Thursday, December 10, 2009

Viet People(越/京族)

The Vietnamese people represent a fusion of races, languages, and cultures, the elements of which are still being sorted out by ethnologists, linguists, and archaeologists. As was true for most areas of Southeast Asia, the Indochina Peninsula was a crossroads for many migrations of peoples, including speakers of Austronesian, Mon-Khmer, and Tai languages. The Vietnamese language provides some clues to the cultural mixture of the Vietnamese people. Although a separate and distinct language, Vietnamese borrows much of its basic vocabulary from Mon-Khmer, tonality from the Tai languages, and some grammatical features from both Mon-Khmer and Tai. Vietnamese also exhibits some influence from Austronesian languages, as well as large infusions of Chinese literary, political, and philosophical terminology of a later period.

The original ancient Vietnamese(not called Vietnamese at that time)may have been moved to South or assimilated to the modern Vietnamese(Kinh); the modern Vietnamese is also the fusion of races, languages and cultures but with greater influence of the north from ancient China(again, not called China at that time)....

The Modern Vietnamese people, Vietnamese name is người Việt(越族) or người Kinh(京族), are an ethnic group originating from what is now northern Vietnam and southern China. They are the majority ethnic group of Vietnam, comprising 86% of the population as of the 2000 census, with population of 74 million, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from other ethnic groups in Vietnam. The earliest recorded name for the ancient Vietnamese people was known as the Lạc peoples. Global population of Vietnamese is 77 million.

Some areas of the southwestern People's Republic of China are inhabited by an indigenous population of ethnic Vietnamese people (or Kinh). They are referred to in Chinese as the Jīng (京族; pinyin: Jīngzú), although Gin is the standard romanization in China. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. They speak Vietnamese, mixed with Cantonese dialect, and some Mandarin. They mainly live on 3 islands off the coast of Dongxing city, Fangchenggang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The 22,517 people of this very small ethnic minority live in compact communities primarily in the three islands of Wanwei(澫尾 or 万尾), Wutou(巫头) and Shanxin(山心) in the Fangcheng Multi-ethnic Autonomous County, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, near the Sino-Vietnamese border. The three islands are called " The 3 islands of Gin (“京族三岛”). About one quarter of them live among the Han and Zhuang ethnic groups in nearby counties and towns. The population of the Vietnamese indigenous to China was just over 20,000 in 2000. This number does not include ethnic Vietnamese nationals from Vietnam studying or working in China. The ancestors of the Jings emigrated from Viet Nam to China in the early 16th century and first settled on the three uninhabited lands since the neighborhood had been populated by people of Han and Zhuang ethnic group. Shoulder to shoulder with the Hans and Zhuangs there, they developed the border areas together and sealed close relations in their joint endeavors over the centuries. The Jing people had their own script which was called Zinan. Created on the basis of the script of the Han people towards the end of the 13th century, it was found in old song books and religious scriptures. Most Jings read and write in the Han script because they have lived with Hans for a long time. They speak the Cantonese dialect.

Originally from northern Vietnam and southern China, the Vietnamese have conquered much of the land belonging to the Champa Kingdom and Khmer Empire over the centuries. They are the dominant ethnic group in most provinces of Vietnam, and constitute a significant portion of the population of Cambodia. Under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, they were the most persecuted group. Tens of thousands were murdered in regime-organized massacres. Most of the survivors fled to Vietnam.

During the sixteenth century, some Vietnamese migrated into Thailand and China. In Thailand, they are mostly distributed in Isan provinces such as Nakhon Phanom or Mukdahan.

When the French left Vietnam in 1954, some Vietnamese emigrated to France

The remaining population are scattered around the world, with the largest at USA, Australia, Canada, Germany. Many of them are Vietnamese who escaped during the Vietnamese War and after the communist took over the country. They may not be the Kinh people, but Chinese or minority from Vietnam.

After the war is over, there are more Vietnamese working oversea as immigrant labor.

