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Vietnam Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Jack D. Harris, Ph.D. Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

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Presentation on theme: "Vietnam Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Jack D. Harris, Ph.D. Hobart and William Smith Colleges."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vietnam Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Jack D. Harris, Ph.D. Hobart and William Smith Colleges

2 Vietnam Today VN is a small country in SE Asia, approximately 1200+ miles long, with a coastline approximately 2500 miles long Population now numbers over 80 million (12th largest in the world) 80% of the population is agricultural (wet rice cultivation) A Multi-ethnic nation – 54 different ethnic groups

3 Varied Landscapes

4 1000 - 100 - 30 1000 Years of Chinese Domination 1000 Years of Chinese Domination 100+ Years of French Colonialism 100+ Years of French Colonialism 30 Year War for National Independence and Unity 30 Year War for National Independence and Unity Vietnam History Prehistoric Cultures Foundation of the first States Dong Son Culture: Van Lang-Au Lac States Sa Huynh Culture: Ancient Champa Kingdom Oc Eo Culture: Phu Nam Kingdom Chinese domination (2nd century BC to 10th Century AD) Independence, dissension, and national development (10th to 19th centuries) French domination (1884-1945) Struggle for National Independence and Unification (1945 - 1975) Reconstruction (from 1975) and Renovation (from 1986)

5 A History of Resistance The Trung Sisters

6 VIETNAMS STRUGGLE AGAINST FOREIGN INVASION Resistance against Tsin Invasion (214-208 BC) Resistance against Tsin Invasion (214-208 BC) Resistance against Nan Yu (179 BC) Resistance against Nan Yu (179 BC) Chinese domination and struggle for independence (179 BC - 905 AD) Chinese domination and struggle for independence (179 BC - 905 AD) Resistance against Nan Han invasion: Resistance against Nan Han invasion: 930 930 938 938 Resistance against Song invasion: Resistance against Song invasion: 980-981 980-981 1074-1077 1074-1077 Resistance against Mongol-Yuan invasion: Resistance against Mongol-Yuan invasion: 1258 1258 1285 1285 1287-1288 1287-1288 Resistance against Ming invasion (1406-1407) Resistance against Ming invasion (1406-1407) Ming domination and struggle for independence (1407-1427) Ming domination and struggle for independence (1407-1427) Resistance against Siam invasion (1784-1785) Resistance against Siam invasion (1784-1785) Resistance against Qing invasion (1788-1789) Resistance against Qing invasion (1788-1789) Resistance against French invasion (1858-1884) – Cochin China / Annam / Tonkin Resistance against French invasion (1858-1884) – Cochin China / Annam / Tonkin French domination and struggle for independence (1884-1945) French domination and struggle for independence (1884-1945) Struggle for National Independence and Unification (1945-1975) Struggle for National Independence and Unification (1945-1975)

7 The Viets March South

8 Common Origin Myth 100 eggs, the product of a goddess and a fairy created all the ancestors, and each brother and sister (the Viet children, grand children of Hong). Later, they decided to split, the female taking 50 of the children to the mountains, the male taking 50 to the sea. In fact, there was a historical migration by the ancient mountain civilization to the valleys, deltas, and to the sea. 100 eggs, the product of a goddess and a fairy created all the ancestors, and each brother and sister (the Viet children, grand children of Hong). Later, they decided to split, the female taking 50 of the children to the mountains, the male taking 50 to the sea. In fact, there was a historical migration by the ancient mountain civilization to the valleys, deltas, and to the sea.

