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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 22, No. 4. April 27, 1959

Minority Groups

Minority Groups

Like China, Vietnam is a country with many minority peoples. The major group—the Annamese—are rice - growing peoples living in the alluvial lowlands. There are, in addition, some 50-60 different tribal groups living in the hill areas which fringe the Red River lowlands. Many of these groups have languages, histories and social systems quite different to those of the Annamese and to weld them into a unified state without destroying their individuality poses major problems.

Vietnam's minority policy is based on that of China; it provides for full development of these peoples and recognises their individuality by granting a considerable measure of administrative autonomy to the larger and more compact groups.

Research into the history and social organisation of the tribal peoples is carried on by the School of National Minorities at Hanoi. Here new scripts are being developed for groups with no written language and minority students are trained to go back and work as administrators, teachers and technicians among their own people.

The school includes a large number of pupils from South Vietnam who, when unification of North and South comes, will provide a core of trained personnel for the tribal groups in the uplands of the South.