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Cao Lan, San Chay in Vietnam

Cao Lan, San Chay

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Cao Lan, San Chay in Vietnam map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
203,000 Cao Lan Ethnic Religions 10.00 % 1.30 % No No   

Cao Lan, San Chay in Vietnam

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Introduction / History
Vietnam, located on the eastern border of Southeast Asia, is home to many distinct people groups. Historical upheavals have forced the major people groups to intermingle with others, to split up, and to live in scattered locations. Their cultures, languages, and lifestyles were all affected, resulting in a somewhat blurred national character.

Early in the 1600s, the Man Cao Lan immigrated to Vietnam from China, settling in the Bac Bo upland area. Today, many Man Cao Lan live in the provinces of Bac Thai, Quang Ninh, Ha Bac, Cao Bang, Lang Son, and Ha Tuyen. Known officially in Vietnam as the Sanchay, the Man Cao Lan speak a variant of the Thai language.

Since the 1945 revolution in Vietnam, and especially since the rejoining of North and South Vietnam, there have been considerable changes in the lives of the country's various ethnic groups. Attempts are currently underway to raise their standard of living.

What are their lives like?
After learning how to grow wet rice, the Man Cao Lan quickly settled in the upland areas in villages consisting of 20 to 30 houses. Early houses were built on stilts, but the modern trend is to build them at ground level. At the main entrance of each house is a basket of bran along with a few sticks of incense. This is placed there in honor of a deity who is regarded as the "protector of cattle." It also serves as an altar to the family's ancestors.

Prior to the 1945 revolution, land was privately owned, but French colonization and land grabbing reduced many of the Man Cao Lan to the status of tenant farmers. Social contrasts developed with clear definitions between the landlords, rich peasants, and various groups of laboring peasants. The upper classes were entrusted with administration. However, despite the contrasting positions, there are still some remnants of rural community in the form of self-governing villages.

Villages consist of several families, which are divided into many branches. Each village is headed by a khan thu, or headman, whose job it is to settle differences, represent the village in its relations with outsiders, and unite the community. However, despite the privileges and responsibilities attached to his position, the headman is often quite poor.

Farming techniques in Vietnam have improved in recent years. Besides rice, the Man Cao Lan now grow a variety of subsidiary crops including maize, sweet potatoes, beans, peanuts, vegetables, and sesame. Cattle and poultry are also raised for meat and religious sacrifices.

The Man Cao Lan gather products from the forests, especially bamboo of various kinds, rattan (a type of palm), and mushrooms, which are sold for profit. Fish are often raised in the rice paddies and some fishing is done in the local streams and rivers.

Two unique features of Man Cao Lan society are their literature and their art, both of which have been handed down from generation to generation. They have tales about their origin, a great flood, and stories of human dignity and bravery. Among the common musical instruments are brass gongs, trumpets, flutes, and drums. Their unique folk literature and art play a special role in both religious worship and education.

What are their beliefs?
The Man Cao Lan, like most other minority groups in Vietnam, practice ethnic religions. They worship a multitude of gods that are associated with the earth, water, fire, and famous ancestors. They also worship various spirits. Most villages have local temples for worship.

What are their needs?
Over 44 years of war have severely damaged Vietnam's economy; recovery has been slow. Today, Vietnam is one of the few remaining Communist nations. There is a tremendous need for evangelistic materials, Christian laborers, and intercessors to stand in the gap for these precious people.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Vietnam and share Christ with the Man Cao Lan.
Pray that the doors of Vietnam will soon open to missionaries.
Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Man Cao Lan Christians.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Man Cao Lan toward Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
Pray that God will open the hearts of Vietnam's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
Ask the Lord to raise up a strong local church among the Man Cao Lan.
* Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

View Cao Lan, San Chay in all countries.

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Country: Vietnam
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:25 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:San Chay mainly in Tuyen Quang, Lang Son, Bac Kan, and Thai Nguyen provinces; scattered in Yen Bai, Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Bac Giang, and Quang Ninh provinces.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Cao Lan, San Chay
People Name General: Cao Lan, San Chay
Alternate People Names:
Hon BanHon Chung
San ChaySán Chay (CaoLan-SánChi)
San ChiSon Tu
ROP3 Code: 106205
Joshua Project People ID: 13474
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 203,000
Population all Countries: 254,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Tai
People Name General: Cao Lan, San Chay
Ethnic Code: MSY49d
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Cao Lan (203,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): mlc    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity10.00 %(Evangelical: 1.30 %)
Ethnic Religions85.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have only a very small representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 5   Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Cao Lan, San Chay in Vietnam

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tai     Asia, Southeast    
      Cao Lan, San Chay Vietnam    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Cao Lan, San Chay in Vietnam          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Cao Lan  
    All Religions                              

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