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Ethnicity in Asia Part 3 Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam W. Lawrence Neuman.

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1 Ethnicity in Asia Part 3 Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam W. Lawrence Neuman

2 Philippines


4 The 81 million people are scattered over 7,000 islands. 91.5% Christian Malay, 5% Muslim Malay, 1% Chinese, and 3% other upland tribal groups. Languages: Pilipino (based on Tagalog) and English (official languages). 11 Languages, 170 minor languages, and 87 dialects. Religions: 82% Roman Catholic, approximately 9% various Protestant denominations, 5% Muslim, remainder Buddhist, Daoist (or Taoist), or other religions.

5 Philippines Through centuries of intermarriage, Filipinos had become a blend of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, Negrito, and American. The earliest inhabitants were Negritos, followed by Malays. As the Malays spread throughout the archipelago, two things happened. First, they absorbed, through intermarriage, the Negrito population, although a minority of Negritos remain distinct by retreating to the mountains. Second, they dispersed into separate groups, some of which became relatively isolated in pockets on Mindanao, northern Luzon, and some of the other large islands, speaking distinct dialects. During the 1400s century Islam arrived and separate sultanates developed on Mindanao and in the Sulu Archipelago.

6 Language & the Philippines In 1974 the government began to phase out English, replacing it with Pilipino, based on the Tagalog language of central and southern Luzon. In 1990 all government offices and 200 colleges used Pilipino as a medium of communication In the early 1990s, Filipinos had not accepted a national language at the expense of regional languages and the role of English was debated. 65% understand some English, but English competence deteriorated, resulting in a shift toward "Taglish" (a mixture of Tagalog and English Pilipino is used in ordinary conversation in the cities, and English for commerce, government, and international relations.

7 Chinese Filipinos 600,000 ethnic Chinese, about 1% Manila is close to China, so for centuries traders and others came a cheap labor and entrepreneurs. Government policy has been inconsistent. Spanish, American, and Filipino regimes alternately welcomed or restricted entry. Early Chinese migrants were mostly male, resulting in a sex ratio, at one time, as high as 113 to 1. Intermarriage was widespread, if not spreading understanding. Two recent presidents and leading Catholic officials have part Chinese ancestry. Intermarriage and unstable governmental policies made defining Chinese difficult Among Filipinos, the Chinese are the least accepted ethnic group.

8 Muslims Filipinos (Moro) Muslims 5% of the population are undifferentiated racially but remain outside the mainstream, set apart by their religion and way of life. Moros are most in the southern and western Mindanao, southern Palawan, and the Sulu Archipelago. Divided into 10 languages. Muslims were exempted from Philippine laws prohibiting polygamy and divorce In 1990, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was created.

9 Muslims Filipinos (Moro) Years of governmental neglect and prejudice contributed a Muslim insurgency After independence (1946) the government abolished the U.S. created Bureau for Non-Christian Tribes and encouraged migration from densely settled areas frontier island of Mindanao. By the l950s, hundreds of thousands moved and influx inflamed Moro hostility with many land disputes. Philippine army troops sent in to restore peace and order were accused by Muslims of siding with the Christians. In response central government consolidation of power under President Marcos and martial law in 1972 and pressure to assimilate, the Moros population increasingly identified with the worldwide Islamic community.

10 Moros and unrest Isolated uprisings rapidly spread in scope and size. The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fought for an independent Moro nation, peaking 1973-75, with 30,000 armed fighters. Philippines government sent 80 percent of its combat forces against the Moros. An estimated 50,000 people were killed. Non-military programs and a decrease in the flow of arms from Malaysia resulted in a truce in 1976 and the rebellion never regained its former vigor. Muslim factionalism was a major factor and fighting strength declined to 15,000 by 1983. In 1987, the MNLF agreed to end its goal of independence and accept an offer of autonomy. Armed activity continued at a low level in 1980s and Moros splintered into several groups by the 1990s.

11 Upland Tribal Groups Over 100 upland tribal groups are 3% of the population, ranging in size from 300,000 to 300. As lowland Filipinos grew in numbers and expanded into the interiors, they isolated upland tribal groups in pockets. Over the centuries, these isolated tribes developed their own special identities. There are protected reservations for tribal groups. Residents were expected to speak their tribal language, dress in their traditional tribal clothing, live in houses constructed of natural materials using traditional architectural designs, and celebrate their traditional ceremonies. Contact between groups has weakened tribal culture without assimilating the tribal groups into modern society.

