From Viet-Muong to Viet and Muong

Full panel title

From Viet-Muong to Viet and Muong: Vietnamese and Muong languages and folklore in comparative context


Nina Grigoreva (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg)

Date and time

13 August, 09:00 – 10:30


Room 46


  • The Muong Epic of ‘The Birth of the Earth and Water’ in a Viet-Muong Comparative Perspective
    Nina Grigoreva (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg)
  • The Muong Features in the Written Ancient Vietnamese
    Masaaki Shimizu (Osaka University)
  • Sinitic Traits in Viet and Muong Song Lore
    Ekaterina Starikova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg)
  • Features of Sinitic Borrowings through the History of Vietnamese (Viet-Muong)
    Tran Tri Doi (Vietnam National University)

Panel abstract

In modern Vietnam, the Viet (or the Kinh, the ethnic Vietnamese) and the Muong are considered to be two different peoples, the Viet (Kinh) being the majority and the Muong a minority. In the not so distant past, however, when Vietnam’s population did not see itself in ethnic categories, the only difference between the Viet and Muong ancestors lay in their places of residence – the inhabitants of the capital city and the surrounding plains were named ‘Kinh’ while those who lived in mountain villages were called ‘Muong’. Otherwise, they were the same people, spoke nearly the same language and shared nearly the same traditions. Their commonality is emphasized in the term they are referred to by, i.e. the Viet-Muong.

This interdisciplinary panel explores the Vietnamese and Muong languages, dialects, legends, epics and folk songs in a comparative perspective to reveal their similarities, discrepancies, influences and politics. The panelists’ goal is to identify phenomena which are specific for the Viet-Muong community as a whole and those that divide them into two separate groups – the Viet and the Muong.