The history

The Lạc Việt or Lạc ( 雒越/駱越/貉越; Luòyuè) were an ancient people of what is today the lowland plains of northern Vietnam, particularly the marshy, agriculturally rich area of the Red River Delta. They are particularly associated with the Bronze Age Dong Son culture of mainland Southeast Asia.

The Lạc Việt are believed to have founded a state called Văn Lang in 3079 BC.The people of Văn Lang traded with the upland-based Âu Việt people, who lived in the mountainous regions of what are today northernmost Vietnam, western Guangdong, and southern Guangxi, China to their north, until 258 BC or 257 BC, when Thục Phán, the leader of the alliance of Âu Việt tribes, invaded Văn Lang and defeated the last Hùng Vương. He united the two kingdoms, naming the new nation Âu Lạc, and proclaiming himself king An Dương Vương.

Before the Chinese actually colonized Vietnam, groups from southern China began to move into the Tonkin Delta in order to start new lives after being forced to leave their homelands. Thus, around the 3rd century BC, changes in China began to heavily influence the Dong Son culture which was thriving in Vietnam. One important series of changes occurred along the Yangtze River in southern China. According to historians, in 333 BC, three cultures, the Shu, the Ch'u, and the Yueh began to fight among themselves, causing the Yueh to move south in small scattered kingdoms. At the same time, the central power of northern China, the Ch'in Dynasty, began to split so that a large number of princes and members of the aristocracy also moved south to start their own small kingdoms. Cantonese "Yueh" gave the name "Viet".

The people of the Red River civilizations, also known as Lac society, began to feel the effects of these newcomers who gradually moved into their homelands. Many historians believe that it was not difficult for the Yueh to be incorporated into Lac society. However, the Au Lac lords began to fight with the Ch'in princes. While they were involved in this fighting, another group from the northwest, the Thuc (who had once been the Shu of the Yangtze River) took advantage of weakness in the area and asserted their authority. The legendary citadel of Co Loa, the remains of which can still be seen today. An Dương Vương's arrival explains the origins of the legendary Au Lac kingdom which is usually associated with the height of Dong Son culture.Vietnamese language may be representative of these influences.

The Yue People
Yue (traditional: 越 or 鉞; simplified: 越 or 钺; pinyin: Yuè; Vietnamese: Việt; also seen as Yueh or Yuet) refers to ancient semi-Sinicized or non-Sinicized peoples of southern China, originally those along the eastern coastline of present-day Zhejiang province. In archaic Chinese, a number of characters (越,粵,鉞) were often used interchangeably to represent the same meaning.

In ancient times, the northern Han Chinese referred to the peoples to their south collectively as the Yue(越). Historian Luo Xianglin has suggested that these peoples shared a common ancestry with the Xia Dynasty(夏朝). There is little evidence, however, that the Yue peoples held any common identity. Historical texts often refer to the Hundred Yue tribes (Chinese: 百越; pinyin: Bǎi Yuè; Cantonese Yale: Baak Yuht; Vietnamese: Bách Việt). The "Treatise of Geography" in Han Shu notes: "In the seven or eight thousand li from Jiaozhi to Kuaiji (modern southern Jiangsu or northern Zhejiang) the Hundred Yue are everywhere, each with their own clans." It is believed that the number of 100 is origined from the Vietnamese tale of 100 children of Lac Long Quan and Au Co. This is also an evidence for the existence of an wide ancient country of Yue people in the South bank of Yangtze river named Chi Gui (Vietnamese: Xích Quỷ, Chinese: 赤鬼; literally: Chi- red and implying the South, Gui- master, Chi Gui- "the South country has its leaders") which was controlled by Han people later on.

