What happened in December 2012: news and events relating to the Vietnamese diaspora and Vietnamese in Vietnam.
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Viet Kieu in the news
The Do family talks about their first Christmas in America.
• A Vietnamese-American woman was charged with buying guns for a former next-door neighbor who used them to kill three individuals.
• An elementary school in Sacramento, California, is the second school to offer a Hmong dual-language immersion program in the U.S.
• Vietnamese singer Duy Quang, son of Pham Duy, died of lung cancer.
• Vietnamese-American director Leon Le received three awards for his short film, “Dawn,” at this year’s Yxine Film Festival.
• Tragedy struck one family whose son lost his life to bullying. The school’s insensitive actions against the family reveal underlying discriminatory practices.
• A Marine veteran re-unites with a priest (now a bishop) he met in 1968 in South Vietnam.
• Veteran Vietnamese journalist Huy Duc’s new book, The Winning Side, presents new light on the reunification of Vietnam and its aftermath.
• A Viet Kieu tells his story of survival and success, of surviving the boat journey to America and of becoming the founder and C.E.O. of KMS Technology.
• As one of Komen’s Pink Tie Guys for 2013, Trong Pham uses his “business savvy and extensive networks” to help spread breast cancer prevention.
• The Vietnamese Cultural Center (VCC) located in West Seattle began construction of its second temple, which will welcome visitors and offer them a place to pray.
News about Vietnam
• Vietnamese and South Korean artisans have completed restoring eleven of the twelve musical stones used in the Hue Royal Court in the early 20th century.
• ASEAN has appointed its first secretary-general from Vietnam in hope that he will “keep the spotlight” on the territorial conflicts between China and ASEAN members.
• In response to China’s increasing assertiveness concerning territorial disputes, Vietnam refused to stamp the new Chinese-issued passport with the disputed areas on it as belonging to China.
• Vietnamese fishermen rescued five Filipinos who were drifting at sea off Phu Yen Province.
• Archaeologists have found traces of an ancient water project and parallel ground wall from the time of the Ly Dynasty at the centre of Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Ha Noi.
• In their escalation of crackdowns on critics of the country’s one-party, authoritarian rule, Vietnamese police have arrested a well-known dissident lawyer, Le Quoc Quan.
• Two weeks earlier, Vietnamese officials had prevented blogger Huynh Trong Hieu from flying to the United States to receive human rights award on behalf of his father and sister.
• Nationalist Phan Boi Chau’s 145th birthday (born December 26, 1867) is commemorated.
• A Vietnamese Communist Party official’s leaked speech reveals state secrets concening Vietnam’s stance on several important political issues.
• UFOs in Vietnam? Either those flying objects are spy planes from China, or the aliens from outer space are cruising for a good Pho place. Man or alien, gotta have pho.
• Black bears are treated with “horrific cruelty” due to the belief that their bile can cure all kinds of illnesses.
• In a move against the World Bank’s warning, Vietnam’s central bank cut interest rates and lowered the cap on deposit interest rates.
• Remains of a severely ill young man who lived 4,000 years ago in northern Vietnam reveal a story of compassion.
• Antique collector Tran Dinh Son will finance the restoration of an ancient house to become the first private museum in Hue.
• The issue of human rights is keeping the U.S. and Vietnam from becoming closer friends.
• In the Southwestern region of Vietnam, a popular form of folk art created by the Khmer called Dù kê is performed annually to “praise the good and condemn the bad.”
• Vietnamese citizens marched to protest “China’s military expansion,” but Vietnamese police broke up their anti-China protests in two cities.
• UNESCO has recognized the Hung Kings’ worship ritual in Phu Tho province, Vietnam, as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.
• Archaeologists, excavating in Central Vietnam, have discovered artifacts dating back 2,000 to 2,500 years ago. A bronze bracelet found may be from the Dong Son civilization.
• China is proceeding with a railroad project in Laos whose “costs would be borne by the host nation.” Not surprisingly, the Chinese government has established Chinese language school and Chinese immigrants have leased about half of the agricultural land in Oudom Xai. Laos has become another victim of China’s Sinicization strategy.
• New genomic findings “provide some insights into the underlying basis of autism.”
• University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students wrote a public statement to the university administration and the campus community concerning a racial note that was posted in a dorm bathroom stall.
• Two Melbourne Neo-Nazi members were sentenced to jail for brutally attacking a Vietnamese student.
[Special thanks to VTN for providing many of the news items.]
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