Viet (Kinh) ethnic group
Name of ethnic group: Kinh (Viet). Population: About 65.8 million people (Year 1999). Locality: These people live in all provinces but are densely clustered in the delta areas and urban centres.
Customs and habits
The Kinh ancient villages are usually surrounded by bamboo groves. The communal house is a place for meeting and conducting common ritual ceremonies. The Kinh also live in mud houses. They enjoy the habits of chewing betel, smoking water pipes and cigarettes, drinking tea, and eating ordinary rice.
The husband is considered the head of the family. Children take the family name of their father. The eldest son is responsible for the worship of dead parents and grandparents. Each family lineage has a temple for their forefathers and the head of the family lineage handles all common affairs.
Monogamy is observed during marriage. The family of the man approves the marriage and organizes the wedding for him. After the wedding party, the bride goes to live with her husband's family. The Kinh attach much importance to fidelity and the virtues of the bride.
They worship their ancestors and also practice Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism or Christianity to various extents.
The Kinh have a rich collection of literature which includes old tales, folk ballads, and proverbs. The written literature takes many forms such as poems, writings, books, and edicts. Song, music, sculpture, painting, dance and performance are also well developed and popular.
The traditional attire of the Kinh in the north is a brown pajama set for men. A four paneled robe, bra, and trousers for women, also in brown, are usually worn. In the southern delta plains, both men and women wear black pajamas. At present, the Kinh's costumes resemble western clothing.
Rice cultivation in submerged fields is the main economic activity of the Kinh. They also erect dykes and dig canals which help in the growing of wet rice, gardening, and sericulture. They also raise cattle and poultry. Pottery production has been very developed for a long time.