9 Confucian Values Confucianism -- an ordered and orderly society based on obligation, duty Confucianism -- an ordered and orderly society based on obligation, duty Family Hierarchy based on Filial Piety Family Hierarchy based on Filial Piety Parents Parents Ancestors Ancestors Clear hierarchy of positions Clear hierarchy of positions Mandarin Mandarin Farmer Farmer Craftsmen Craftsmen Merchant Merchant

10 Traditional Culture Counterbalance communal spirit with hierarchy (the individual as subordinate to the group) Counterbalance communal spirit with hierarchy (the individual as subordinate to the group) Accept political autocracy while tolerating religious diversity (animism, ancestor worship, Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Hinduism and so on) Accept political autocracy while tolerating religious diversity (animism, ancestor worship, Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Hinduism and so on) Women and Family Happiness Women and Family Happiness Social Production: All work and contribute to society Social Production: All work and contribute to society Mutual Sacrifice (Gia Dinh, Dinh, Nuoc) Mutual Sacrifice (Gia Dinh, Dinh, Nuoc) Balance, Harmony and Reconciliation Balance, Harmony and Reconciliation

11 The Concentric Circles of Village Life GIA DINH: Language embeds familial relationships even among non-family members (Formal: Ong – Mr/Grandfather, Ba – Mrs/Grandmother, Friendly: Anh – Mr./Older Brother, Chi – Mrs./Older sister, Em – younger sibling...) When speaking of myself Toi, later Anh (Toi se di an/Anh se di an.) GIA DINH: Language embeds familial relationships even among non-family members (Formal: Ong – Mr/Grandfather, Ba – Mrs/Grandmother, Friendly: Anh – Mr./Older Brother, Chi – Mrs./Older sister, Em – younger sibling...) When speaking of myself Toi, later Anh (Toi se di an/Anh se di an.) DINH: Village communal house, shared and private land, dedicated product DINH: Village communal house, shared and private land, dedicated product NUOC: Also means water which is a central part of VN life. Country means land (mountains, rivers and sea) and people – the Vietnamese say NUOC: Also means water which is a central part of VN life. Country means land (mountains, rivers and sea) and people – the Vietnamese say Non song dat nuoc - Rivers and Mountains – the whole country. The mountain spirit, Son Tinh joins with the water spirit, Thung Tinh, and creates completion. Non song dat nuoc - Rivers and Mountains – the whole country. The mountain spirit, Son Tinh joins with the water spirit, Thung Tinh, and creates completion. Kin Work Spirit Village

12 Vietnam is a FOLK CULTURE Ancestor Altar in each home – alive and consulted, visitors show respect (old Muong woman with casket below her house – life continues) Ancestor Altar in each home – alive and consulted, visitors show respect (old Muong woman with casket below her house – life continues) Dinh (Village Communal House) – the repository of the local deities and spirits Dinh (Village Communal House) – the repository of the local deities and spirits Den (Temples) – the repository of Heroes (TRUNG SISTERS [40AD]) Den (Temples) – the repository of Heroes (TRUNG SISTERS [40AD]) Chua (Pagodas) – the repository of Buddhism Chua (Pagodas) – the repository of Buddhism Tet – Common ancestor anniversary, all VN has same birthday, everyone returns to Home (source village -- One who drinks the water should think of its source) Tet – Common ancestor anniversary, all VN has same birthday, everyone returns to Home (source village -- One who drinks the water should think of its source) Share the national anniversary of the Hung Kings – pilgrimage to ancient site at least once in lifetime Share the national anniversary of the Hung Kings – pilgrimage to ancient site at least once in lifetime

13 A Strong Cultural and National Identity Ability to preserve and maintain cultural and national spirit and resist imposition and assimilation Ability to preserve and maintain cultural and national spirit and resist imposition and assimilation Adapt and integrate extraneous factors (Vietnamize them) Adapt and integrate extraneous factors (Vietnamize them) Extreme tendency toward compromise and solidarity Extreme tendency toward compromise and solidarity Holding the long view ( multi - generational) – story of moving the mountain to open up the view of the house Holding the long view ( multi - generational) – story of moving the mountain to open up the view of the house Unique cultural activities – water puppets, Quan Ho, Tuong and Cheo theatre, and a rich literature (including Nguyen Zu, The Tale of Kieu)

