Name of ethnic group: Hoa (Han)

Population: 862,371 people (Year 1999)

Locality: The Hoa live in all parts of Vietnam from north to south, in both urban centres and rural regions.

Customs and habits: They build houses usually with three rooms and live close together. The families of the same lineage always reside together. In a Hoa family, the husband is the head of the household. The right of inheritance is reserved for the sons only. The eldest son always gets the greater part of the property. Parents decide the marriage arrangement of their children, and early marriages are common. The choices of a husband or a wife are often based on the desires of the family to have equal social standing or are dictated by business considerations.

According to customs, funerals must go through several rituals. The cycle starts with informing others of the mourning process, wearing mourning clothes, wrapping the corpse, opening the road for the dead soul, burying the dead, bringing their soul to the “country of Buddha in the west”, and the last rite is the completion of the mourning process. Since respect for the dead is very important, in all villages and hamlets, there are temples, pagodas, and shrines built for veneration of the dead.

Culture: The Hoa language belongs to the Han Group.

Costumes: Hoa men have adopted a dress similar to the Nung, Giay, Mong, and Dao. Hoa women’s garments consist of a pair of trousers, a five-panelled vest which falls to mid-thigh, and a short sleeve shirt with five-panels.

Economy: The Hoa practice various occupations including agriculture, handicrafts, trading, fishing, and salt-making. Hoa farmers have a long tradition of cultivating submerged fields. They also work as laborers, teachers, cadres, and other professionals.

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