The Vietnamese people (Vietnamese: người Việt or người Kinh) are an ethnic group originating from present-day northern Vietnam and southern China. They are the majority ethnic group of Vietnam, comprising 86% of the population as of the 1999 census, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from other ethnic groups in Vietnam. The earliest recorded name for the ancient Vietnamese people appears as "Lạc".
Although geographically and linguistically labeled as Southeast Asians, long periods of Chinese domination and influence have placed the Vietnamese culturally closer to East Asians, or more specifically their immediate northern neighbours, the Southern Chinese and other tribes within the South China. The word Việt is shortened from Bách Việt, a name used in ancient times. Nam means "south".
If regarded as a single ethnic group, the Vietnamese constitute one of the world's largest with 77 million people.
Famous quotes containing the words vietnamese and/or people:
“Follow me if I advance
Kill me if I retreat
Avenge me if I die.”
—Mary Matalin, U.S. Republican political advisor, author, and James Carville b. 1946, U.S. Democratic political advisor, author. Alls Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, epigraph (from a Vietnamese battle cry)
“To have a place full of delights and nothing but delights, which one does not have to explain and defend to people who have ideas unsympathetic to one, it is to economize the forces which keep one from ending like the wisteria, from committing the unpardonable sin of doing things with difficulty.”
—Rebecca West (18921983)