As I said, i will talk about the history of Vietnam in this post. Sorry.. if history bores you xd
Nowadays, Vietnam are divided into 3 main parts, northern, middle and the southern. The most well-known place in the north is Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. For the Middle will be Huế, the national capital before 1945 ,and the northern part is where i am staying, Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam.
Before the Vietnam war, Vietnam is actually divided into two parts, North and South. North practice Communist and is supported by China and other communist allies, whereas South, they are supported by US and other non-communist allies and they fight against each other during Vietnam war. Therefore, their national flag was once Red- communist, Blue- capitalist republic.
Unfortunately, the south lost and is captured by the communist with the aid of US and other countries like Australia. Vietnam then become a communist state ever since. In the War Museum, you can see how dreadful the place is after the war. Vietnam was devastated. The place was totally destroyed, soil and water were contaminated, many of them are crippled especially the new born, due to the chemical weapon, Agent orange.
Since Vietnam was colonized by China and France in different period. Vietnam is greatly influenced by their culture, especially their language. According to my host, she said that in early history, Vietnamese use Chinese characters for writing. They use literary Chinese for all formal writing and they also had something call Chữ Nôm. They used a standard set of Chinese characters to represent some native Vietnamese words and Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary. However, at around 1920, someone led Latin into Vietnam and created a new set of written Vietnamese. Therefore, all Vietnamese alphabet are Latin-based now and Chinese characters are no longer taught.
However, it’s not hard to find Chinese words in Vietnam as they use it for decoration and symbols of good luck. She also told me that you can still find people in southern part of Vietnam such as Hanoi that can read Chinese.
As i speak Cantonese, I can tell that their speaking form is quite similar to Cantonese. I taught one of the Vietnamese Cantonese 1-10 once and he told me that there is actually not much difference between Cantonese and the old version of Vietnamese.
And for food, you can find something like a baguette (Bánh Mi Thi) easily in the streets but they put pork, raw vegetables, coriander and some sauce in it. The french interns tried it and said it’s not french at all hahaha