Parasites’ Paradise: The Erasure of Memory in Dang Nhat Minh’s ‘The House of Guava (Mùa ỏ̂i)’

Memory, mourning, and melancholia figure prominently in the films of Dang Nhat Minh, Vietnam’s national film director and scriptwriter. Born in Hue in 1938, Dang studied in the Soviet Union where he was introduced to filmmaking (Cohen, 2001). His state-funded oeuvre – including When the Tenth Month Comes (1984), Nostalgia for the Countryside (1995), The Girl of the River (1987), and Don’t [...]

Benalu-benalu Surga: Penghapusan Kenangan dalam film The House of Guava (Mùa ỏ̂i) karya Dang Nhat Minh

Kenangan, kesedihan, dan tokoh melankolis ditonjolkan dalam berbagai film Vietnam. Lahir di Hue pada tahun 1938, Dang belajar di Uni Soviet tempat ia diperkenalkan ke pembuatan film (Cohen, 2001). Hasil kerjanya yang didanai oleh pemerintah – termasuk When the Tenth Month Comes (1984), Nostalgia for the Countryside (1995), The Girl of the River (1987), and Don’t Burn (2009) – yang umumnya [...]

Buddhist Studies in Vietnam: Some Thoughts on Current and Future Directions

Within the field of Buddhist studies, Vietnamese Buddhism has received insufficient attention from academics in the Euro-American sphere. Part of this stems from academic biases that favor text-centered Buddhism over lived, quotidian expressions of Buddhist practice. Such bias has basis in older approaches to scholarship that privilege certain texts and, from that perspective, construct a picture [...]

การศึกษาศาสนาพุทธในเวียดนาม: ข้อคิดเห็นบางประการเกี่ยวกับแนวโน้มในปัจจุบันและอนาคต

ภายในสาขาการศึกษาเกี่ยวกับพุทธศาสนานั้น ศาสนาพุทธในเวียดนามได้รับความสนใจน้อยเกินไปจากแวดวงนักวิชาการยุโรป-อเมริกัน [...]

Film Review: Ho Chi Minh in Siam (Thầu Chín ở Xiêm)

Ho Chi Minh in Siam (Thầu Chín ở Xiêm)Director: Bùi Tuấn Dũng “Siam is not French Indochina, not a (French) colony.It is a nation that has sovereignty.You must behave correctly if you do not want to be expelled.”  A 2015 film directed by Bùi Tuấn Dũng, Ho Chi Minh in Siam (Thầu Chín ở Xiêm (re)presents Nguyễn Ái Quốc’s life during his first visit (1928-1929) to [...]

Vietnam’s Urban Middle Class: Rapidly Growing, Slowly Awakening

Approaching the three decades anniversary of the introduction of the Doi Moi reforms, Vietnam is often presented as a poster-child of economic development. Vietnam’s successes like poverty alleviation and one of the highest growth rates in the region have been internationally acknowledged. As a result, the Vietnamese people not only were saved from the famine that was looming in the 1980s, [...]

Same-Sex Relationships: Moves to Recognition in Vietnam and Thailand

The first law recognising same-sex relationships was enacted in the Netherlands in 1979, extending survivor tenancy rights to rent controlled apartments. The first law setting up a registration system for same-sex couples came in Denmark in 1989, which granted a package of rights in parallel with, but outside of, marriage. The first law opening marriage to same-sex couples was enacted in the [...]

Agglomeration of Inequality and Pressures for Democratization in Vietnam

Social and political conflicts are on the rise almost everywhere in Southeast Asia. In several countries, both economic inequalities and the political inequalities they foster are today challenged by public protest movements, even in countries such as Vietnam where rights to organise, protest and assemble are restricted. The political dynamics of inequality, how social protest movements emerge in [...]

REVIEW: Vân Đồn – Thương cảng quốc tế của Việt Nam

Nguyen Van Kim, Vân Đồn – Thương cảng quốc tế của Việt Nam (Van Don: The International Commercial Port of Vietnam) Hanoi: Vietnam National University Press, 2014. 450 pages + index, reference Over the past few years, sea and island issues have become a common concern for Vietnam, neighboring countries and all over the world. A good number of programs, research projects, [...]

Northwest Vietnam’s Coffee Boom and Food Security

Today, coffee is currently one of the hottest boom crops in Vietnam. Coffee trees were first introduced to Vietnam at the end of the 19th century by French missionaries who established coffee plantations around churches in the provinces of Ha Nam, Quang Binh, and Kon Tum; however, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that coffee started to be grown on a large scale. [...]

Vietnam-Champa Relations and the Malay-Islam Regional Network in the 17th–19th Centuries

Historical relations between Vietnam and the kingdom of Champa was a very long- standing affair characterized by the gradual rise of the Vietnamese and the decline of the Chams. The relationship began as early as the second century CE, when the Chams started a kingdom called Lin-yi, covering the area between the land of the Viet people in the north and Nanchao in the south. The historical [...]

Will Vietnam’s Growth Last?

Since 1986, when the Vietnamese government began the policy of “economic renovation” called doi moi, and especially from the early 1990s, when it opened up to the west, Vietnam has been deeply involved in globalization. The evidence of this process is the last ten years’ high rate of economic growth. I visit Vietnam almost every month and can attest to the fast tempo of change. The old [...]

Review: Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories of the National Past

Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories of the National PastPatricia M. PelleyDurham and London / Duke University Press / 2002 In December 1953, the Central Committee of the Indochinese Communist Party formally established the Research Committee. This was divided into three separate groups, one for each of the disciplinary divisions: history, geography, and literature. It published Tạp san Nghiên [...]

Book Review: Confucianism in Vietnam

Confucianism in VietnamHồ Chí Minh City / Vietnam National University and Hồ Chí Minh City Publishing House / 2002 This interesting collection of papers is the fruit of a series of three international conferences held in Vietnam between 1997 and 2001. Although the Foreword refers to the participants collectively as “Vietnamese and American scholars,” there are chapters by Japanese, [...]

Book Review— Diem’s Final Failure: Prelude to America’s War in Vietnam

Diem’s Final Failure: Prelude to America’s War in VietnamPhilip E. CattonLawrence, Kansas / University Press of Kansas / 2003 Ngô Đình Diệm was a dreamer. As ruler of South Vietnam from 1954 to 1963, Diệm aspired to greatness as a nation builder, and he was determined to find an alternative to the path taken by Hồ Chí Minh and the Vietnamese Communists. Such determination can be [...]

Gender And the Management of Nature Reserves in Vietnam

         Loss of biodiversity is an increasingly serious problem in Vietnam. Although generally perceived as an environmental problem, this loss has profound human consequences, especially for communities living in and around the forest. Local people need forests for many things: to clear for land to plant staple crops; to collect firewood, “wild” foods, and medicinal plants; and as a [...]

Vietnam: Is Sustainable Mangrove Management Possible?

         Vietnam’s mangrove resources have decreased rapidly in area and quality during the on-going period of Doi Moi (renovation reforms), which started in 1986. Uncontrolled wood extraction, paddy area expansion, mining activities, construction of dikes, dams and roads, and—most importantly—commercial shrimp farming have all been factors in the rapid loss of mangrove. Due to the [...]

Ecotourism in Vietnam: Potential and Reality

         With 13,000 floral species and over 15,000 faunal species, three newly discovered big animal species, and a ratio of country/world species of 6.3%, Vietnam has enormous tourism—particularly ecotourism—potential. In fact, since 1986, when Doi Moi (renovation reforms) began the shift from a centrally planned to a socialist-oriented market, or multi-sectoral, economy, tourism [...]