12 Badjao Philippines "sea gypsies," this Muslim group once spent their whole lives on their small boats which frequent the waters around the numerous islands of Sulu Archipelago. According to a legend, they came from the shores of Indonesia.

13 MANDAYA Mandaya means "Inhabitants of the Uplands". The 300,000 Mandayas are a non- Christian, non-Islamic tribe with an animistic religion largely in Eastern Mindanao. Earlier accounts suggest they were one of the most powerful tribes in the area. They are renowned for silver-smithing skills. Culturally, they retained their basic social, religious, and political organizations and traditional crafts. The religion centers on an elaborate hierarchy of spirits and female mediums.

14 Tboli Population estimates 100,000 - 227,000, located in southern part of Mindanao. They are expert hunters but also practice slash and burn method of farming of rice, corn and vegetables. T'bolis are known for their colorfull costumes, body ornaments, hairstyles and cosmetic practices.

15 Ilongot The 55,000 Ilongot are notable for extreme aggressiveness and cultural conservatism. Traditionally headhunters, they used to kill a victim when a loved one died based on rage born of grief Their continual warfare has resulted in an spread to several provinces. They live in dispersed, fortified houses with families grouped in non-kin bands, but there is no traditional leadership structure and the society is egalitarian.

16 Ibaloi National Geographic Channel will have a program on Dec 2 on the Ibaloi people who once mummified their dead. Looting and vandalism have put their burial caves at risk. The Ibalois are predominantly farmers. With their fertile soil and temperate climate, they raise rice as the main crop. They also raise livestock. Few men tattooed but lbaloi women have elaborate tattoos on their arms from above the elbow down to their knuckles with crisscrossing, horizontal, vertical, and curved lines.

17 Vietnam VietNam is home to over 54 minorities, about 8 million people. Scattered over mountainous regions covering two-thirds of the country’s territory spreading from the North to the South.


19 Vietnam The Kinh (or Viet) people are 85-87% of Vietnam's population. The 13-15% of ethnic minority groups include the Tay, Thai, Muong, H'Mong, Dao, and Khmer, occupy about 2/3 Vietnam’s land. There is no official discrimination system but minorities remain at the bottom of the educational and economic ladder. Many marry young, have children and die early Each group has its own language and culture. Ethnic groups live close to one another and many know the language of others through everyday relations.

20 Vietnam A number of similarities among the highland groups that distinguish them from Viet people. One is the stilt house, which protects against snakes, vermin and larger beasts as well as floods, while providing safe stabling for domestic animals. The communal imbibing of rice wine is popular with most highland groups Most highlanders traditionally practise swidden farming, clearing patches of forest land, farming the burnt-over fields for a few years and then leaving it fallow

21 Vietnam Vietnamese term for minority is dan toc thieu translated as ethnic minority or minority nationality. There is no definitive classification, the French had a system, and Vietnam after independence used a system from Soviet Union/China. The government is very concerned about ethnicity. Every one must carry an id card with their ethnicity, no ambiguity is allowed. Mixed ancestry children are assigned to one group, usually the father’s.

22 Vietnam During the fight against the French for independence, the Viet (Kinh) and many minorities worked closely together. Some argue that w/o minority help, the French would not have been defeated. Some efforts were made to improve conditions in the hills after independence. Minorities are encouraged to participate in government. There is much interchange and contact between the minorities and the Kinh majority, although the Kinh view themselves as superior. Schooling is a major area of inequality, with a shortage of teachers, and very few who can teach in the minority languages.

23 Vietnam Most minorities live in the hills/mountains EXCEPT Hoa, Khmer (Cambodian) and Cham. In Northern mountains territory is not fixed and different groups are interspersed. The languages of the 54 groups belong to 5 different language families.

24 Minorites on Borders Many minority groups in Vietnam also live in neighboring countries (e.g, Laos, Thailand, China, Cambodia). Many live on border areas creating some concern by the Vietnamese government.

25 Hoa (CHINESE] Hoa are the largest single minority group in Vietnam with about 2 million. They retain a strong cultural identity. They migratated in large numbers in the mid to later 1800s and settled for the most part in cities and towns, many near Saigon. There was official discrimination in the 1970s including taking property because of their close ties to the South Vietnam government. Many became “boat people”. This was a factor contributing to China-Vietnam border clashes in 1979. Since economic reforms of the mid-1980s tensions lessened and conditions improved.

