The family of Vietnam

Family and Line

Persons related by blood, united intimately a base unit which is FAMILY and genealogy (kinship). The clan is a unit which take an important community role eminently Vietnamese.

1/ In general point of view 

In the East, the family plays a much more important role than in the West (where a more thorough consideration of the individual). However, a more detailed comparison in the East even shows us a very subtle difference: in China (= crop production origin pastoral) with movable type, says the family as a base (Confucianism to a lot of consideration for the family), while in Vietnam (= pure crop), the role of the clan is greater. It's was so because being a strictly agricultural culture, the nuclear family isn't enough to face natural and social environment. We need the whole clan and then the village community. Therefore, Vietnam, lineage and in this wake, the community is much larger than the nuclear family.

Concepts such as "cuu toc" (descendants of the 9th generation from a common ancestor), "truong toc" (head of the line), "gio ho" (commemorating the ancestor of the line), "gio to" (commemoration of the first ancestor), "tu duong" (family chapel), "gia pha" (herd book, etc ... concerning the lineage and / or family). 

2/ Vietnamese Family depending on the view of Professor Dang Quoc CO

  1. Based family company

    Vietnamese family, the basis of Vietnamese society, includes the living and the dead. The days of Tet and anniversaries those who preceded return  to live with us. Historically the ancestral altar is the soul of the house, ancestor worship remains the devotion of the country and ensures continuity between the present and the past, the relationship with the gods of the macrocosm, with Heaven. Funeral ceremonies, catering and visit tombs, wedding receptions, birthdays and recently children bring families and loved ones. After decades of struggle and separation, people yearn for the simple joy of the family home. The return to the roots, the dream down a prestigious grandfather as Nguyen Du, Tran Hung Dao, give genealogical research a craze. This emotional quest is commendable at the time of broken families and proves that eternal family still lives in us.

    These family gatherings, the cult for ancestors and heroes also satisfy the need for children to be connected to their present, their past. My young nephew told me of his amazement when he discovers a Vietnamese community with 2,000 people and sings in chorus with them... The Tet organized by the Association of Vietnamese students in Paris. The family home, Từ Đường or the all the clan, it's the ideal place to replenish to young rediscovering their roots. It is not without emotion that parents show pictures of the ancestors, tell the history and deeds of the family, explain the rituals and traditions. By the worship of ancestors and heroes are transmitted youth moral values ​​sought by the child are as important if not more than economic success. This educational method by immersion in this glorious ancestors and worship is the same art education.

    Confucian tradition contributes to solidarity between the generations, respect for the family hierarchy and the elderly uncle called tata, and the subsidiary, the first of virtues piety. Nguyen Du celebrates these values ​​in the national poem Kim Vân Kieu to 1044-1045 

Kieu despite its vicissitudes is constantly worrying about her parents:

Xót người tựa cửa hôm mai

Quạt nồng ấp lạnh những ai đó giờ ? 

(One who, morning and evening, still leaning against the doorframe,

 which now looked after the fan in summer, the cover in winter?)

Bách Nhan Trung gia Hữu Thai Hoa

(NHIN Nhan = patience, restraint, resignation, tolerance, sensitivity, understanding ... as in saying: NHIN cho nen nen Cửa nha - patience, tolerance to create harmony in the family; NHIN cho nen nen Vo Chong- understand, lov, tolerance to succeed the pair)

(With the effort in the world, there are no insurmountable difficulties

By practicing patience hundred times, we will reign peace and harmony in the family)

There was once a family in which five generations lived together in perfect harmony. Fame came to the Court. The Emperor summoned the Patriarch and asked him the secret of happiness of his home. The answer was a long written with 100 times the same word An Nhan (patience). The Emperor appreciated currency and offered as a reward to the old one orange. It to benefit the family of royal favor boiled fruit in a large pot of water and gives taste to all.

b/ Family, strength of the nation

*/ Expansion of territory

The aspiration to numerous descendants ensured the strength of family and population growth, the main force in agrarian economies. Some hundreds of thousands of Hai Ba Trung time, year 40, the population grew to 3 million. In 1400 is 5 million. In 1847, 13 million, in 1900 it's 22 million and in 1943 is 78 million currently. This population growth has entrayné the expansion of the kingdom by the March South, Champa and Cambodia, and to the West Highlands and Laos. The area of ​​Viet Nam peaked under Minh Mang


*/ Educational Development

However, despite the territory, industry and commerce disability didn't prevent the impoverishment of the countryside. The only way out was the mandarin contest. Family bled four veins for her children's education. It still does now, in the tradition of scholars, because the secondary and higher education isn't free and sometimes deficient because of demographics and the fee for teachers are low . It accepts all the sacrifices to send youth in private schools and even abroad. It is the family that supports the individual in case of difficulty. ''The family is the secret of success'' (Christian Jelen)

*/ Economy Development

The family not only educates, but it nourishes, protects, and in the worst moments was an extraordinary appeal to all: it is the family plot with vegetable crops, breeding pigs poultry fish, only 5 % of the surface cultivated that by providing for half of agricultural production, avoided the experience of large-scale socialist production becomes widespread famine. Since 1989 the family farm released assured food self-sufficiency of the country. In 1999 rural and urban family enterprises, crafts, petty trade, services provide a third of the national income.

