More Information - Glossary
Bach-dang River
A river in northern Vietnam where the Vietnamese defeated both the Chinese and the Mongols using the same trick. When the river was at low tide, the Vietnamese army planted stakes that would be covered by water at high tide. The enemy armies followed the Vietnamese army up river only to find themselves stranded on the stakes when the tide went out.
Champa Kingdom
A kingdom located in central Vietnam that was conquered by the Lê Dynasty (1428-1789) in the mid-fifteenth century. Today, the Chams are an ethnic minority in Vietnam.
Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN)
North Vietnam led by Ho Chi Minh from 1954 to the 1970s who was head of the Vietnamese Communist Party and supported by the Soviet Union and China.
Dong-son people, 700 B.C. to A.D. 100
The group of people seen as responsible for establishing Vietnam's culture. They cultivated rice, kept buffalo and pigs, and were also skilled fishermen and sailors. The archaeological discovery of bronze Dong-son drums decorated in pictures has thrown light on various aspects of the Dong-son culture, including agriculture, ceremonies and rituals, social events and weapons.
French Indochina
The Indochinese Union was created by the French government in 1887 to consolidate French rule over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Geneva Agreement
The agreement signed at Geneva that ended the First Indochina War between France and Vietnam in 1954 and provisionally divided Vietnam into North and South along the seventeenth parallel. The French were supposed to withdraw all troops from the North, and the Communists from the South. The agreement also called for elections in 1956 which were never held.
The Final Declarations of the Geneva Conference
Khmer Kingdom
The Khmer people are the ancestors of the Cambodians. By the late eighteenth century, Vietnam had expanded south into the Mekong Delta, which was traditionally Khmer territory. Today, the Khmer of Vietnam are one of three recognized minorities.
Imperial civil service examination system based on Confucian classics and literature. Those who passed the examination were given official posts in the imperial bureaucracy and became mandarins. The system was first implemented during Chinese rule and the last exam was administered in 1915.
The people of inner Mongolia. Led by Ghengis Khan in the twelfth century, their army conquered Asia and Eastern Europe. They attempted to invade Vietnam only to fall into the same trap on the Bach-dang River that had defeated the Chinese 350 years earlier.
The Provincial Museum of Alberta - Virtual Exhibits - Genghis Khan
New economic zones
Zones created for agricultural use, where city dwellers were sent by the new government following the reunification of Vietnam in 1975. These zones had been devastated by the war - chemical warfare had destroyed the vegetation and bombs were still buried in the ground. Most of those sent to these zones returned to the cities in secret.
Young male peasants drafted for the military. They would spend six months in the army and six months farming the land. When not called upon to fight, these soldiers worked on public projects.
Republic of Vietnam (RVN)
South Vietnam, led by Ngo Dinh Diem and supported by the United States.
Chinese units of weight used for gold.
1 tael equals 37.4 grams or 1.2 ounces.
Trung Sisters
Two sisters, Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, who in A.D. 40 rallied the Vietnamese peasants against the Chinese and regained control of Vietnam within a few months. For three years, the sisters reigned as Vietnam's "queens". When the Chinese re-entered Vietnam in A.D. 43, both sisters committed suicide to avoid surrendering to the Chinese.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The organization that deals with refugees around the world. In the case of the Vietnamese people, the UNHCR helped set up refugee camps providing food and supplies, and helped in the resettlement of the boat people.

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