Late afternoon in Hanoi in July. A day after going to the Trưng sisters’ temple in Mê Linh to pray for rain, it still hasn’t rained. In fact, today was just as hot as yesterday was.

Then. . . late in the afternoon, this happened.

[rain scene]

As if someone gave some kind of order, the heavens suddenly opened up and let down torrential rainfall. And that made me start to think. . .

In the twelfth century there was a drought. Emperor Lý Anh Tông ordered a Buddhist monk to pray for rain, and then after it did rain, he had a dream in which the Trưng sisters appeared and declared that they had brought the rain on orders from the Jade Emperor.

In 2014, I had a dream of a strange man with a vacuum cleaner. I then went to pray for rain at the Trưng sisters’ temple, and it rained.

Are these two events connected? I guess that’s really hard to know, but I’d like to believe that they are.


In the twelfth century, after the Trưng sisters brought rain, the historical record says that cool air blew over the people.

This evening in Hanoi, after the rain that just fell, there is also cool air blowing over the people. People are coming out from their homes, walking about the city. Everyone seems a little more relaxed. Everyone seems a little bit happier.

For that, I suppose we can thank the Trưng sisters, and enjoy a wonderful evening in Hanoi in July.


Morning in Hanoi in July. I get up early to try to get some work done, to beat the heat, but then the power goes out. Apparently there is such a high demand for electricity right now that the government has resorted to rationing. And this morning it’s my neighborhood’s turn to do without power.

So rather than stay at home and sweat, I decide to go to Mê Linh to visit the temple [dedicated] to the Trưng sisters that the friend that I had bia hơi with last night told me about.


[Vietnamese dialog]

After stopping to ask for directions a couple of times, we finally make it to the temple, and it is impressive! There is a huge gate that you pass through to get to the temple complex, and then the temple itself is surrounded by an impressive stone wall.

Within the temple grounds is a huge stone inscription with information about the Trưng sisters’ rebellion against the Han Dynasty, and then inside the temple itself are beautiful placards which talk about how the power of the Trưng sisters will endure through the centuries.

Equally impressive was a fine gentleman who works at the temple. He told me about the history of the temple, and I asked him about the issue of the Trưng sisters as rain deities.

He confirmed what I said, and agreed that it was true that during the time of the Lý Dynasty, Lý Anh Tông had prayed to the Trưng sisters and then had this temple constructed in order to thank them.

Indeed, within the temple itself, according to this gentleman, are designs and decorations in the artwork that date from the time of the Lý Dynasty.

[confession scene]

Ok, so I guess it’s time for a confession. I tend to think I’m a pretty smart person, but once in a while, and it’s really just once in a very long while, I do something a little bit stupid. Today I went to the temple. It was beautiful. I met the nice gentleman there who was just starting to tell me things that I wanted to know, and right at that point, the battery on my camera died because I forgot to recharge it yesterday. Uhhhggg!!!!!!!!!

Actually, before the battery on my camera ran out, I was able to get in one question to this fine gentleman. I asked him if people today still prayed for rain, and his answer was a little bit vague.

At first he said “yes,” but then he proceeded to tell me the history of the temple: how Lý Anh Tông had it built during the time of the Lý Dynasty in order to thank the Trưng sisters for bringing rain, how it was renovated during the time of the Nguyễn Dynasty, and that it was renovated yet again in 2004.

[Vietnamese dialog]

But did those renovations mean that people at those later times still believed that the Trưng sisters could bring rain?

Can they bring rain?

I decided to take a chance that they still could. I went into the main temple, and I prayed to the two sisters that they bring rain to Hanoi.

I have no idea if my prayers are going to be answered, but it’s the best I can do at the moment.

Now all we can do is just sit back and wait, and hopefully the Trưng sisters will deliver.


Late afternoon in Hanoi in July. Although it’s still incredibly hot, there are a lot of people out exercising. I suppose it’s good to sweat your brains out like this, but personally. . . on days like today, I prefer to exercise like this gentleman. . . [image of sleeping man].

In any case, I’m not here to exercise. I’m looking for information about the Trưng sisters [be]cause I need them to make it rain. And that information is not at this park, but I know where it is, and that’s where I’m going. . . a bia hơi.

[at a bia hơi]

What exactly is “bia hơi”? Well, it’s both a place and a product. It’s a place where people go to drink beer, and it’s also the name of the beer that they drink there.

Bia hơi is a draft beer, and it has a lower alcohol content than most other beers. But don’t let that deceive you. Because as the evening wears on, and the waiter brings one glass after another, eventually it creeps up on you, and by the end of the evening you realize that you might have taken on a bit more than you bargained for.

[toast scene]

- “This is the best cure for hot weather. Cheers!”

- “Yea, [I] couldn’t agree more.”

The evening started out well. My friend told me that there is a place where I can learn more about the Trưng sisters outside of Hanoi. I was happy to hear that.

Then things started to spin out of control.


Ok, enough already! Having had much more bia hơi than I should have, I finally decided that it was time to go home. I need to rest up for a big trip tomorrow.

But then something totally unexpected happened.

