Vietnam, the Culture. Rev. ed.


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-9725-2
DDC j959.7




Reviewed by Lisa Arsenault

Lisa Arsenault is an elementary-school teacher in Ajax, Ontario.


Vietnam joins Bobbie Kalman’s growing library of informative books for
young readers on the countries of the world. The three volume feature
short chapters describing aspects of the country. The text is supported
by numerous color photographs, diagrams, charts, maps, and sidebars.

Vietnam, the Land defines the impact that more than 200 rivers have had
on the topography, economy, and lifestyle of the people. Floods,
monsoons, and typhoons are endemic. The history of the people is
tracked. The modern cities are contrasted with the ancient rice-growing
farming communities. Similarly, new businesses and industries, with
their accompanying pollution and waste of resources, are compared with
old methods of transportation and farming.

The various ethnic groups are portrayed in Vietnam, the People, with
emphasis on their strong family ties. Housing, city living, village
life, clothing, language, sports, and pastimes are discussed.

Vietnam, the Culture stresses the Vietnamese love of pageantry:
theatre, opera, and puppet shows are popular. Ancient and modern
examples of architecture are contrasted. The people are deeply spiritual
and many religions are practised. Family celebrations and festivals are
described, along with regional foods and dress. A folk tale, similar to
Cinderella, is included.

These are very informative books. In Vietnam, the Land, the tragedy of
the Vietnam War is handled honestly: Agent Orange is described and
condemned. Problems associated with the communist regime,
overpopulation, and changing values are addressed. These books are
highly recommended.


Kalman, Bobbie., “Vietnam, the Culture. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,