Monday, July 11, 2011

Vietnam - day 2

First a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels - the tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong guerillas) during the American War.

Terminology is fluid - depending on who is telling the story - Americans = Vietnamese War and guerilla fighters; Vietnamese = American War and resistance fighters.

Whatever - they are evidence of a terrible time for all concerned.  And the outcomes of the war still resound throughout the population today, over 40 years later.  If your relatives - even two generations ago - worked for the Americans, you are "ineligible" for state-sponsored employment; and that is a big issue as only state employees have access to pensions/social services.

Then from division to amalgamation.  A visit to the town of Tay Ninh, home of the Tay Ninh Holy See - a Cao Dai temple.  Cao Dai is a synthesis of the fundamental doctrines of Taoism, Confucionism, Buddhism, Christian and Roman Catholic church organisation, formed in an attempt to create a universally acceptable religion.  Services are held four times a day - midnight, 6am, midday, 6pm - and viewers are encouraged to line the gallery for the 45 minute service (few last that long!). The music and chanting is exquisitely beautiful.

Buddhist elders wear yellow robes. Confucian elders wear red. Taoists blue.  The general congregation white.

Check the yellow feather duster

No comments: