Posted in Readings

“Poor” Peasants …

The great famine of 1944-1945 experienced by the peasantry of North Vietnam, however, was of such magnitude as to dwarf other twentieth century subsistence crises in the region. In the best of times, the cultivated land in Tonkin barely sufficed to feed its own population. The Japanese and their Vichy allies, nevertheless, converted much paddy land to jute and other war-machine crops. After the October 1943 harvest, the occupation forces literally scoured the countryside in armed bands, confiscating much of the crop. A near-famine became a total famine when a series of typhoons from May to September broke dikes and flooded much of Tonkin’s paddy land, destroying the tenth-month harvest in 1944. Even millet, potatoes, adn rice bran were exhausted; potato leaves, banana roots, grasses, and the bark of tree remained. Those who tried to plant a few potatoes might find that they had been pulled out and eaten during the night.Starvation began in October 1944 and before the spring harvest in 1945 as many as two million Vietnamese had perished.”

Guess who writes this? A very famous scholar … but if we look a little bit closer … what is he really trying to say? self-reflection

PS: Sorry I haven’t write here for a long long time, I’m busy with assignments and research (oh, and exam is creeping in the corner)! On Monday I have to present my research design, and afterwards I’ll be dwelling into this nerve-wrecking journey (a.k.a. research, revision, revision, revision …). And I absolutely need to learn how to write better.



on-going tensions between ready-made values and uncharted territory

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