Ngai People

Ngai people is one of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. They are also called Ngai Hac Ca, Lau Man, He, Sin, Dan, Le. The Ngai ethnic group are concentrated in Quang Ninh, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh Lang Son, Cao Bang, Bac Kan and Thai Nguyen provinces.

A typical Ngai house consists of three rooms. All families have ancestorngai altars, and all hamlets have temples and pagodas built to honour the dead. The Ngai have great respect for their ancestors, as well as souls and spirits. Young women do not receive their inheritance after their parents die. Young Ngai people must obey their parents’ wishes. Marriage is comprised of two steps: a wedding and a nuptial rite.

The Ngai ethnic language belongs to the Han group. The Ngai maintain a love duet called the “Suong Co” that exemplifies their rich cultural heritage. Other forms of entertainment include a lion dance, a stick dance and a follow-the-leader game.

Ngai people live mainly on rice cultivation and fishing. They have a very elaborate system of water irrigation as a result of digging canals, building dams and water reservoirs, and reinforcing sea dykes. They are also good at mat-making, bamboo screen making, blacksmithing, carpentry, and lime, tile and brick-baking.

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