The Nùng are an ethnic minority in Vietnam. In China, the Nùng, together with the Tày, are classified as Zhuang people.
A hand basket of Nung people in Vietnam
The population of the Nùng is estimated to be more than 700,000. They are located primarily in the provinces of Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Lang Son, Thai Nguyen, and Tuyen Quang.
The Nùng support themselves through agriculture, such as farming on terraced hillsides, tending rice paddies, and growing orchard products. They produce rice, maize, tangerines, persimmons and anise. They are also known for their handicrafts, making items from bamboo and rattan, as well as weaving. They engage in carpentry and iron forging also.
Prominent Nùng persons include Kim Dong of the August Revolution in 1945.
The Nùng language is part of the Tai language family; its written script was developed around the 17th century. It is close to the Zhuang language.
When drinking alcohol, partakers cross hands and drink from the opposite glass to demonstrate trust. Fairy tales, folk music, and adherence to tradition and ethnic identity are strong characteristics of Nùng people.
The Nùng's traditional indigo clothing, symbolising faithfulness, was made famous by Hồ Chí Minh, worn when he returned to Vietnam in 1941.
In popular culture
Nung mercenaries appear in the film The Green Berets and are referred to in the film Go Tell The Spartans.
While they do not appear in the film, a nod is given to themcitation needed with the fictional Nung River which runs through Vietnam and Cambodia in the film Apocalypse Now.
- Đoàn, Thiện Thuật. Tay-Nung Language in the North Vietnam. [Tokyo?]: Instttute [sic] for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 1996.