"Bones of Contention: Violence, Memory, and Reconciliations in Post-Revolutionary Vietnam"
Religious Diversity Colloquium Spring/Summer 2013
- Date: Mar 7, 2013
- Time: 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
- Speaker: Tam Ngo (MPI-MMG)
- Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 12, Göttingen
- Room: Conference Room
For more details please contact vdvoffice(at)mmg.mpg.de.
In 1989 a father lost the remains of his son in a railway station. The son had died in the first battle of the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese border war. Since he had illegally transported the bones, the father could not ask the authority for help to find it. Few days later after the fruitless search he left, not knowing that the bones, abandoned by the thieves, had been found and buried by local residents. While waiting to be claimed by relatives, the bones picked up an incredibly busy social life. The grave was frequented by people who sought healing magic, lottery numbers, and consulted about family, social and love problems. More recently, journalists and telepaths were added to the audience since a number of fallen soldiers’ souls wanted to claim the bones. Troubled by the growing crowd around the grave local authorities decided to get involved. Via a discussion of the social life of the bones, this paper aims to shed light on the larger politics of memory, violence and reconciliation in post-revolutionary Vietnam.