Nga, Si La Ethnic Group, Vietnam
“Studying is hard but it is fun. I love going to school. When I grow up, I want to be a singer. Because singers are beautiful!”
“We often hang out with each other every day. We wear traditional clothes to school on Monday. We all have it.”
Nga, 9 years old
Si La Ethnic Group
Lai Chau, Vietnam.
Around 150 years ago 7 Si La families left Laos due to harsh conditions and settled in Vietnam. There are fewer than 1,000 Si La people living in Vietnam, making them one of the smallest ethnic groups in the country. That isn’t to say they aren’t growing. If you compare census numbers from 2009 to 2019 the Si La have grown from 709 to 909 members in Vietnam.
Nga and her friends live in a remote mountain village with a rich culture. Sometimes when exploring the ethnic villages in Vietnam on the surface it might not seem like they have a strong culture or own traditional clothes, but we’ve learned that if you get to know them a bit better it can be a completely different story! This was the case when we met Nga and all her friends.
Si La kids. From front to back: Nga, 9, Thắm, 10, Lê, 11, Nghiêm, 12, Chuyến, 13
“One, two, three Jump!” Trinh has fun with the Si La kids.
Tibeto-Burman Ethnic Groups in Vietnam
The Si La are one of the 6 Tibeto-Burman Ethnic Groups living in the remote mountainous regions of Northern Vietnam, connected through a shared ancestry, language, and culture. Their ancient nomadic lifestyle is reflected in the various pieces of different colored cloth and adornments of nuts, shells, and silver coins on the front of their traditional clothes.
Si La Ethnic Group — Summary