. December 1984 . These academies, however, served as an arm of the state. Catholicism Despite the Roman Catholic Church’s rejection of ancestor worship, a cornerstone of the Confucian cultural tradition, Roman Catholicism established a solid position in Vietnamese society under French rule. The French encouraged its propagation to balance Buddhism and to serve as a vehicle for the further dissemination of Western culture. After the mid-1950s, Catholicism declined in the North, where the communists regarded it as a reactionary force opposed to national liberation and social progress.
In the South, by contrast, Catholicism expanded under the presidency of Ngo Dinh Diem, who promoted it as an important bulwark against North Vietnam. Under Diem, himself a devout Catholic, Roman Catholics enjoyed an advantage over non-Catholic in commerce, the professions, education, and the government. This caused growing Buddhist discontent that contributed to the eventual collapse of the Diem regime and the ultimate rise to power of the military.
The church was allowed to retain its link with the Vatican, although all foreign priests had either fled south or been expelled, and normal church activities were permitted to continue, albeit in the shadow of a campaign of harassment. The appearance of normalcy was misleading, however.The church was stripped of its traditional autonomy in running schools, hospitals, and orphanages. Its traditional right to own property was abolished, and priests and nuns were required to devote part of their time to productive labor in agriculture. Nevertheless, officials claimed that Catholics had complete freedom of worship as long as they did not question the principle of collective socialism, spurn manual labor, or jeopardize the internal and external security of the state.
EDUCATION 10 The Vietnamese inherited a high respect for learning. Under Confucianism, education was essential for admission to the ruling class of scholar-officials, the mandarinate. Under French rule, even though Vietnamese were excluded from the colonial power elite, education was a requisite for employment in the colonial civil service and for other white-collar, high-status jobs. In divided Vietnam, education continued to be a channel for social mobility in both the North and the South. In the years after 1975, all public and private schools in the South were taken over by the state as a first step toward integration into a unified socialist school system.Thousands of teachers were sent from the North to direct and supervise the process of transition, and former teachers under the Saigon regime were allowed to continue their work only after they had completed special courses designed to expose the ideological and cultural poisoning of which they had been victims for twenty years. The educational system in 1987 was based on reforms announced in January 1979 that were designed to make education more relevant to the nation’s economic and social needs. These reforms combined theory with practical application and emphasized the training of skilled workers, technicians, and managers.
The reforms also stressed the need to develop the country’s scientific and technological levels of achievement until they were comparable to international levels in order to assist Vietnam in expanding its technical cooperation with foreign countries in general and socialist countries in particular. Education continues to be structured in a traditional manner, including preschool, vocational and professional schools, supplementary courses, and higher education. General education, however, was extended from ten to twelve years. The first nine years of general education form the compulsory level, corresponding to primary and junior high schools; the last three years constitute the secondary level.Graduates of secondary schools are considered to have completed training in general culture and are ready for employment requiring skilled labor. They are also eligible to apply to colleges or advanced vocational and professional schools.
The general education category also covers the schooling of gifted and handicapped children. Vocational schools at the secondary and college levels serve to train technicians and skilled workers. Graduates of professional specialized schools at the college level primarily fill mid-level cadre positions in the technical, economic, educational, cultural, and medical fields. Senior cadres in these fields as well as members of the upper bureaucracy usually have graduated from regular universities.PUBLIC HEALTH 11 In 1945 Vietnam had forty-seven hospitals with a total of 3,000 beds, and it had one physician for every 180,000 persons.
The life expectancy of its citizens averaged thirty-four years. By 1979 there were 713 hospitals with 205,700 beds, in addition to more than 10,000 maternity clinics and rural health stations; the ratio of physicians to potential patients had increased to one per 1,000 persons, and the average life expectancy was sixty-three years for males and sixty-seven years for females. These expectancies remain true today. Information concerning the health sector, although fragmentary, suggested that the country’s unified health care system has expanded and improved in both preventive and curative medicine. Medical personnel total about 240,000, including physicians, nurses, midwives, and other paramedics.The quality of public health care and the level of medical technology remain inadequate, however, and authorities are increasingly concerned about such problems as nutritional deficiency, mental health, and old-age illnesses.