The types of Yue people(in Pinyin/Vietnamese/English))

1. 句吳/句吴 Gōuwú/Câu Ngô
2. 於越/于越 Yūyuè/Ư Việt(Major Yue)
3. 揚越/扬越 Yángyuè/Dương Việt(Ocean Yue)
4. 干越 Gānyuè/Cán Việt(Gan Yue)
5. 閩越/闽越 Mǐnyuè/Mân Việt(River Yue)
6. 夜郎 Yèláng/Dạ Lang(Night Yue)
7. 南越 Nányuè/Nam Việt(Southern Yue)
8. 東越/东越 Dōngyuè/Đông Việt(Eastern Yue)
9. 山越 Shānyuè/Sơn Việt(Mountain Yue)
10.雒越 Luòyuè/Lạc Việt(Sea Bird Yue)
11.甌越/瓯越 Ōuyuè/Âu Việt(East Valley Yue)
12.西甌 Xī'ōu/Tây Âu(West Valley Yue)
13.滇越,盔越 Diānyuè, Kuīyuè/Điền Việt, Khôi Việt(Heavenly Yue, Basin Yue)

From the Ninth century BC, two northern Yue peoples, the Gou-Wu and Yu-Yue, were increasingly influenced by their Chinese neighbours to their north. These two states were based in the areas of what is now southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang respectively. Their aristocratic elite learned the written Chinese language and adopted Chinese political institutions and military technology. Traditional accounts attribute the cultural change to the Grand Earl of Wu (吳太伯), a Zhou prince who had fled to the south. The marshy lands of the south gave Gou-Wu and Yu-Yue unique characteristics. They did not engage in extensive agrarian agriculture, relying instead more heavily on aquaculture. Water transport was paramount in the south, so the two states became advanced in shipbuilding and developed riverine warfare technology. They were also known for their fine swords.

In the Spring and Autumn Period, the two states, now called Wu and Yue, were becoming increasingly involved in Chinese politics. In 512 BC, Wu launched a large expedition against the large state of Chu, based in the Middle Yangtze River. A similar campaign in 506 succeeded in sacking the Chu capital Ying. Also in that year, war broke out between Wu and Yue and continued with breaks for the next three decades. In 473 BC, the Yue king Goujian finally conquered Wu and was acknowledged by the northern states of Qi and Jin. In 333 BC, Yue was in turn conquered by Chu. The Kings of the state of Yue, and therefore its succesor state Minyue, claimed to be descended from Yu the Great of the Chinese Xia dynasty. According to Sima Qian, Wu was founded by Wu Taibo, a brother of zhou wu wang, the King of the Chinese Zhou dynasty.

Kingdom of Yue
Yue was established by the Yue clan of the Si family, which was said to be the descendant of Yu the Great. The Si family was granted Huiji (present-day Shaoxing of Zhejiang) as fief. In the late Spring and Autumn Period, Yue became increasingly stronger, contending for hegemony with Wu. In 494 BC, it was defeated by Wu, with King Goujian of Yue submitting himself to the rule of King Fu Chai of Wu. After hiding his capacities and abiding his time for twenty years, King Goujian of Yue made a comeback. In 473 BC, he wiped out the State of Wu. After that, he went northward to compete for hegemony, making his presence felt in the Yangtze and Huaihe River Area. He was dubbed "a supreme ruler".

Qin Dynasty
After the unification of China by Qin Shi Huang, it became incorporated into the Chinese empire. The Qin armies also advanced south along the Xiang River to modern Guangdong and set up commanderies along the main communication routes. Throughout the Han Dynasty period two groups of Yue were identified, that of the Nan-Yue in the far south, who lived mainly in the area of what is now Guangdong, Guangxi, and Vietnam; and that of the Min-Yue who lay to the southeast, centred on the Min River in modern Fujian. The Kings of Minyue claimed to be descended from Yu the Great(大禹) of the Chinese Xia dynasty(夏朝).

Sinification or Vietnamization?

Sinification of these peoples was brought about by a combination of imperial military power, regular settlement and Chinese refugees fleeing the war in the north. Noted the people movement are not of only one race or community, they may be Han and other races, including minorities. Chinese or Sino is a modern term, the sinofication here should refer to as become culturally more like Han, and subsequently adopt Han's names and culture, and become Han. Note that the North Chinese racially is a mixed race, from the evolution of time and intermarriage of people from different kingdoms and tribes, not a pure breed of Han people per se. This is due to wars and cultural exchanges during the ancient times.

