Vietnam and the Vietnamese
Nghia M Vo
         Vietnam is a land of legends and fairy tales, of a fairy who delivered one hundred offspring at one time, and of two women who fought for its independence in 39 ACE and became the country's first Queens.

         Within this background of fairies, male voices abound although they are cacophonic and discordant in nature. This seems to be a particularity of Vietnamese men. Throughout the last two millennia, they have fought against the Chinese, French, Chams, Khmers, Laotians, Siamese, and Americans. Above all, they fought against each other to the point of leaving the Indochinese peninsula always smoldering if not burning in flames.

         Between the 939 ACE independence from China and the first military encounter with the French in Tourane (Danang) in 1858, 62 major wars had occurred on the peninsula: many of them were waged by one Indochinese ruler against another. This does not include the countless police actions required to suppress local revolts.

         A historical timeline reveals the following episodes:
        ?-111 BCE:Prehistory
        111 BCE - 939 ACE:Struggle for independence
        939-1600:Birth and expansion. Wars against the Chinese, Khmers, Chams
        1600-1802:Secession, North-South war and war against the Tay Son, Khmers, Siamese
        1802-1858:Reunification. Internal revolts
        1858-1954:War against the French, colonialism
        1954-1975:War against communism
        1975-present:Fight for freedom and human rights

         Vietnam is a country made by wars and its men lived in wars, with wars, and by wars. A panoramic review of the wars and battles in Vietnam is needed to understand these men.
        Please read the rest of the story in THE MEN OF VIETNAM.
Back