Cardiovascular diseases and cancers are reportedly not widespread but had increased in recent years. Information on AIDS was unavailable. LIVING CONDITIONS 12 The improvement of living conditions has consistently been one of Hanoi’s most important but most elusive goals. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, food, housing, medicines, and consumer goods were chronically scarce as agriculture and industry slowly recovered from the effects of prolonged wartime disruptions, corrupt and inept management, and the cost of the military occupation of Cambodia. Consequently, the Hanoi government was under tremendous pressure to address social problems such as urban unemployment, vocational training, homelessness, the care of orphans, war veterans, and the disabled, the control of epidemics, and the rehabilitation of drug addicts and prostitutes. These problems were complicated by rapid population growth, which tested the limits of the food supply and increased the need to import grains. In recent years the dependence on foreign grains has subsided and the overall quality of life has increased; however, Vietnam is still considered to be one of the poorest Asian nations, with a per capita income of US$200 per person.
INFRASTRUCTURE 13 Decades of war and under-investment have left much of Vietnams infrastructure in a run-down state.The situation is gradually improving as the government encourages foreign investment in infrastructure projects through special incentive plans and takes advantage of international aid programs. However, a rising budget deficit and a shortage of hard currency have kept Vietnam from making some of the desperately needed large-scale improvements.
Transportation Vietnams transportation system consists of about 105,000 km of roads, 2,600 km of railway, 19,500 km of navigable inland waterways, seven main ports, three international airports and additional number of smaller domestic airports. The roads, bridges and railways are in desperate need of investment, while the rail and road transport fleets are inadequate and mainly use antiquated equipment. The current system is unable to meet existing needs, let alone keep up with the dramatic rise in trade volumes, foreign investment and economic growth. Telecommunications Vietnam has made great strides in upgrading its telecommunication systems, although much remains to be done. In recent years, Vietnam has invested US$800 million to increase the number of available telephones.The country now has one phone per 100 people, almost 10 times as many as in 1993.
Direct dialing is now easy, although the costs remain quite high. A shortage of phone lines has led to a surge in the use of mobile telephones and pagers in urban areas, such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. NATIONAL SECURITY 14 Armed Forces Vietnams military force is the largest in Southeast Asia and third largest force in the world after China and Russia. Its total estimated strength is over 5 million personnel: army, 1.2 million ( with thirty-eight regular infantry divisions); navy, 15,000; air force, 20,000; Regional Force, 500,000; Militia-Self Defense Force, 1.2 million; Armed Youth Assault Force, 1.5 million; and the Tactical Rear Force, 500,000.
This makes Vietnam an adversary not to under-estimate, especially considering the number of combat seasoned veterans from the Vietnam, Cambodia and China Wars. The Military’s Place in Society The Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN) exerts a great deal of complicated direct and indirect influence both on party and government policy-making and on everyday non- military life. It is so well integrated into the social system that there is no precise point at which it can be said that the military ends and the civilian world begins. PAVN is expected to be all things to the people and special things to the party.
It must both lead the people and serve them.It must be loyal both to the political line and to the military line, even when these conflict. It must act as the vanguard of the party yet be scrupulously subservient to it. The chief obligation of the average citizen to PAVN is military service, which is universal and compulsory.
This duty long predates the advent of communism to Vietnam. Conscription in traditional Vietnam was carried out in a manner similar to the requisitioning of corvee labor.Village councils were required to supply conscripts according to population ratio. The 1980 Constitution stipulates that citizens are obliged to do military service and take part in the building of the national defense force.
In December 1981, the National Assembly promulgated a new Military Obligation Law stating that military obligation is mandated by law and is a glorious task for a citizen. . .
. All male citizens from all rural areas, city districts, organs, state enterprises, and vocational schools from elementary to college level, regardless of the positions they hold, if they meet the induction criteria of the annual state draft plan, must serve in the armed forces for a limited time in accordance with the draft law. Under the law there are no exemptions to military service, although there can be deferments.