26 Hill Villages in Vietnam

27 Mông The 1 million Mông or Moung live at high altitudes and grow opium for cash, rice and corn for food. They are very independent and proud, and have many sub-divisions such as the Black Mông and the Flower Mông. They share common Chinese ancestors with the Viet, but split around 2000 years ago, after which the Muong developed independently in the highlands

28 Hmong Hmong society is characterized by great solidarity among members of the same family and among villagers. The village, called a giao, is the smallest administrative unit comprising from just a few households up to hundreds. They tend to away from other tribes. The principal food plant grown is corn, with rice taking second place. Besides irrigated rice fields, they cultivate rice on terraces, corn, green beans and peas. Cotton is also grown and the Hmong are known to be good weavers. Poultry and cattle rearing are relatively well developed..


30 Hmong 750,000 Hmong in Vietnam (over 1% of population). Also known as the Miao or Meo, Hmong originated from southern China. They settled in Vietnam during the 19th century builting hamlets in the highland regions of Ha Giang and Lao Cai provinces. This emigration is linked to that of the Hmong struggle against the Chinese feudal authorities. They consist of a number of small groups including the Green (Hmong Xanh), Red (Hmong Do), Variegated (Hmong Hoa), Black (Hmong Den), and Na Meio.

31 Hmong During the Vietnam war the Hmong fought with the USA and South Vietnamese against the North Vietnamese. When the War ended in 1973 many of them again left their country and escaped by boat or raft and went as refugees to other countries. The Hmong wear green, black, white and floral colored costumes with lots of silver jewellery. Each color shows which group they belong to. The costumes are worn to the markets to attract tourists and to weddings and New Year celebrations..

32 Ba Na Other names - To Lo, Gio Lang, Y Lang, Ro Ngao, Krum, Roh, Con Kde, Alacong, Kpangcong and Bo Mon 136,000 people in Kon Tum Province and the western parts of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen The Ba Na live in houses built on stilts. In each village, there is a communal house The Ba Na language belong to the Mon Khmer Group.

33 Montagnards This is a general term for mountain people of many ethnic groups living in the Central Highlands from the French. They were also called Moi (savages) in pre- colonial times before educated people travelled into the interior. Today the word moi is a derogatory phrase used by Viêtnamese. Many Montagnards have left Vietnam for Cambodia in the past year Montagnard hill tribes still encounter discrimination. Many helped the U.S. during the Vietnam war. Their native lands have been targets of Vietnamese development plans to increase the production of coffee and other crops.

34 Cham Also called Chiem Thanh, and Hroi About 99,000 people in the provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan. The Cham also live in An Giang, Tay Ninh, Dong Nai. The Cham follow Islam and Brahmanism, the language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian Group. Cham is a matriarchal society. Daughters carry the family name of their mothers. A woman's family marries the groom for their daughter. After marriage, the groom comes to live with his wife's household. The right of inheritance is reserved for daughters only.

35 Cham The Cham people are descendants of the kingdom of Champa Champa controlled what is now south and central Vietnam from approximately 192 AD through 1697. The empire began to decline in the late 15th Century and was dissolved in the 1720s. Their population of approximately 100,000 is centered around the cities of Phan Rang and Phan Thiet in central Vietnam

36 Dao The Dao have similar Chinese origins to the Hmong, live also at high altitude and cultivate opium. Their dress is distinctive, with a red 'boa' collar on black tunic and trousers for the women. Gold- capped teeth are an indication of wealth. They migrated to Thailand, Hainan, Laos and Vietnam. They tend not to be as aggressive as the Hmong and are one of the only hill groups with a written language.

37 News as of April 10, 2004 Ethnic minority villagers protested in Vietnam's Central Highlands province of Daklak and police blocked the villagers from entering the provincial capital city of Buon Ma Thuot. Human Rights Watch received reports of a government crackdown with police surrounding villages and searching nearby coffee plantation. In February 2001, thousands from several ethnic minority groups flooded the streets of Buon Ma Thuot and Pleiku to protest the loss of their ancestral lands and restrictions on their Protestant faith.

