Ethnic minority people at a class in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Institute of Anthropology under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences held a conference in Hanoi on December 15 to review anthropological achievements and shortcomings and set tasks for the field in the next few years.

Studies on human races in Vietnam over the last three decades have reflected some basic aspects relating to ethnic issues such as the relationship among ethnic groups, policies designed for ethnic people, poverty reduction, migration, cultural identities, and cultural preservation and development, participants said.

However, anthropological studies usually favour groups that have big population or reside in accessible areas. Some of them put too much focus on traditional culture and the diversity of ethnic groups while ignoring the interaction among cultures and the role of anthropology in the study of ethnic groups.

There is also a shortage of anthropologists in Vietnam, experts at the conference added.

Director of the institute Vuong Xuan Tinh said the development and changes of ethnic groups are greatly influenced by industrialisation, modernisation, international integration, and globalisation.

The preservation of cultural identities and the relationship between ethnic groups and the nation are critical ethnic issues in Vietnam, he noted.

Scientists said anthropological studies in the next several years should pay attention to the identities of ethnic groups amid industrialisation, modernisation and global integration, and the relationship among ethnic groups, especially trans-national relations.

The impacts of ethnic matters on socio-economic development, security and defence, and the Party and State policies managing ethnic relations and ethnic groups’ development will be on the agenda.

At the function, Tinh also underlined the need for close coordination among research institutes and agencies tasked with ethnic work, and further international cooperation in the field.-VNA