This practice has led to charges that extensive corruption allows the sons of influential party and state officials one deferment after another. The draft is administered by PAVN itself and is conducted chiefly by a corps of retired officers stationed in district offices throughout the country. The process begins with registration, which is voluntary for all males at age sixteen and compulsory at seventeen.A woman may register if she is a member of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth League.
The draft age is from eighteen to twenty-seven. The enlistment period is three years for ordinary enlistees, four years for technical specialists and navy personnel, and two years for certain ethnic minorities. INTERNAL SECURITY 15 Internal security was never much of a problem in North Vietnam; it was probably somewhat more tenuous in unified Vietnam. Unification, understandably, introduced new internal threats, which the regime in the 1980s was able to keep in check.The most significant internal threat was the danger of counterrevolution, a possibility that had both internal and external implications. Hanoi feared that a resistance effort in Vietnam would mount an effective guerrilla war aided by outsiders who sought either to roll back communism in Indochina or to effect change in Hanoi’s leadership. These outsiders might include not only foreign governments but also emigre Vietnamese seeking to destroy the ruling system. Police, crime-detection, and law-enforcement activities tend to be treated collectively under the heading of public security.
These activities are conducted by overlapping, but tightly compartmentalized, institutions of control, separated by only hazy lines of jurisdiction. In particular, there is no sharp division between the internal security duties of PAVN forces and those of the civilian elements of the Ministry of Interior.Both party and state have paid enormous attention to the maintenance of public order. Perhaps it is for this reason that internal security has always been well managed and security threats have always been contained. Four clusters of agencies are responsible for crime prevention and the maintenance of public order and internal security under the 1985 Criminal Code.
The enforcement bodies are the People’s Security Force (PSF) or People’s Police, operating chiefly in urban areas; the People’s Public Security Force (PPSF), called the People’s Security Service or PSS at the village level; the plain-clothes or secret police; and the People’s Armed Security Force (PASF), a quasi-military organ, including some PAVN personnel, operating chiefly in the villages and rural areas and concerned both with crime and antistate activities. Law Enforcement Vietnamese legal thought with regard to the treatment of criminals is the result of three major influences: classic Confucianism, the Napoleonic Code, and Marxism-Leninism.The combination of the three legacies has produced in Vietnamese society a legal philosophy that is inquisitional rather than adversarial, seeking reform rather than punishment. The system imposes on the individual and the state the responsibility of bringing all members of society to a condition of self-imposed moral rectitude in which behavior is defined in terms of collective, rather than individual, good. In contrast to the West, where law is the guarantee of rights that all may claim, in Vietnam the law concerns duties that all must fulfill. Vietnamese law seeks to give the prisoner the right to reformation.
In theory, at least, there are very few incorrigibles. It also permits a relativist approach in fixing sentences, much more so than do the precedent-based systems of the West. Mitigating circumstances, such as whether the accused acted out of passion or premeditation, loom large as a factor in sentencing.Murder by stabbing is treated more leniently than murder by poison, for example, because the latter is perceived to require a greater degree of premeditation than the former. The personal circumstances of the accused are also a factor in determining punishment. In the administration of criminal justice in Vietnam, an effort is made to understand the criminal, his crime, and his reasons; and the notion of permanent or extended incarceration is rejected in favor of an effort to determine whether or not and, if so, how the criminal can be rehabilitated and restored to society. Political crimes are treated less liberally, however. In such cases, the administration of justice can be arbitrary and harsh.
Politics clearly plays a role in the arrest, trial, and sentencing procedures. The rationale for this policy, which is openly acknowledged, is that the revolution must be protected and that the individual may be sacrificed, perhaps even unjustly, for the common cause. The courts also take a more jaundiced view of the rehabilitation of political prisoners than of common criminals. The court system was reorganized in 1981 into four basic levels: the Supreme People’s Court; the provincial municipal courts reporting to Hanoi; the local courts, chiefly at the district precinct levels, reporting respectively to provincial or municipal governments; and military courts. In addition, a number of specialized courts were created.