38 News as of April 10, 2004 The Central Highlands are Vietnam's major coffee-growing region, and the government has steadily displaced thousands of ethnic minority villagers to use the land for coffee plantations. Troops and riot police to quell those protests. The crackdown spurred an exodus of thousands into Cambodia. Nearly 1,000 were accepted for political asylum in the United States. Human rights groups say that over 70 people were jailed in Vietnam for helping organize the protests. The Central Highlands area has remained sealed off to foreign observers, including the United Nations refugee agency and international media.

39 Thailand

40 Religion and Language 95% Buddhist 4% Muslim 1% Other Official Thai is Central Thai dialect taught in schools/government. It is spoken at home by 30% population. 70% speak other Thai dialects at home. Groups in neighboring countries (Burma, Laos, Vietnam, China) also speak dialects of Thai.

41 Cultural Identification Thai identity is to be “of society” or civilized while to be non-Thai is to be a “natural human.” Culturally, Thai has been associated with wet rice-farming peoples in the valley areas and practicing Theravada Buddhism. Non-Thai has been associated with living in the hills, slash and burn agriculture and practicing spirit-based, animistic religions. Some hill people have been interacting with Thai people for centuries, while others migrated relatively recently.

42 Ethnic Categorization Thai minority peoples (chao klum noi) are divided into 5 groups: –Chinese (chao chin) –Thai Muslims (chao Thai Muslim) –Hill tribe people (chao khao) –Vietnamese immigrants (chao yuan opphayop) –Other

43 Thai Chinese Thai Chinese are 10-14 per cent of Thailand's population. They are particularly found in the towns and the Bangkok metropolitan area. First-generation Chinese immigrants aged 60 and above use Chinese as their first language. Second- generation Bangkok Chinese speak Chinese with their parents but switch to Thai when they are with their peers. Third generation cannot speak or understand Chinese at all. They speak, think and dream in Thai. They identify themselves proudly as Thai and are clearly accepted as such by Thais. Several Prime Ministers of Thailand have been of Chinese origin, including the current Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

44 Thai Chinese There were some tensions with Chinese minority in the 1930s through the1950s. Severe restrictions on Chinese immigration in the early 1950s meant that almost all Thailand's Chinese had been born in Thailand. By 1970, 90% of Chinese-Thais had been born in Thailand. They speak Thai, acquired Thai names (in addition to their Chinese ones) and were Mahayana Buddhists (one of the major schools of Buddhism). While Thai resented Chinese dominance in commerce and envied their wealth, they also also admired Chinese industriousness and business skills. This helped to promote assimilation.

45 Thai Muslims The 10% Muslim minority all live in 4 southern provinces. Thailand annexed the area in 1902 as a buffer against British Malaya. The Thai government grants the area some autonomy. In the 1950s-60s, Thai forced assimilation policies forbade speaking Malay language and Islamic customs. A political movement formed, and in the 1970s the military government clashed with Muslim ethnic groups.

46 Thai Muslims Since the 1997 democratic constitution, cultural and religious rights are recognized. Until the past 2 years, tensions had nearly disappeared. In January 2004 martial law was imposed after unrest. In April 2004, Thai troops and police shot dead 108 gun-and machete-wielding Islamic militants after coming under attack. On November 4, 2004. the BBC News reported, "Thailand's troubled south remains tense after a series of violent incidents left at least 7 people dead. The killings came a week after 85 Muslims were killed when a protest turned violent, many of them suffocated while in police custody.”

47 Thai Muslims Thongchai Winichakul, professor of Thai history at UW-Madison said, “In Thailand, part of the criteria for unity is being the same … many of them [Muslims] are not seen as Thai, and many of them for a long time never wanted to be Thai.” The Christian Science Monitor (January 7, 2004) reported, “Thailand's active role in the US-led war on terrorism has estranged those in the south who see the global conflict as a war on Muslims. Since Sept. 11, the Thai government has been moving closer to Washington.”

48 Hill Peoples Calling Thailand's ethnic minorities 'tribes' gives an impression that they live a traditional 'tribal' mountain life. But many consider the term “tribe” to be derogatory and implying primitive. Many “hill tribes” do not live a 'tribal' life and many are no longer in the hills! Most traditionally practiced slash and burn agriculture – they burn sections of forests to create fields for dry rice and corn cultivation. The hill people are about 1.3 percent of the Thai population.

