Vietnam consists of 54 different officially recognized ethnic groups. Each one of them, distinctive from the majority society (kinh) and other ethnic groups in language, lifestyle, and cultural heritage, is shaping this cultural mosaic.
Most of the ethnic minority groups are dwelling along the Chinese, Laotian and Cambodian borders, inhabiting the central and northern highlands of Vietnam, ranging to 3,143 meters (10,312 ft) at its peak.
Balancing between traditional livelihood and negotiating their place in society, today these groups are struggling to find their place in an modern nationstate environment.
Many communities experience economic hardships, becoming dependent on traditional farming activities and engaging in ethnic tourism, at the same time trying to preserve their cultural identity.
The highlands with its fertile paddy fields, dense jungles and rugged mountains provide a homeland for many diverse communities, dwelling here since centuries, making this ethnically versatile and culturally rich region remarkable.
This ongoing project documents the ethnic minority cultures and societies inhabiting the Vietnamese highlands today. It aims at reflecting the everyday lives of the people and shed light on the cultural diversity of this particular region.