In judicial procedure the courts still owed much to the French example, particularly with respect to the role of the procurator, who had much broader responsibilities than the prosecutor or district attorney under the Anglo-Saxon system. Life in a Vietnamese prison is harsh. There are work details for those in prisons, as well as in the work-reform camps, that chiefly involve agricultural production for prison use. Rehabilitation lectures are held daily, and prisoners spend much time describing past behavior and thoughts in detail in their dossiers. Visitors are permitted only infrequently in most prisons. Discipline is strict, and prisons in particular are well guarded; usually there is 1 guard for every 250 prisoners. In general, the use of torture, corporal punishment, and what might be termed police brutality are no longer legal but are still condoned by officials and even accepted by the general public.SUMMARY This was a brief overview of the Vietnamese culture, in an attempt to establish a better understanding of the potential Vietnamese consumer.
By utilizing the knowledge gained from this report, and any other possible sources, multi-national corporations may fully benefit from commerce with this emerging market. By possessing a basic foundation of the make up and everyday working of the Vietnamese society, international firms will be able to implement more efficient methods of human resource management, advertising, and manufacturing to meet the demands of the Vietnamese consumer. SELF-EVALUATION Through out the completion of this project, whether it be the countless hours of research or the actual writing of this report, I have gained a better understanding of Vietnam that I would have had the opportunity to learn. I dont consider myself an expert on the country, or culture of Vietnam; however, I believe I am more aware of the cultural aspects of Vietnam and their possible advantages, or disadvantages that they may provide. Overall, I feel I have done an excellent job on this report and I may eventually have an opportunity to actually use this information in the international arena.REFERENCES 1. General Information Background Notes: Vietnam.
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unc.edu/vietnam/vnpic.html APPENDIX A HISTORICAL TIME LINE 111 BC China conquered the northern part of present-day Vietnam, and later changed the name of the region to Annam. AD 939 China withdrew from Annam, and the Vietnamese kingdom of Dai Co Viet was established. Other Vietnamese kingdoms ruled southern areas of present-day Vietnam.1009-1225 Vietnamese art and culture thrived during the Ly dynasty. 1407-1428 China seized control of Dai Co Viet, but resistance forces led by Le Loi drove the Chinese from the country and established the kingdom of Dai Viet. 1471 Dai Viet conquered the southern Vietnamese kingdom of Champa, but intermittent fighting between the north and south continued until 1673.
1770s The Tay Son began to seize control of much of Dai Viet from the Nguyen dynasty. 1802 Nguyen Anh defeated the Tay Son and united the northern and southern parts of the country, which he renamed Vietnam.1861 The French seized control of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and began establishing a colonial government in Vietnam. 1883 France controlled all of Vietnam as well as Laos and Cambodia.
1940 Japan assumed effective control of French Indochina. 1945 Japan forced Emperor Bao Dai to declare the independence of northern and central Vietnam. After the war, the emperor stepped down and Communist leader Ho Chi Minh assumed power.1954 The Communist-led Vietminh defeated the French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Vietnam was divided into two nations. Ho Chi Minh became president of North Vietnam, and Bao Dai became the leader of South Vietnam. 1957 Backed by North Vietnam, Communist guerrillas called the Vietcong began to rebel against the South Vietnamese government.
1965 United States forces landed at Da Nang and began fighting in Vietnam.1969 Ho Chi Minh died. 1973 The United States ended its military involvement in the Vietnam War. 1975 South Vietnam surrendered to northern forces.
Thousands of Vietnamese began fleeing the country. 1976 North and South Vietnam were unified under a Communist government.Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. 1978 Vietnam invaded Cambodia and removed the Khmer Rouge government. 1989 Vietnam claimed to have withdrawn all of its forces from Cambodia. 1990s Economic reforms encouraging limited private enterprise and foreign investment were instituted. 1994 The United States ended its long-standing trade embargo with Vietnam. In return, Vietnam offered increased cooperation in providing information about soldiers killed or missing in the Vietnam War. 1995 President Clinton announced the normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam.This followed the establishment of Liaison Offices in Hanoi and Washington, DC. History Essays.