14 Happiness, Prosperity, Longevity

15 Tet – The New Year

16 The Future and the Cosmos

17 Tet Wood Block Prints

18 Tet and the Future Future directedness Future directedness Embedded in ancestor worship and Buddhism Embedded in ancestor worship and Buddhism Lunar Month – new moon dark – it can only get brighter Lunar Month – new moon dark – it can only get brighter Tet – the knob where 2 pieces of bamboo meet – the new Tet – the knob where 2 pieces of bamboo meet – the new Tet – Kumquat, Peach Blossoms and buds Tet – Kumquat, Peach Blossoms and buds First Footer First Footer Language of optimism – the past doesnt matter (but matters in how it frames the future) Language of optimism – the past doesnt matter (but matters in how it frames the future) Dont look back – share common future -- The past as threat (putting it behind us) Dont look back – share common future -- The past as threat (putting it behind us)

19 Practical Business Considerations Business plans Levels of agreement Getting to agreement Involving government levels Hiring Vietnamese staff Dealing with market practices Very Vietnamese Setting Right relationship Respect Equal partnership Community Indirectness Keys to Ten Working Principles Foundations of Business Relationships Belonging Step-by-step path Comprehensive consultation Understanding yes, yes Listening for no Context for Business Development State structure Administrative bureaucracy Opening and closing seasons From Lady Borton, To Be Sure

20 Ho Chi Minh BAC/UNCLE very important designator/the arranger) BAC/UNCLE very important designator/the arranger) An icon, the personification of unification and harmony, of dedication and sacrifice to Vietnamese Family An icon, the personification of unification and harmony, of dedication and sacrifice to Vietnamese Family Ego-lessness: simplicity and sacrifice Ego-lessness: simplicity and sacrifice One wish -- independence, unity, happiness: Be they Kinh or Tho, Muong or Man, Gia-rai or Ede, Xo-dang or Ba na and other ethnic minorities, fellow countrymen are all sons and daughters of Vietnam, blood brothers and sisters. Through thick and thin, we share together joy and hardship, and help mutually in any circumstance. One wish -- independence, unity, happiness: Be they Kinh or Tho, Muong or Man, Gia-rai or Ede, Xo-dang or Ba na and other ethnic minorities, fellow countrymen are all sons and daughters of Vietnam, blood brothers and sisters. Through thick and thin, we share together joy and hardship, and help mutually in any circumstance. The country and the Government are common to all of us. Therefore, our people of all nationalities must unite closely to defend our country and support our Government. The country and the Government are common to all of us. Therefore, our people of all nationalities must unite closely to defend our country and support our Government. Rivers may dry up and mountains may erode but our unity has never diminished. Rivers may dry up and mountains may erode but our unity has never diminished. GOALS: the people wealthy, the country powerful, the society equitable and civilized - the VN know what the good life looks like – happiness is a baby in arms, prosperity is a bowl full of rice and some plumpness, old age is a bearded ancestor GOALS: the people wealthy, the country powerful, the society equitable and civilized - the VN know what the good life looks like – happiness is a baby in arms, prosperity is a bowl full of rice and some plumpness, old age is a bearded ancestor Stalin asked HCM if he was a communist or nationalist – he replied PATRIOT – liked the ideas of virtue from Confucianism, Christs embrace of universal fraternity, the serenity and care for the suffering of Buddha, and the belief in national freedom and human rights of Sun-Yat-Sen. Stalin asked HCM if he was a communist or nationalist – he replied PATRIOT – liked the ideas of virtue from Confucianism, Christs embrace of universal fraternity, the serenity and care for the suffering of Buddha, and the belief in national freedom and human rights of Sun-Yat-Sen.

21 WWII and The American War WWII- Vichy French and Japanese cruelty – HCM as US ally WWII- Vichy French and Japanese cruelty – HCM as US ally In 1945 HCM declared Vietnam unifed and independent in the square that now houses his mausoleum in Hanoi. He quoted from the American declaration of independence, and sitting behind him in support were members of US military intelligence. In 1945 HCM declared Vietnam unifed and independent in the square that now houses his mausoleum in Hanoi. He quoted from the American declaration of independence, and sitting behind him in support were members of US military intelligence. From 1946 to 1954, US supported the French in their efforts to recolonize Vietnam From 1946 to 1954, US supported the French in their efforts to recolonize Vietnam After Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the US refused to sign the Geneva Accords (promising non-interference). However: After Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the US refused to sign the Geneva Accords (promising non-interference). However: Diem installed as President of South Vietnam in 1956; Diem installed as President of South Vietnam in 1956; Vietnam divided at the 17th parallel and national elections concerning unification were set for 1956. They never took place; Vietnam divided at the 17th parallel and national elections concerning unification were set for 1956. They never took place; 300 day free movement, and 1 million Catholics moved south, and 100,000 Viet Minh moved north to regroup. 300 day free movement, and 1 million Catholics moved south, and 100,000 Viet Minh moved north to regroup.

22 The Issues in South Vietnam 1956-1963 Ngo Dinh Diem 1956-1963 Ngo Dinh Diem US POLICY: There is no place left to go US POLICY: There is no place left to go Family insularity, mandarinism, Madame Nhu, brothers and autocracy and corruption Family insularity, mandarinism, Madame Nhu, brothers and autocracy and corruption Strategic Hamlets Strategic Hamlets Pro-Catholic and Anti- Buddhist Pro-Catholic and Anti- Buddhist American distortion of the VN economy leads to inflation and middle class disaffection American distortion of the VN economy leads to inflation and middle class disaffection

23 The Domino Theory Dominoes – From Russia with love Dominoes – From Russia with love The Truman Doctrine The Truman Doctrine Support for the French (Americas proxy) Support for the French (Americas proxy) JFK continues with advisors JFK continues with advisors Gulf of Tonkin – 1964 Gulf of Tonkin – 1964 The Situation faced by the US in 1965 The Situation faced by the US in 1965

24 Hearts and Minds Themes from the past: Themes from the past: Resistance to outside invasion Resistance to outside invasion Cultural divisions of the country, historic divisions of the country Cultural divisions of the country, historic divisions of the country Sanctity of Village, of Ancestors Sanctity of Village, of Ancestors Failure of the Southern Army Failure of the Southern Army Viet Cong own the night Viet Cong own the night Failures to engage the enemy, and lying about it Failures to engage the enemy, and lying about it Generals as Mandarins - distant leaders and poor models Generals as Mandarins - distant leaders and poor models Arming the north through abandonment Arming the north through abandonment The Quagmire Villagers caught in the middle Horror on both sides My Lai Hue at Tet Errors on both sides Military Strategy – Conventional war Soviet Style Agricultural Reform Killing of landlords The failure of Vietnamization

25 Failures and Wars after 1975 The American embargo begins The American embargo begins The invasion of (by?) Cambodia 1975-1979-1989 The invasion of (by?) Cambodia 1975-1979-1989 Border skirmishes or domino effect? Border skirmishes or domino effect? The US supports Pol Pot The US supports Pol Pot The invasion by the Chinese in 1979 The invasion by the Chinese in 1979 In defense of Cambodia In defense of Cambodia The three week war The three week war New boat people – the ethnic Chinese migration New boat people – the ethnic Chinese migration

26 Post War Tension Deep suffering in Vietnam as a result of 30 years of war Deep suffering in Vietnam as a result of 30 years of war Estimated 3 million dead, 300,000 missing, every family touched by pain Estimated 3 million dead, 300,000 missing, every family touched by pain The North carpetbags the south The North carpetbags the south No reconciliation or healing No reconciliation or healing Increased divisiveness after a long history of struggle Increased divisiveness after a long history of struggle Divided family, region Divided family, region Soviet-style command economy fails Soviet-style command economy fails

