khai dinh tomb

Why “Nguyen” is the most popular surname of Vietnamese?

According to World Geography, the surname ‘Nguyen’ ranks the fourth most popular one in the world. In Vietnam, it makes up 38,4% of Vietnam’s population and undoubtedly becomes a common identity signal for Vietnamese people on the international stage.

Roughly 40% of Vietnam population having “Nguyen” last name.

Why it is so popular?

The answer lies in the history of Vietnam.

For hundreds of years, ancient China’s disorder society made a part of ‘Nguyen’ family migrate to Vietnam.

In 1232, after the Ly Dynasty was usurped, Tran Thu Do forced descendants of the Ly family to change their surname into ‘Nguyen’.

In 1407, the Ho Dynasty collapsed, his descendants changed their surname into ‘Nguyen’ to protect themselves from revenge. This happened again when the Mac Dynasty fell down.

Under the Nguyen Dynasty, those having the surname ‘Nguyen’ would receive more benefits from the king. Therefore, many criminals started to change their surnames to ‘Nguyen’ in the hope of avoiding severe punishments.

In the 19th century, the majority of Vietnamese low class did not have surname. The French came up with an idea – giving them the surname ‘Nguyen’ based on the fact that the Nguyen Dynasty was the last dynasty of Vietnamese.

The Mieu in Hue Imperial City
Hue Imperial City built by Nguyen Dynasty is a must-see for your stay in Hue City.

Not only the Nguyen left a huge impact on Vietnamese society back in the date but also many impressive imperial buildings. One of the most outstanding ones that has so much historical and art values to Vietnamese is the Hue Imperial City, ruling and living palaces of Nguyen Emperors.To learn more about Nguyen Dynasty and their legacy left in the Hue Imperial City, visit Hue Imperial City Tour, organized by Beebee Travel. We are a group of hard-working and passionate people who wants to use tourism as a mean to spread Vietnam peace message and empower our community.


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