[Vietnamese dialog]

Who the hell was that?

Was it the Jade Emperor? Or was it the vacuum man from the History Museum? It certainly wasn’t one of the Trưng sisters.

In the end, I decided to sleep it off. I’ve got a big day tomorrow. I’m heading out of Hanoi, and I’m going to go find the Trưng sisters.


Hanoi in July. . . It’s hot! It’s really really hot!! About the only people out on the street are people on motorcycles and they are just going as fast as they can to make it to someplace cooler. People in cars can at least cruise around in air conditioned comfort. Then as for the foreign tourists. . . well they are just out sweating away in the midday sun.

Kids on bikes are also probably felling hot. But then there are the people in love. They never seem to feel the heat. This man in love with himself. Young couples in love with each other. A young woman going off to marry the man she loves, and a girl waiting for her true love to appear.

Then there’s me. I’m also out on the streets of Hanoi, but I’m feeling the heat. It is hot, and that’s why I’m looking for a couple [of] people who I know can end this heat wave – the Trưng sisters. That’s right, the two ladies who led a rebellion some 2,000 years ago. They’re the people I need to find, [be]cause they can make it rain.

My only problem is. . . I have no idea where they are. And I’m on the streets of Hanoi, it’s July, and it is hot!


The Trưng Sisters, or Hai Bà Trưng in Vietnamese, are today seen as “national heroes” for leading a rebellion against the Han Dynasty in the first century AD.

However, early Vietnamese sources, like the 14th-century Việt Điện U Linh Tập record that the Trưng Sisters were worshipped as rain deities.

That text records that in the 12th century there was a drought. Emperor Lý Anh Tông ordered a Zen monk to pray for rain, and it worked.

Emperor Lý Anh Tông then saw the two Trưng Sisters in a dream, and they told him that the Jade Emperor had ordered them to bring the rain.

Emperor Lý Anh Tông then ordered that a shrine for the Trưng Sisters be erected in the capital. This shrine was called the Hall of Abundant Rain (Vũ Di Đường 雨彌堂).

[at the History Museum]

So this is the History Museum. There is a lot of old stuff in here, so we’ve got to be quiet. We don’t want to wake anything up. Shhh! Let’s go inside.

[vacuum cleaner]

Ok, so I thought we had to be quiet, but they’re vacuuming some of the displays so I guess we don’t have to whisper.

So I finally found the Hai Bà Trưng [i.e., the Trưng sisters], they’ve got them listed here in a chronology and then they’ve got this kind of bronze picture of them, but it really doesn’t say anything about them, it’s just that they had an uprising – there’s the vacuum cleaner, and that a lot of people supported the uprising, but that’s it, so I’m gonna have to go somewhere else to try to find out more about the. . . the Hai Bà Trưng. I’m not sure where yet, but I gotta get away from this vacuum cleaner.

[at the park]

So my first attempt to find the Trưng sisters [and] to get them to make rain has failed, but I’m not worried [be]cause now I know exactly where to go.

The question of “what is Southeast Asia” is one that garnered a lot of attention in “the West” in the years following World War II.

In the end, after years of debate and discussion, a kind of paradox emerged.

On the one hand, the idea that there is a place called Southeast Asia has become more firmly established (particularly among people who live in the region). On the other hand, scholars have found it increasingly difficult to determine what exactly it is (if anything) that makes the Southeast Asian region a “region.”

I made the above video in an effort to revisit this question, particularly so that younger people who are not aware of this earlier debate can learn about it.

Finally, a caveat as well: This is my first attempt at making what I would call a “popular academic” video (an “aca-pop” video maybe?). I still don’t have the right sound equipment working, and I’m still using very basic software (Microsoft’s Movie Maker), and most importantly, I have not yet figured out what “model” will work the best.

In some ways there already is a model for “aca-pop” videos in the “Crash Course in. . .” series that John Green has developed. The videos in that series are all fast-paced and witty (although I also find them obnoxious). They are also very professional, as John Green has plenty of money and resources to make those videos.

The “aca-pop” videos that I will try to make and post on the Le Minh Khai Southeast Asian History Blog YouTube Channel will not be as professional, nor as witty. . . but they will contain some kind of core academic information, and hopefully someone will like them (although I’m sure that others will find them obnoxious as well).


So if you watch the video, please keep all this in mind, and. . . please, please be merciful.

An importance source for the early history of the Red River Delta is a text known as the Báo cực truyện 報極傳. This text dates perhaps from the late eleventh century, and it is no longer extant, but it is quoted in other later works that still survive.

While people are aware that the Báo cực truyện is an early text, I have never seen anyone clearly place this work in any known or recognizable literary genre.

This is difficult to do, as we only find excerpts cited from this work. Nonetheless, the word “báo” 報 in its title was an extremely important term for Buddhists who used it to refer to karmic retribution or reward.

Hence, this title could be translated as Tales of the Extreme Reach of Karmic Retribution/Reward. Such a title would fit this work into the East Asian genre of Buddhist miracle tales, stories which were particularly popular in the Chinese world between the third and seventh centuries, with perhaps the most famous collection of such tales being the seventh-century Records of Miraculous Karmic Retribution/Reward (Mingbao ji 冥報記).


