A former missionary to the Asian country of Laos tells of a rather unique way the kings of Vietnam and Laos used to divide the people that lived near the border they shared. This was before there were strict national boundaries. For purposes of taxation, it was important to know who belonged where.
So, here’s how they did it: Those who ate short-grain rice, built their houses on stilts, and decorated them with Indian-style serpents were considered Laotians. They were ones who shared in the values of Laos.
On the other hand, those who ate long-grain rice, built their houses on the ground, and decorated them with Chinese-style dragons were considered Vietnamese. They were ones who shared in the values of Vietnam.
The exact location of a person's home was not the deciding factor in determining a person’s nationality. Instead, people belonged to the kingdom whose cultural values they displayed.