49 Thai “Hill Tribes” “Hill tribe” for people who reside in highlands of Northern Thailand was made official in 1959. The term “hill tribe” lumps together peoples with very different languages, customs, and beliefs. The term is applied to 9 ethnic groups even though some are no longer in mountainous areas, but excludes other ethnic groups who live in the hills.

50 Thai “Hill Tribes” 9 ethnic groups consider Hill Tribes by Thailand include the following: –Karen –Hmong –Lisu –Aka –Lahu –Yao –Khamu –Htin –Lau

51 Karen The most numerous and oldest indigenous groups, the Karens are concentrated near the border with Burma. They cultivate rice, raise domestic animals and have for many years been engaged in conflict with the repressive Burmese Military regime. Karen are not one group but a loose confederation of related tribes. Karen people are very peaceful and cooperative. Like the other hilltribes, they venerate their ancestors and living elders.

52 Padung The tribe of the "Long Neck Women“ live in three villages near the Burmese border. The Padung are a sub-group of Karen with less than 40,000 people. Padung women are putting brass rings around their necks. This distorts the growth of their collarbones and makes them look as if they have long necks - which they don't. The brass rings squash the vertebrae and collar bones. This neck ring adornment is started when the girls are 5 or 6 years old.

53 Aka Related to the Lolo in Yunnan, China where they originate, about 50,000 Akhas live in extended families and are animists. They are from the Yi subgroup of the Tibeto-Burman family. Their silverwork is very fine, including boxes, opium pipes, neck rings and bangles. The ornate Akha head-dresses of the women are striking. It is the black caps covered with silver coins. They are the poorest ethnic group in Thailand and live in about 300 villages. Many Aka villages still grow opium, generally not of high quality. Opium addiction, especially amongst the older men, is a serious problem

54 Lisu From Eastern Tibet, Lisu settlers arrived in Thailand around 1900. The approximately 21,000 Lisu are friendly, adaptive, and self-confident and found in northwest Thailand (Chaing Mai, Mae Hong Sorn and Chiang Rai). Lisu women wear brightly colored blue or green knee length tunics split up the sides to the waist, with a wide black belt and blue or green pants

55 Yao Yao originate in China and are found in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. There are about 55,000 in Thailand. Yao villages are mostly on low hills, and their houses built of wooden planks on a dirt road. Their economy was based on the cultivation and marketing of opium, few became addicted. With the drive to stamp out the cultivation of the opium poppy in Thailand, the Yao are finding other ways to make a living.

56 Lahu Lahu people originate in China and live in the mountains of China, Myanmar (Burma),Laos and northern Thailand. About 25,000 are in Thailand

57 Khamu The Khamu originate in Laos and are a small tribal groups, living along the Thai-Laotian border. About 7,000 live in Thailand. They are living now in small villages located on mountain slopes and survive on subsistence agriculture supplemented by hunting, fishing and trading. They practice an animistic religion.,

58 Hmong About 92,000 Hmong in Thailand are second largest group after the Karen, about 20% of all hilltribes people. The Hmong, known in Thailand as Meo [Which is not a nice word], are also in Laos, Yunnan and Vietnam. The Hmong are one of the most spread out minority groups. Their villages are at high altitudes of 1,000 - 1,200 m. Rice and corn are the main subsistence crops, and opium is the principal cash crop. The Hmong are more heavily engaged in opium production than any other highlanders in Thailand.

59 Hmong Hmong are independent and proud There are many subdivisions with 11 clans in Thailand. Their origins are Chinese. They began migrating to Thailand from Laos and Vietnam in the 19th century with a huge increase after the Civil War in Laos, in which they sided with the Americans against the communists. The Hmong, more than the other tribes, practice a strict male-female division of labor.

60 3 major Hmong groups in Thailand The Blue Hmong (Mong Njua), who are also known as the black Meo, Flowery Meo or Striped Meo in Thai. Women in the subgroup wear the distinctive indigo dyed pleated skirt or kilt with a batik design. The White Hmong (Hmong Daw). White Hmong women wear a white pleated skirt only on ceremonial occasions, but when engaged in everyday work, they put on indigo-dyed trousers. The Gua M'ba Meo (Hmong Gua M'ba) or Armband Hmong only recently entered Thailand from Laos. They are actually a subgroup of the White Hmong. Most are confined to refugee camps. Around and to the west of Chiang Mai, most of the villages are Blue Hmong.

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