They all start with a family loan solidarity guaranteed only by the family trust and honor. Widow in her twenties with three children, my grandmother was able to obtain the loan from an uncle of one dollar and start her business between Thanh Hoa and Ha Noi to meet the needs of the family and brilliant studies my father.

However, despite their success in small famìales farms can not replace national and international firms for the development of the country. 

c/ broken family

Life expectancy increased from 35 to more than 70 years. The man often can not resist the temptation to explore new horizons, leaving a 50 year old woman for two 25 ' or even five Djem Nam canh Nam Vo Ngoi Hau ... along the five watches of the night, five women serve ..''. More freedom of morals, contraception, multiple dating clubs, erotic films, travel facilities, housing ... the grow there; Previously it was only possible to spare some intimacy in the bushes, fields

(Một gánh giang san ở giữa đòng,

Thuyền quyên ứ hự anh hùng nhớ chăng?) 

The family pillar of the Vietnamese nation tends to explode as in Western countries for other more important reasons.

d/ The decline of religions

Traditional marriage in Vietnam was a religious institution; it is religion which consecrates the union of the spouses within the family, the purpose of marriage is to have children to develop and perpetuate the family clan ancestor worship. They preside over six rituals of marriage: sending via two families (me) marriage proposal (Hoi Dam Vo), Engagement (Dinh Hon), payment law marriage (cheo) marriage (Thân nghinh), ''son'' ceremony red (the To Hồng). Currently ceremonies are simplified. However the bottom line is always followed, the religious act before the altar of the ancestors .

Unfortunately in some households the altar dedicated to the ancestors, the Buddha, the saints, or Christ has disappeared, replaced by those photos pinup in their simplest outfit or stars of showbiz, sports cars! The house has lost its soul to keep only the body.

Confucius taught: To improve oneself, give his family, to govern his country, ensure world peace. In Western countries the governments are trying to ensure only all the heavy responsibilities that the family assumes, as the education of children. This contributes to the loosening of family ties. In Viet Nam the Confucianism in its entirety has been criticized after the failure of royalty and scholars face of colonial conquest.

Christians in the Church sanctifies the marriage and the family to establish a secure and indissoluble bond duration and stability. However, the decay of some churches, the priests rarefactions, are signs of the unfortunate loss of faith and the dissolution of the religious marriage.

It's the end of the traditional family and open to disruptions perspective. If Nguyen Du and Ho Xuan Huong criticized the hypocrisy, selfishness of some men (Chua Khong Chong mà mới Ngoan, có mà Chong Chua Thuong tra gian ADI) and fought for women's right to equality, love, some famous writers like George Sand, Colette pushed this claim to the right to adultery 

e/ Revolutions

Fraçaise the Revolution proclaimed the Rights of Man, the August 1945 Revolution in Viet Nam (Cach Mang tháng 8) calls the struggle for Independence, and the construction of socialism. Both see in the ''private'' interests and the interests of the family obstacles to ''the public interest'' of the nation, the people (nhan dan) or links prone to reactionary conspiracies (Phan Dong) and opponents. The war will strengthen all supported. Therefore it is important to shape a new man at the service of the revolutionary ideal, which is considered a duty, a feat denunciation of ''crimes'' of his family, his parents. Children accuse their father, the women their husbands family disintegrates.

f/ Back with family 

*/ The family unit withstands the onslaught of modern individualism

In France before this disoriented society, country destabilized by revolutionary turmoil, Napoleon wanted a return to order: it gives strength and cohesion of the family. His Civil Code of 1804 called Napoleonic Code gives special legal significance to the family. To make it the cornerstone of the new company, he sanctifies by the Civil Code and by the Church. A civil marriage and a religious marriage surrounded specific pump become two inseparable ceremonies. After many profound changes over two centuries, the family only pillar of society that can withstand the test of time, tends to resist change. So after the last 30 years of disinterest in family and excessive individualism and permissiveness, the baby boom from 2001 show that people are rediscovering the virtues and the warmth of family.

Viet Nam could ponder the thoughts of President Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore, expressed in the journal Foreign Affairs of April 1994 ''In political turmoil, economic, war, migration... or simply if moral, material and physical, loneliness distress, governments are often lacking. It is the family that rescues people in distress. Governments come, governments go, but family is eternal precept You Than Te gia too. ''After three centuries of war, suffering, sacrifice, frustration, the family remains the lifeline of the Vietnamese in the country and abroad.

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