Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula. Vietnam shares its land borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. Its capital city is Hanoi, while its most populous city is Ho Chi Minh City.

Occupied by China no fewer than four times, the Vietnamese managed to fight off the invaders just as often. At various points during these thousand years of imperial dynasties, Vietnam was ravaged and divided by civil wars and at various times attacked by the Songs, Mongols, Yuans, Chams, Mings, Dutch, Qings, French, Japanese, and the Americans.

Due to its long history as a tributary state of China, as well as several periods of Chinese occupations, Vietnamese culture is heavily influenced by that of Southern China, with Confucianism forming the basis of Vietnamese society.

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In the humanities, one sense of culture as an attribute of the individual has been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication in the arts, sciences, education, or manners.
The level of cultural sophistication has also sometimes been seen to distinguish civilizations from less complex societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are also found in class-based distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture, popular culture, or folk culture of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access to cultural capital.