After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My by Heonik Kwon

By Heonik Kwon

Although a iteration has handed because the bloodbath of civilians at My Lai, the legacy of this tragedy maintains to reverberate all through Vietnam and the remainder of the realm. This engrossing learn considers how Vietnamese villagers in My Lai and Ha My--a village the place South Korean troops devoted an both appalling, although much less recognized, bloodbath of unarmed civilians--assimilate the disaster of those mass deaths into their daily ritual life.Based on a close learn of neighborhood background and ethical practices, After the bloodbath specializes in the actual context of family existence during which the Vietnamese villagers have interaction with their ancestors on one hand and the ghosts of tragic dying at the different. Heonik Kwon explains what intimate ritual activities can let us know in regards to the background of mass violence and the worldwide bipolar politics that prompted it. He highlights the aesthetics of Vietnamese commemorative rituals and the morality in their sensible activities to free up the spirits from their grievous background of loss of life. the writer brings those very important practices right into a severe discussion with dominant sociological theories of demise and symbolic transformation.

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Additional resources for After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai (Asia: Local Studies Global Themes)

Sample text

In Vietnamese ritual tradition, a genuine liberation from the incarceration of grievous memory should be a collaborative work. It ought to involve not only the appropriate intervention of sympathetic outsiders but also the inmate’s strong will for freedom from history. The growth of self-consciousness and self-determination on the part of the prisoners of history is in fact fundamental to a successful process of liberation from grievance. Tragic death that falls out of the established mortuary order is unwelcome to the commemorative order.

Young people of Ha My and My Lai were educated at town schools and were open to new ideas. 23 Scholars of modern Vietnamese history emphasize the inception of urban 34 Massacres in the Year of the Monkey ideas in rural villages when explaining the origin of revolution in northern Vietnam. 24 In the villages of central Vietnam, the class distinction between the landed elite and the landless peasants was less clear than in the fertile northeast delta regions. The proximity to a township, however, gave rural youth constant access to modern ideas and critical discourse.

The French expeditionary forces landed at Da Nang on March 17, 1946, in the hope of reclaiming their old colony. 38 The committee organized the destruction of the roads in the hope of delaying the advance of the French troops, and undertook the dismantling of village temples, pagodas, and school buildings in order to prevent the troops from using them for shelter. Afterward, the committee carried out the so-called patriotic evacuation, in which villagers were encouraged to hide food supplies, destroy their houses, and evacuate to the town.

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