, parents often arrange marriages; divorce remains uncommon.
The Vietnamese government recognizes six official religions: Buddhism , Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, and two indigenous religious traditions that emerged during the colonial period, Cao Dai and Hoa Hao.