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Ancient Village Regulations Uncovered in Hoi An

A 19th century draft of village rules and regulations has been discovered by a Vietnamese historian in Hoi An, the first of its kind, reports Vietnam News.

Found at Hoi An City's Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation by historical researcher, Ngo Duc Tri, the 4-page document, written in Chinese characters, dates back to era of King Tu Duc and was compiled by scholar Nguyen Tuong Tiep from the Nguyen Tuong Van (1774-1822) family in Hoi An.

Tri found the document while researching ancient documents and is one-of-a-kind:

"It's the only draft of village regulations ever found in Hoi An. It is a precious document that still influences values in modern life," Tri said.

Picture of Hoi An from 'A Voyage to Cochinchina' (1806) by John Barrow, depicting Hoi An around the same time the document was written.

The document outlines ways of “offering sacrifices and prayers, of acting with deference and sincerity, the need for equality in allocating property and farm land, the punishment of guilty people, the condemnation of unrestrained drinking - and how village meetings should be held,” in addition to “rules on morality, transparency, customs and the need for communication.”

The Van family’s recently restored, 208-year-old house on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street has housed 14 generations some of whom still live there today.

As awesome as this discovery is, we'd really like to see someone find a Vietnamese version of these.

[VNS // Photos via Exotissimo Travel and Manhhai

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