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Vietnam's Cultural Diversity via 3 Versions of Sọ Dừa in Kinh, Chăm, Raglai Folklore

On Sọ Dừa’s birth certificate, how should one fill in the “ethnic group” field?

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The Peculiar Gender Dynamics of Hanoi's Male-Dominated Cờ Tướng Scene

On a sunset wander through Hanoi, you may be surprised by the peculiar sight of men haphazardly perched in nooks and crannies playing the ancient game of xiangqi.

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Ghosts and Other Myths: How Vietnam Celebrates the 7th Lunar Month

In Vietnamese customs, the lunar month of July contains many special days of worship and celebration, with various traditions.

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From Oral Lore to a Mini Encyclopedia of Folk Demons, Ghosts, and Restless Spirits

River entities hiding the bodies of drowned victims, spectral ma lai whose head and guts hover in the air, ma trành spirits luring unassuming victims into the path of tigers, or the ghosts of a family...

Linh Pham

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Banana Island Is a Peaceful Oasis Amid Hanoi, but for How Much Longer?

As the xe ôm is about to reach the halfway point of Long Biên Bridge, I tell him to stop.

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An Exploration of H'Mông Fashion Through the Eyes of a Young H'Mông Curator

Combining elements of the traditional and the modern, Hnubflower and her collaborators have brought to life a project to recreate the fashion of many H’Mông communities in provinces across Vietnam.

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The Collector Preserving Decades of Saigon History, From Vintage Brands to Pandemic Memories

"A Việt Kiều customer living in France paid me a visit. She looked at my sofa and started tearing up because its design was so similar to one she had in her childhood home. She said she missed home an...

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In Chợ Lớn, Leaf-Wrapped Rice Dumplings Abound Every Tết Đoan Ngọ

The fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar is a day of great importance in Chinese communities all over Asia.

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How Châu Đốc's Chăm Muslim Community Celebrates Ramadan

Vietnam's recent four-day holiday coincided with observations of Ramadan this year.

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Here Are the Fabulous Finalists of Miss Universe's National Costume Design Competition

From feng shui to bánh tráng trộn, the chosen designers find their inspiration everywhere. 

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Handbook Project Empowers Local Communities to Write Their Own Cultural Narratives

“No one could sing our song but ourselves.” — Inrasra, Chăm poet and anthropologist.

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In Hòa Bình, a Social Enterprise Supports Vietnam's Last Remaining Paper Artisans

As aid to Vietnamese communities decreases, how do we continue to preserve cultural heritage? Zó Project, an organization based out of Hanoi, offers a compelling example of the role social enterprise ...

Linh Pham

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The Wall, a Costume, and a Nation's Identity: How the First Áo Dài Came to Be

How does a nation represent itself to the world?

Chris Humphrey

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At Hanoi's Thousand-Year-Old Flute Kite Festival, Melodies and Prayers Cross the Sky

Passed down by village forefathers since the Dinh Dynasty, Ba Duong Noi Village’s kite festival has become a source of pride for the local community. With three bamboo flutes attached to each kite, it...

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In Remembrance of Saigon Street Calls Past

Drowned out by the noises of modernization, sounds that once served as the background to a simpler time have begun to shrink, and eventually become lost in the wheel of progress. Tiếng rao, or street ...

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Praying for Good Weather, Bac Giang-Style

My friends said that they were going to a festival which happens every four years, and that it would be great for photographs. I knew nothing more.

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The Mud-Tastic Fun of An Giang's Cattle Race Festival

Every year when the 8th lunar month comes around, people from different walks of life gather in the land of Seven Mountains (Bay Nui) to immerse themselves in the jubilant atmosphere of the bare,...

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How to Make a Bamboo Basket Boat, as Demonstrated by Phú Yên Artisans

As part of the sweltering south-central coast, Phu Yen Province has cultivated strong roots in the arts of gathering and rearing seafood.

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Basket Boats: A Key Part of Everyday Life in Coastal Vietnam

Vietnam’s narrow tube houses come from the feudal era and the tax policy in effect at the time. The feudal state charged a fee based on the width of the street-facing facade to collect taxes, pushing ...

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An Ode to Gối Ôm, Our Time-Honored Sleeping Companion

There’s a scene in The Sound of Music, where Julie Andrews gazes into the future on a stormy night and envisions something holy: play clothes. She wraps herself in her bedroom curtains, a stuffy ...