27 Current Conditions By 1986 the Country is in turmoil and great suffering By 1986 the Country is in turmoil and great suffering The failure of its patron, the Soviet Union The failure of its patron, the Soviet Union Widening economic gap between rich and poor, south and north Widening economic gap between rich and poor, south and north Over 80% of the population near starvation! Over 80% of the population near starvation! The Communist Party feels the peoples agitation The Communist Party feels the peoples agitation (Doi Moi) The New Creativity, the New Awakening (Doi Moi) The New Creativity, the New Awakening Repudiation of Command and Control (even while continuing to embrace communism/socialism) as violation of Vietnamese national character and culture (harmony of village, linkage to ancestors, destruction of family integrity) Repudiation of Command and Control (even while continuing to embrace communism/socialism) as violation of Vietnamese national character and culture (harmony of village, linkage to ancestors, destruction of family integrity) American War language revised to blame US government, not the people American War language revised to blame US government, not the people Want to friends with everybody Want to friends with everybody

28 Rewriting the Future Avoid Viet-Viet, blame external forces Avoid Viet-Viet, blame external forces The claim of puppetry The claim of puppetry The Civil War that didnt happen – dont blame all southerners The Civil War that didnt happen – dont blame all southerners The victors tell the story – no torture The victors tell the story – no torture Rewriting of Vietnamese history Rewriting of Vietnamese history Simultaneous merger of the three Viet cultures Simultaneous merger of the three Viet cultures Declarations of Ethnic Unity Declarations of Ethnic Unity National Unity under the umbrella idea of an idealized kinship National Unity under the umbrella idea of an idealized kinship

29 Engineering Consensus Is there a cultural basis for consensus? Is there a cultural basis for consensus? Ethnicity (54 ethnic groups) Ethnicity (54 ethnic groups) Vietnamization from 1975-1986, now cultural protectionism Vietnamization from 1975-1986, now cultural protectionism Loyalty still doubtful, borders to Laos quite permeable Loyalty still doubtful, borders to Laos quite permeable Groups too small to build effective movements Groups too small to build effective movements Against Identity Politics – socialism must become more inclusive or groups (gender, ethnic, regional) may assert that their interests are not being met Against Identity Politics – socialism must become more inclusive or groups (gender, ethnic, regional) may assert that their interests are not being met

30 Engineering Consensus Is there an political basis for consensus? Is there an political basis for consensus? The One Party System and Political Repression The One Party System and Political Repression Censorship and 900+ political prisoners Censorship and 900+ political prisoners Corruption and power Corruption and power National Assembly National Assembly Woman VP Woman VP Ethnic representation Ethnic representation

31 Communist Party (Policy) Government (Executive ) Fatherland Front (Peoples Organizations) Ministries & State Committees Ministry of Planning & Investment Province & City Level [=state and large city] District Level [=county and small city] Trade Unions Farmers Union Womens Union Youth League Red Cross Journalists... others Major Enterprise Level Province & City Level National Assembly (Legislative) Politburo Secretariat Central Committee Courts (Judicial) All levels Peoples Councils All levels Note: Some Ministries and Peoples Organizations will have active sections all the way to the commune (rural township or urban borough) and village levels.

32 Engineering Consensus Is there an economic basis for consensus? Is there an economic basis for consensus? World Bank, the IMF, and the new economy World Bank, the IMF, and the new economy Class Stratification Class Stratification Free market and individualism, in the context of SOCIALISM Free market and individualism, in the context of SOCIALISM Ambivalence and go slow – especially the embrace of the West Ambivalence and go slow – especially the embrace of the West Regionalization Regionalization Widening issues of class Widening issues of class Rural/urban differences Rural/urban differences North/South differences North/South differences

33 Toward a Dynamic Society Finally, not at War Finally, not at War Wealth building and Global Participation Wealth building and Global Participation Political Reform Political Reform Modernization Modernization Resource management Resource management Environment Environment Infrastructure Infrastructure People People

34 Vietnam is ready to be a country on the move!

35 Chuc Mung Nam Moi!


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