San Chay people

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Sán Chay
Total population
169,410 (2009)1
Regions with significant populations
Vietnam : Tuyên Quang
San Chay, Vietnamese
Related ethnic groups
Zhuang, Buyei

The San Chay people (Vietnamese: Người Sán Chay; also called Cao Lan) live in Tuyên Quang Province of the Northeast region of Vietnam, as well as some nearby provinces. They speak a form of Tai languages.2 Their population was 169,410 in 2009.

Many live in remote areas, using slash and burn agriculture because those areas are not flat enough for patty rice production.3

They sing sình cồ (love songs) and celebrate the Slếch thlin mảy festival (New Rice festival).


The San Chay have many sayings:

Rice is the most precious
Grain feeds human.
Literature is the secondly most precious
It teaches human knowledge for safe purpose.


  1. ^ "The 2009 Vietnam Population and Housing Census: Completed Results". General Statistics Office of Vietnam: Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee. June 2010. p. 134. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Jean Michaud (19 April 2006). Historical Dictionary of the Peoples of the Southeast Asian Massif. Scarecrow Press. pp. 257–. ISBN 978-0-8108-6503-7. 
  3. ^ Jean-Christophe Castella (2002). Doi Moi in the Mountains: Land Use Changes and Farmers' Livelihood Strategies in Bac Kan Province, Viet Nam. Int. Rice Res. Inst. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-971-22-0270-4. 

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