Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic
Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic, including residents and citizens, are the third largest ethnic minority overall (after the Slovaks and Ukrainians), numbering more than 83,000 people according to the 2011 census.
Actress Ha Thanh Špetlíková
0.6–0.8% of the Czech population
|Regions with significant populations|
|Prague, Cheb, Varnsdorf|
|Mahayana Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Vietnamese people in Europe|
It is the third largest Vietnamese diaspora in Europe, and one of the most populous Vietnamese diasporas of the world.
According to the 2001 census, there were 17,462 ethnic Vietnamese in the Czech Republic. The Vietnamese population has grown very rapidly since then, with the Czech Statistics Office estimating that there were 61,012 Vietnamese residing in the Czech Republic in October 2009. Nguyen, the most common Vietnamese surname, is now the 9th most common surname in the entire country.
Vietnamese immigrants began settling in Czechoslovakia during the Communist period, when they were invited as guest workers by the Czechoslovak government. Migration was encouraged by the Vietnamese authorities, with the intention that the migrants would return with skills and training.
Following the collapse of Communism in Czechoslovakia, many Vietnamese people decided to remain in the country rather than return home. This first generation of immigrants has traditionally made a living as vendors in street markets or stalls. In recent years, however, a significant number have moved towards establishing their own businesses and integrating more broadly into society, similar to the experience of other overseas Vietnamese in Western countries. However, the small business sector remains the key economic domain of first-generation Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic.
Vietnamese immigration continued during the 1990s and 2000s, with Vietnam being one of the countries targeted by the Czech Republic's skilled migration programme.
The largest group of Vietnamese people (numbering over 10,000 in 2011) lives in Prague, and 2% of the population of Karlovy Vary Region have Vietnamese citizenship, with the border town of Cheb being a main centre for Vietnamese people. Also the northernmost part of Bohemia – around the town of Varnsdorf – has a significant Vietnamese population.
In the Czech Republic, national minorities are afforded classic national minority rights, including government funding for the protection of their language and culture. In recent years, the Vietnamese community has sought recognition as a national minority. In 2004, however, the Government Council for National Minorities, the advisory body of the Czech Government on the issues of national minorities, concluded that the Vietnamese do not constitute a "national minority", as this term only applies to indigenous minorities who have inhabited the Czech territory for a long period of time. Eventually in 2013, a representative of the Vietnamese was accepted as a member of the Government Council for National Minorities, which in the absence of precise legal criteria, has been understood as an official recognition of the Vietnamese ethnic minority as a national minority by both authorities and the public. In Prague, which has the largest community of Vietnamese, a Vietnamese representative had been a member of the city's National Minority Council and Vietnamese had been included in Prague's policy for national minorities before this happened at the national level.
- "Foreigners by type of residence, sex and citizenship" (PDF). Czech Statistics Office. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
- Nozina, Miroslav (2001). "The Dragon and the Lion: Vietnamese Organized Crime in the Czech Republic". Think Magazine (44). Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- "First Vietnamese pagoda opens in Czech Republic". Thanh Nien News. Vietnam National Youth Federation. 26 January 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- "Other languages in the Czech Republic". The Euromosaic Study. European Commission. 27 October 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-04-05. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- "Nguyen je devátým nejčastějším příjmením v Česku, poráží i Procházky". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Czech Republic. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- O'Connor, Coilin (29 May 2007). "Is the Czech Republic's Vietnamese community finally starting to feel at home?". Czech Radio. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- Čermáková, Martina (4 April 2007). "Still a Thorn in the Eye: The Vietnamese-Czech dialog". Provokator Magazine. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- 2011 Czech census results by citizenship Archived November 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "The City of Prague's National Minority Policy". Prague City Hall. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- Sloboda, Marián (2016). "Historicity and citizenship as conditions for national minority rights in Central Europe: old principles in a new migration context". Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 42 (11): 1808–1824. doi:10.1080/1369183x.2015.1132158.
- Kascian, Kyril; Vasilevich, Hanna (2013). "Czech Republic Acknowledgement of Belarusian and Vietnamese as New Minorities". European Yearbook of Minority Issues. 12: 353–371. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- (in Czech) Klub Hanoi - association promoting Vietnamese-Czech relations
- A glimpse at Prague's secretive Vietnamese community
- 2004 article on Prague's Vietnamese community