The difficulty of logistics and the malarial climate in the south made the displacement and eventual sinification of the Yue peoples a slow process. When the Han Chinese came into contact with local Yue peoples, they often wrested control of territory from them or subjugated them by force.

As Han Chinese migrants gradually increased, the Yue were gradually forced into poorer land on the hills and in the mountains. Some move to the south. The remaining adopt and assimilated into Han culture, and become Han themselves.

(i)The Intermarriage and Cultural assimilation
The fall of the Han Dynasty and the succeeding period of division sped up the process of sinification. Periods of instability and war in northern China, such as the Northern and Southern Dynasties and during the Song Dynasty led to mass migrations of Chinese. Intermarriage and cross-cultural dialogue has led to a mixture of Chinese and non-Chinese peoples in the south(it should be mixture of Han and non-Han, as Chinese is a modern political term). By the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the term "Yue" had largely become a regional designation rather than a cultural one. A state in modern Zhejiang province during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, for example, called itself "Wu-Yue". Likewise, the "Viet" in "Vietnam" (literally, "Viet South") is a cognate of the "Yue".

While most Yue peoples were eventually sinicized, the Kam-Tai (Daic): Zhuang, Buyi, Dai, Sui (Shui), Kam (Dong), Hlai(Li), Mulam, Maonan, Ong-Be(Lingao), Thai, Lao, Shan, and Vietnamese people retained their ethnic identities. Some of these peoples also have their own nation-states today. In particular, the Vietnamese people regained independence from Chinese rule in the 10th century and have their own state to this day.

(ii) Cultural similarity
Vietnamese is culturally Chinese, we cannot deny the fact, as from their ancestor worship, wedding, cemetery and death ceremony, religion practices, and history. It reflected strong clue of cultural similarity. The influence of Chinese culture is still remain very strong,despite 200 years of France naturalization and influence. However there is strong sign of "de-Chineseness", as the ruing party is strongly promote the new modern national identity.

The impact of Yue culture on Chinese culture has not been determined authoritatively but it is clear that it is significant. The languages of the ancient states of Wu and Yue form the basis the modern Wu language and to some extent the Min languages of Fujian. Linguistic anthropologists have also determined that a number of Chinese words can be traced to ancient Yue words. An example is the word "jiang" (江), meaning river. To some extent, some remnants of the Yue peoples and their culture can also be seen in some minority groups of China and the Vietnamese people retain the identity.

(iii) Close genetic relationship
According to a research study done by the Hopital Saint-Louis in Paris, France: "the comparison of the Vietnamese with other East Asian populations showed a close genetic relationship of the population under investigation with other Orientals," with the exception of seven unique markers. These results, along with remnants of Thai enzyme morphs, indicate a dual ethnic origin of the Vietnamese population from Chinese and Thai-Indonesian populations. According to a recent HLA study headed by laboratories at the Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, the Vietnamese people are classified in the same genetic cluster as the Miao (Hmong), Southern Han (Southern Chinese), Buyei and Thai, with a divergent family consisting of Thai Chinese and Singapore Chinese, Minnan (Hoklo) and Hakka.

Personal Reflection
In modern Chinese, the characters of "越" and "粵" (both yuè) are differentiated. The former is used to refer to the original territory of the Yue Kingdom, the area of what is now northern Zhejiang, southern Jiangsu, and Shanghai, especially the areas around Shaoxing and Ningbo. The opera of Zhejiang, for example, is called "Yue Opera" (yueju, 越劇). The first character "越" is also associated with Vietnam. The second character "粵" (yuè) is associated with the southern province of Guangdong. Popularly called "Cantonese", both the standard form and regional dialects of the Yue language (粵語) are spoken in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong, Macau and in many Cantonese communities around the world.

