What Happened in December 2012: Some News and Events

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.

The Do family in 1975
The Do family in 1975


A Vietnamese-American woman was charged with buying guns for a former next-door neighbor who used them to kill three individuals.

Dawn Nguyen arrested. Photo by Jamie Germano/AP.
Dawn Nguyen arrested. Photo by Jamie Germano/AP.


• An elementary school in Sacramento, California, is the second school to offer a Hmong dual-language immersion program in the U.S.

Children in Hmong dual-language immersion program. Photo by Andria Lo.
Children in Hmong dual-language immersion program. Photo by Andria Lo.


• Vietnamese singer Duy Quang, son of Pham Duy, died of lung cancer.

Vietnamese singer Duy Quang
Vietnamese singer Duy Quang


Vietnamese-American director Leon Le received three awards for his short film, “Dawn,” at this year’s Yxine Film Festival.

A scene from "Dawn"
A scene from "Dawn"


• Tragedy struck one family whose son lost his life to bullying. The school’s insensitive actions against the family reveal underlying discriminatory practices.

A memorial to David Phan
A memorial to David Phan


A Marine veteran re-unites with a priest (now a bishop) he met in 1968 in South Vietnam.

Bishop Paul Nguyên Thanh Hoan
Bishop Paul Nguyên Thanh Hoan


• Veteran Vietnamese journalist Huy Duc’s new book, The Winning Side, presents new light on the reunification of Vietnam and its aftermath.

NVA tank in April 1975. Photo by Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
NVA tank in April 1975. Photo by Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


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.

Viet Kieu survivor Vu Q. Lam
Viet Kieu survivor Vu Q. Lam


• 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.

Community activist Trong Pham
Community activist Trong Pham


• 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.

VCC temple in West Seattle. Photo from VCC.
VCC temple in West Seattle. Photo from VCC.


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.

China's false claims extend to its passports. Photo by Reuters.
China's false claims extend to its passport. Photo by Reuters.


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.

Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Photo by Mai Anh.
Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Photo by Mai Anh.


• 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.

Dissident Le Quoc Quan. Photo by Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Dissident Le Quoc Quan. Photo by Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


• In a related case, an appeal court in Vietnam has rejected three prominent Vietnamese bloggers’ appeal of their cases.

Nguyen Van Hai (center) is a critic of the government
Nguyen Van Hai (center) is a critic of the government


• 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.

Statue of the Vietnamese patriot Phan Boi Chau
Statue of the Vietnamese patriot Phan Boi Chau


• 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.

UFOs in Vietnam?
UFOs in Vietnam?


Black bears are treated with “horrific cruelty” due to the belief that their bile can cure all kinds of illnesses.

Sign advertising bear bile
Sign advertising bear bile


• 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.

Ancient bones found south of Hanoi. Photo by Lorna Tilley.
Ancient bones found south of Hanoi. Photo by Lorna Tilley.


• Antique collector Tran Dinh Son will finance the restoration of an ancient house to become the first private museum in Hue.

Antique collector Tran Dinh Son
Antique collector Tran Dinh Son


• 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.

Du ke dancers
Du ke dancers


Vietnamese citizens marched to protest “China’s military expansion,” but Vietnamese police broke up their anti-China protests in two cities.

Police breaks up Anti-China protest. Photo by Reuters.
Police breaks up Anti-China protest. Photo by Reuters.


• UNESCO has recognized the Hung Kings’ worship ritual in Phu Tho province, Vietnam, as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of 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.

Excavation site in Ha Tinh province, Central Vietnam
Excavation site in Ha Tinh province, Central Vietnam


Other News


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.

Discriminatory note against a Hmong student
Discriminatory note against a Hmong student


• 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.]

Peace!
RP

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