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Religious and Philisophical Beliefs

RELIGIOUS BELIEFS:
In the country of Vietnam, religion is an important aspect of the culture. Like many countries, Vietnam consists of many different religions. The most popular is the doctrine of Confucianism, which was introduced during the Chinese occupation. In order to comprehend this religion we must understand its guidelines of life. We first have: the Innate Goodness of Man, this means that everybody has an innate goodness. The second one is: Cosmology, which is the belief that man was created by molecules moving with a force of gravitation called Ly. "All the creatures which are produced from this original cosmic matter are categorized as either male or female, and are thus subject to the general laws which govern male and female behaviour." The third belief is: Self-Perfection, this consists of four rules that you must follow in order to achieve perfection. The first rule is you must be interested in everything around you. The second, "be able to penetrate the secret." The third requires you to think clearly and to have a sinless heart. The fourth belief is: Social Relations, which are the rules of interaction between the members of society. In short, to respect family members, to live in moderation and to live by five virtues which are "humanity, equity, urbanity, intelligence and honesty." For women this guideline consists of three obediences: to her father, to her husband and to her eldest son if she be widowed.
Buddhism and Christianity are the other popular religions. In Vietnam, Buddhism was introduced in the Second century and now there are approximately 30 million people who are Buddhists. Christianity, on the other hand, was introduced recently. It was not until the 16th century that Christian missionaries came to Vietnam.
The other less popular religions in Vietnam are Taoism which teaches the duality of nature (Yin-negative and Yang-positive). These doctrines can be summed up by stating "Do nothing and everything will be accomplished simultaneously."1 Cao-Daism which originated in South Vietnam, is considered as a mixture of Confucianism, Christianity and Buddhism. The Hao-Hao is a Buddhist sect that was established in 1919 in the village of Hao-Hao. The other religions practiced in Vietnam are Brahmanism and Islam.
PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE:
The Vietnamese philosophy and beliefs are influenced by the many different religions in Vietnam. For example, the Buddhist doctrine has influenced the view of life on earth as something momentary and inconstant. One of the most important aspect of their beliefs and way of life is their attitude towards the dead. In most families, there is an ancestral altar placed in one of the main rooms of the house. It is decorated with incense burners, candlesticks and pictures. On the anniversary of the death of each ancestor, rites are performed and members of the family join together to celebrate by having good food and wine.
The Vietnamese person believes in one Supreme Being who controls the entire universe. "The Supreme Being, called Tori (Heaven), governs the universe and directs all his affairs with absolute wisdom." Like the Christian belief, the Vietnamese believe that heaven is the only place you can achieve true happiness. Thus people wanting true happiness must follow Heaven's teachings. People believe that riches, marriage and your position in life are inevitable and misfortune is not permanent. One's happiness or suffering are results of your own actions in your present life and past lives.


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