In the late 19th century, nearly 500,000 Chinese migrated to Southeast Asia. With 1,000,000 inhabitants, Hoa ethnic group occupies 1.77 % of the Vietnamese population and lives mainly in ChoLon area ofHo Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Kien Giang, Da Nang, HaNoi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh .....Most of them are workers and have been naturalised in Vietnam. However, many members of Hoa ethnic group are expert in business and held several leading economic branches in South-Vietnam before.
The Hoa have migrated to Vietnam in different periods since the 15 th century. Later on, other waves of Hoa immigrants came at the end of the Minh, or beginning of the Thanh dynasty, and lasted till the beginning of the 20th century.
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.
The Hoa language belongs to the Han Group.
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.
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.