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Vietnam

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Submitted By oliviamorrow
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Vietnam has a population of 2,000,000 the population is made up of mainly Vietnamese and Ethnic Chinese. Other minorities include Khmer and Cham descendants that lived in central and southern Vietnam before it was conquered by the Vietnamese. There are a few Tribal groups in Vietnam that make up 7 percent of the population. Their ancestors came from other Asian countries and have settled in in Vietnam. The different ethnic groups get along for the most part, but the Vietnamese have hostility towards the Ethnic Chinese for having dominance in the national economy. 700,000 Vietnamese have entered the United States since 1975. According to the census bureau, 2011, the population for Asians in the United States is estimated at 18.2 million; of that 1.9 million are Vietnamese. States with the largest population of Vietnamese are California, Texas, Florida, Washington, Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts. Together these seven states have 65.7 percent of all Vietnamese born immigrants. California and New York have the largest of the population of Vietnamese; California with 5.8 million and New York with 1.8 million Vietnamese ethnicities. Vietnamese immigrants make up 3 percent of all the immigrants in the United States in 2006 (Census Bureau, 2006). Vietnamese are the fifth largest immigrant group in the United States. Of foreign-born Vietnamese 72.8 percent were naturalized U.S citizens. About two thirds were limited English proficient and 1.4 percent was unauthorized immigrants in the United States. In 1950 the United States established diplomatic relations with Vietnam. When the first wave of Vietnamese migrated to the United States they were well educated, could speak English and had good jobs while in Vietnam. The second group of Vietnamese that migrated to the United States, who happened to come over by boat, was not well prepared to enter the United States, because they did not know any English, did not have job training, and were not very well educated. The Vietnamese left for different reasons, some left for political and economic reasons and others left because of the invasion of the Chinese in 1979. The predominant religion in Vietnam is Buddhism, which 70 percent of Vietnamese practice Buddhism. The other 30 percent are Roman Catholic, Confucianism, and Taoism. Buddhism was introduced to Vietnam under the Chinese domination in the second century B.C. Buddhism became Vietnam’s state religion under Ly Dynasty. Since then Buddhism is no longer the state religion of Vietnam, but is still the dominant religion in Vietnam. Buddhist believes that there is a greater force in the universe. They also believe that their present life reflects their past lives and their descendant’s future lives. Buddhist has to suppress their appetite for craving. For example humans naturally crave power, wealth, and fame. The Buddhist thinks that in order to be free they have to suppress this craving and live by the eight rules to the right way to live. These consist of: right views, right thought, right conduct, right speech, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditation. This has been put into a practical code of conduct known as the five precepts. You should not take a life, do not take what has not been given, do not have any illegal sexual pleasures, do not lie, and do not take intoxicants. The soul does not perish at death, but reincarnates in another existence and this goes on and on. The Buddhist's goal is to be freed from the circle of reincarnation and reach Nirvana, which is a state of complete redemption and supreme happiness (Dinh Te). Buddhist also believes highly in spirits and ghosts, which they think their ancestors are guardians watching over them and protecting them. Dietary practices vary upon the region the Buddhists are in, but because they are not supposed to take life, many of them are lacto-ovo- vegetarians, which means they will eat dairy products and eggs, but no meat. Some also believe if they did not take part in killing the animal then it is ok to eat the meat of that animal. Vietnamese have major respect for family expecially their elders. Behavior that would condemn the family’s honor is avoided. Social acceptance and good relationships are emphasized. The typical family structure of the Vietnamese is very large, because the grandparents and relatives often live in one household. The father of the family is the un disputed head of the household. Divorce is uncommon and most marring within their ethnicity. However the Vietnamese’s family has made changes since moving to the United States to adapt to the American norms. A nuclear family is more typical in the United States; however it is still larger than an average family in the United States. Grandparents usually still reside in the home and relatives live close by, like in the neighborhood or next door. Also in the United States the father being the head of the household is Lessing as women have a higher educational levels and better job achievement. The elders are not being as respected as much by the children who are in the United States and becoming more uncommon. This is because children are learning English more easily than their parents and is creating conflict and loss of respect. The Vietnamese have typically three meals a day breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacking is uncommon for the Vietnamese. Rice and noodles are a core food for the Vietnamese a meal is not considered complete without one or the other. Pork is the core meat that is used in most meals. Soups are also often served with every meal. Pho is a popular noodle based soup for the Vietnamese. Rice products, noodles, paper, and flour are the core ingredients in most foods. Vietnamese use rice paper to wrap their egg rolls and wontons in. Breakfast is the large meal and consists of soup with rice, noodles, and meat or poultry, a hardboiled egg with meat and vegies on French bread. Coffee is usually what they will drink with their breakfast. Lunch and dinner include rice, fish, or a meat, veggie dish, or a broth with vegies or a meat. Pickled garnishes may be served with the meal. So a dinner in Vietnam will consist of three things Soup, a stewed meat entrée, and a vegetable stir fry. Fruit is usually what is served for a dessert. In late afternoon the Vietnamese may have tea or coffee with a sweet custard, pastry, candy, or fruit. When having meals the Vietnamese serve everything at once. Each person is allowed to put whatever sauce they enjoy on their rice. A common sauce is nuoc mam or some other condiments like soy sauce. Vietnamese use a lot of fish sauce and salt too. French bread with meat or shrimp pate may be eaten instead for lunch or dinner. Dining in Vietnam is done on a low table with family gathered around it. They sit cross legged on the floor with a mat. Both hands rest on the table and conversation is limited. Chopsticks are most commonly used for utensils to eat with. They do use spoons and their fingers when appropriate. 30 percent of Vietnamese’s households have said they have changed their eating habits since moving to the United States. Most of them though still continue to eat rice at least once a day. They eat more of instant noodles and bread for lunch and a lot of them report to eat cereal for breakfast. They also say they consume more meat and poultry than fish and shellfish, but only due to costs. They also say they still eat more pork than beef. They reported on having more fruit juices and soda for their choice of drinks. 90 percent of teenagers that were asked said they prefer their native diet, but said they enjoyed steak and ice cream as one of their favorite foods from America. Vietnamese however still consume high levels of vegetables and fruits and still do not consume very much dairy products, but do eat more dairy products than they would if in Vietnam. The Vietnamese’s have a high life expectancy obesity rates are very low among them. Compared to other ethnicities of subpopulations of Asians Vietnamese’s had the lowest BMIs, but overweight has increased with living in the United States. Anemia is more common due to iron deficiency. Also Vietnamese have low calcium intake, because a lot of them are lactose intolerant. Communication for Vietnamese’s is more non-verbal than Verbal. Like when they smile they are not only saying hi, but this is also used for saying you are sorry for something minor they may have done. Looking someone in the eyes is considered disrespectful, especially if that person is considered a higher status, in age, social or family, it will mean a challenge to that person. If it is the opposite sex looking them in the eyes would mean they have deep passion for that person. Proper respect in the Vietnamese’s culture would be to not look somebody directly in the eyes. Bowing is most common way to greet someone and shows respect. Crossing of the arms shows respect also. Putting your hands in your pocket or hands on your hips shows disrespect when talking to someone. Patting someone on the back, especially a senior, is disrespectful. Putting your forefinger over your middle finger with the other fingers closed in the palm is considered an obscene gesture, while the middle finger up with all other fingers down means nothing. Touching a child’s head is not appreciated, but not considered offensive.

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