Characteristics of Thai ethnic group in Vietnam

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Thai people came from Southern China. They have the same origin as ethnic minorities such as Choang, Tay, Nung. Under the pressure of Chinese and Vietnamese in the east and north, they migrated to the South and Southwest. The Thai people entered Vietnam from the 7th to the 13th century.

Other names: Tay Khao (White Thai), Tay Dam (Black Thai), Tay Muoi, Tay Thanh, Hang Tong (Tay Muong), Pu Thay, Tho Da Bac.
Population: 1.550.423 people (The year 2009), ranking the 3rd place in Vietnam
Habitation: Thai people live in 63 provinces and city and total, mostly in Son La, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Hoa Binh…

Habits and customs
The Thai worship their ancestors, the heaven, the earth, ban, and “Muong”. With the hope of having good crops, they often hold rituals. The Thai live in stilt houses. While the stilt house of the White Thai is similar to the house of the Tay and Nung, the house of the Black Thai has tortoise-shaped roofs. The arrangement in the house of the Black Thai is rather unique. Each compartment has its own name and the floor is divided into 2 sections: one for sleeping and the other for kitchen and welcome the male guests.

Normally, after the wedding, the groom will live in the bride’s house for several years until a baby is born, they will move to the groom’s house. However, this custom is not so as popular as in the past. The Thai think that there is a world after death. Therefore, they hold a farewell party in a funeral to see off the dead.

The Thai language was originated from Tai-Kadai languages. In Vietnam, 8 ethnic minority groups including Bo Y, Giay, Lao, Lu, Nung, San Chay, Tay use Thai. Myths, legends, folk tales, folk poetry are a valuable asset of Thai traditional culture. They like singing, particularly “khap tay” (reciting poetry with the chime of string instruments and dances Their folk dances such as “Xoe”, “Sap”, “Han Khuong” were performed at many domestic and international stages that allured so many people. “Han Khuong” and “Nem Con” (a folk game) are a reflection of the Thai’s unique cultural characteristics.

The Thai are experienced in cultivation and orchards planting. They also earn living by raising cattle and poultry, making bamboo products, weaving and producing ceramic products.


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