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Vietnams Cultural Diversity


Vietnams diverse culture includes over fifty distinct ethic minority groups, which
account for 14% of their population. These groups typically live in the secluded mountainous
regions of the central part of the country or coastal river deltas. Tourists not only visit for the
prestigious wildlife that Vietnam exhibits, but also for the traditional Vietnamese culture.
Vietnam is experiencing a loss of cultural diversity due to prostitution practices and sex
trafficking rates, and the excess amounts of drugs and substance abuse.
In Vietnam today, girls are often carefully chaperoned and expect to keep their virginity
until their wedding night, where as in contrast men typically have slept with a prostitute long
before their wedding night. Sexuality in Vietnam is distinguished by a double standard that
expects women to remain virgins until marriage while men are allowed to enjoy sexual freedom.
Young women who lose their virginity before marriage, whether through rape or in a relationship
diminish their chances for a "good" marriage. In the website article Sex in Vietnam, Jeffrey Hays
said, In Vietnam virginity is sacred. The culture and the family let the girl know it is her
responsibility to keep her virginity as soon as they are old enough to understand what virginity is.
Vietnamese men are reluctant to marry a non-virgin even if they are the one who took the
virginity (Hays, 2013)! Vietnams culture has deemed it acceptable for men to sleep with
prostitutes before marriage, but lately this has changed and has become an affect on their
traditional values. Leaders in Vietnam slip every instance of them sleeping with prostitutes under
the rug, but recently these scandals have come out. These leaders have reacted with violence and
anger towards these accusations about them, and they are fearful of old cultural ways coming
back. These accusations has affected Vietnams peoples views on what the men in power of
government are doing when no one is watching, and even gives them negative feelings towards

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them. The cultural and traditional views on women must remain pure into marriage is slowly
slipping away in Vietnam, because of prostitution and sex trafficking.
Drug abuse and drug users are at an all time high currently in Vietnam, and is affecting
their cultural ways. In the article, Drug Use On the Rise in Vietnam, TN news said, From a law
enforcement perspective, Nguyen Ngoc Tinh, a drug crime police officer in HCMC, said the
increase of drug use is partly because of the lax surveillance of drug smuggling (TN news,
2013). Crack cocaine is an illicit drug used in Vietnam, and is considered one of the most
popular. In the article, Vietnams Cultural Profile, by Pamela LaBorde, she said, Traditionally,
women do not smoke in public, and public drunkenness is a disgrace. Alcohol use seems to be
increasing among adolescents according to several people interviewed. The rate of smoking is
very high among Vietnamese men, in fact it is higher than in the general population (LaBorde,
2010). Drugs prior to 1995 in Vietnam were relatively low, and recently an interview had been
done showing that kids as young as sixth graders were snorting cocaine. Traditional views in
Vietnam are tolerant to the use of drugs if it is for a medical and health related purpose, such as
tobacco use. Like everywhere tobacco is a legal drug, but in Vietnam it is seen as a higher power
than just a temporary buzz. Their cultural tradition holds that sharing tobacco is a sign of
hospitality, and also a use for depression. In the article, Vietnam, the author said, many
Vietnamese feel that the system does not work, particularly with regard to its failure either to
punish high-ranking offenders or to prevent the wealthy from bribing their way out of being
punished for illegal activities (2015). Vietnams culture views drug abuse as an illegal matter,
and even religious conviction. Buddhism, Taoism, and even Confucianism all believe that any
substance that can harm your body is a justice under God and considered a sin.

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Vietnam is one country that is known and visited by so many around the world for
its cultural and tradition views. Over the past few decades there has been a loss in cultural
diversity due to many influences around the country including prostitution and drug or substance
abuse. There have been efforts from the multitudes ranging from the highest political
government powers, to the police force, all the way to the spiritual religious leaders. This country
takes pride in their long history of traditions, and they will not allow these issues to determine
how their future looks in a cultural diverse way.

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References
Hayes, J. (n.d.). SEX IN VIETNAM. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from
http://factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Vietnam/sub5_9c/entry-3417.html
LaBorde, P. (n.d.). Vietnamese Cultural Profile. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from
https://ethnomed.org/culture/vietnamese/vietnamese-cultural-profile
News, T. (2013, October 8). Drug use on the rise in Vietnam. Retrieved November 16, 2015,
from http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/drug-use-on-the-rise-in-vietnam-1018.html
Vietnam. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://www.everyculture.com/ToZ/Vietnam.html

HIV Prostitutes. (n.d). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from


http://treasuresoftheinternet.org/health/aids/update/asia_pacific/asia_pacific.
shtml

HIV Transmission. (n.d). Retreived November 16, 2015, from


http://slideplayer.com/slide/6390891/