So that is the relationship between Vietnamese and Chinese. the people in Fujian Province(Minyue 閩越/闽越 ), Guangdong Province(Nan-Yue,南越), and Guangxi Province((Lac Viet 雒越,which share border with North Vietnam), are having very close relationship in blood and language with Vietnamese(Lac Viet 雒越), especially North Vietnamese. They are the distant cousins. No wonder they look the same. The closeness of Cantonese and North Vietnamese are more distinct. The Cantonese even called themselves yue people(粵). Regardless of political history and modern national identity, the Cantonese , Fujian people and North Vietnamese have the same genetic root, at least partially if not completely, from ancient time. There are also close mutual culturally influence between the two communities(North Vietnam and South China).

The San Diu(Mountain Chinese,山由族)in Quang Ninh province,and Ngai(艾族), revealed the remain of the transition of cultural change of the two communities, where they may be Yue people from ancient Nan-yue, who still speak Cantonese or Chinese. Due to physical restriction of their habitat in the mountain or social isolation with outsider, they are not influence by cultural colonization of French and modern Vietnamese cultural change. If French did not come, the Vietnamese culture will be the same as 150 years ago? will there be more cohesiveness between the two communities? That is better for academician to explore.

How about the Jing(Gin/Viet/Kinh) people remain in the Fujian, Guangdong, and Guangxi? they may have completely assimilated into Han culture, and disappear as Han people. Otherwise the people will be moving south to North Vietnam or Gulf of Tokin area.

Who are the San Diu(山由族)?
The San Diu people group is one of the larger of Vietnam’s 53 minority groups, with a population of 117,500. The San Diu have several other names (San Deo, Man Quan Coc or People Wearing Shorts, Man Vay Xe or People Wearing Split Skirts, Trai Dai or Land Dwelling Trai, and Trai). Probably related to the Han (the majority people group of China), the San Diu have retained much of their traditional culture.

山由族(越南文:Sán Dìu)自称山瑶,是越南的54个民族之一。人口12万6237人(1999年统计)。主要分布在越南北方太原、永富、北江、广宁、宣光等省的山区。山由人是明朝末年开始从中国广东逐渐迁入越南的。他们说粤语的一种方言,写汉字。但是不算作华族。过去曾被认为是瑶族的一支

Note: The South Vietnamese have different history, they are more of influences from Champa Empire(Central and South Vietnam) and Khmer Empire(Mekong Delta) in the south, and with skin of darker color. In prehistoric times a kingdom formed along the coasts north of the Mekong River Delta. It was composed of Malayo-Polynesian people and was highly influenced by Indian and Indonesian traders and religious people. This area developed into the kingdom of Champa which was similar to other Hindu-Buddhist civilizations which were being formed in Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia. The Cham cultural influence will be stronger in the south. The Khmer Empire are mainly in Mekong Delta. Originally from northern Vietnam and southern China, the Vietnamese have conquered much of the land belonging to the Champa Kingdom and Khmer Empire over the centuries. They are the dominant ethnic group in most provinces of Vietnam, and constitute a significant portion of the population of Cambodia. Unlike North Vietnam, the chances of racial integration with the natives of South Vietnam(Cham culture or Khmer culture) and Chinese is limited or restricted , except the immigrants from the North Vietnam,the Chinese (Hoa, 越南華僑). The mass migration of Vietnamese from the North however have changed the situation, the culture of the north have greatly influence the culture of the south Vietnam, as more North Vietnamese(Kinh) are moving to South. The Cham and Khemer Krom are now the minority. The process of Vietnamization by the Kinh people? is a copy of sinification of Kinh in the ancient time? History it a natural process or forced process?????......

Related articles/referemce:

1. Ivanova R, Astrinidis A, Lepage V, et al(1999年December月).Mitochondrial DNA polymorphism in the Vietnamese population.Eur. J. Immunogenet.,26(6):417–22.PMID 10583463.
2. Lin M, Chu CC, Chang SL, et al(2001年March月).The origin of Minnan and Hakka, the so-called "Taiwanese", inferred by HLA study.Tissue Antigens,57(3):192–9.PMID 11285126

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