Buddhist miracle tales appear to have been influenced both by Buddhist avadana tales from India and by the Chinese genre of anomaly accounts.

Avadana tales related events which occurred in a person’s life to deeds performed in a previous life, and one of the earliest translators of such tales was a third-century Sogdian monk who was active in the Red River Delta, Kang Senghui.

Anomaly accounts, on the other hand, dealt with supernatural and other unexplained phenomena. Chinese Buddhist miracles at times combined these two genres, taking a seemingly supernatural phenomenon and explaining it in terms of karmic reward or retribution.


While we cannot say for sure that the Báo cực truyện was a collection of Buddhist miracle tales, the information cited from it in a later source, the fourteenth-century Collected [Records] of the Departed Spirits from the Việt Realm (Việt điện u linh tập 越甸幽靈集), suggests that this was the case.

The quotation appears in a story about the Chinese administrator who served in the Red River Delta in the early third century CE by the name of Shi Xie.

After providing information about Shi Xie’s activities in the Red River Delta, much of which comes from the Treatise on the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo zhi 三國志), the Collected [Records] of the Departed Spirits from the Việt Realm cites the Báo cực truyện for the following information:

“The king [i.e., Shi Xie] was adept at preserving and nourishing life. After the king passed away, over 160 years later at the end of the Jin [dynasty], Linyi [people] raided. They excavated the king’s tomb and saw that the king’s body had not deteriorated and that his complexion looked as though he were still alive. They became terrified and reburied him. Local people saw him as a spirit, erected a shrine, and made sacrifices to him.”


This would seem to represent a local tradition, and yet there are historical problems with it. First of all, people from Linyi did not attack during these years. Instead, it was Chinese officials in the region who led attacks against Linyi.

One such person was a regional inspector by the name of Wen Fangzhi who attacked Linyi in 359. Not long after this, a legend emerged concerning Wen Fangzhi and Shi Xie’s tomb. However, that legend had nothing to do with Linyi.

This legend about Wen Fangzhi and Shi Xie’s tomb was recorded in a fifth century Chinese collection of anomaly accounts entitled the Garden of Marvels (Yiyuan 異苑).

The Garden of Marvels records that Shi Xie died in Jiaozhi during the final years of the Han and that he was buried in the “southern border region” (nanjing 南境).

It states that his tomb was often covered in mist and that it manifested supernatural potency at indeterminate times. The region then experienced years of unrest. However, the tomb was never excavated by robbers even during this time of turmoil.

When in the Jin Dynasty’s Xingning era (363–365), Wen Fangzhi was appointed regional inspector of Jiao Region, he personally rode off on his horse to open the tomb.

The Garden of Marvels does not report what he found. Instead, it relates that on his return, he fell off his horse and died.


In considering the historical information about Wen Fangzhi’s attack on Linyi, along with the legend of his search for Shi Xie’s tomb, it appears that this account of Shi Xie in the Báo cực truyện is likely a later creation inspired by these other accounts of Wen Fangzhi.

Surely local people did not “remember” a story about a raid by people from Linyi when such an attack had never occurred. Instead, it is much more likely that a Buddhist scholar in later years created this story.

In doing so, he altered some relevant historical information, changing Wen Fangzhi’s attack on Linyi to a raid on the Red River Delta region by people from Linyi and adapted a legend from the Garden of Marvels.


The fact that Shi Xie’s body did not decompose was meant to teach readers something.

The account in the Garden of Marvels is intended to show the miraculous potency of Shi Xie’s spirit. The Báo cực truyện may have sought to make the same point.

However, if it were a collection of Buddhist miracle tales, then perhaps it also emphasized the presence of Buddhists in the region during his time. This appears to be the case since the Báo cực truyện is also cited in a medieval Buddhist work (Cổ Châu Pháp Vân Phật bản hạnh lục) and there it does provide detailed information about the Buddhist community in the Red River Delta during Shi Xie’s time.

Therefore, in the Báo cực truyện, the miracle of Shi Xie’s non-decomposing corpse may have been presented as a miraculous sign of karmic reward for his support of the Buddhist religion during his lifetime.

Although we still cannot say for certain, nonetheless given the above evidence, I would argue that the Báo cực truyện was likely a collection of Buddhist miracle tales and that we can translate the title as Tales of the Extreme Reach of Karmic Retribution/Reward.

A few months ago I wrote a post about an Irishman who became a Buddhist monk in Burma in the early twentieth century, and who was known as U Dhammaloka. Recently I posted about a documentary that is being made about this man.

One of the things that is fascinating about the story of U Dhammaloka is the fact that he was more or less unknown by scholars until recently. Another thing that is interesting, however, is that it has now become quite easy to find (some of the limited) information about this person given that so many books and newspapers have been digitized.


Today I realized that there are probably other figures that are as fascinating as U Dhammaloka that many of us are not aware of, such as Gerald MacBryan.

MacBryan was born in Somerset, England. He joined the civil service in Sarawak in 1920, converted to Islam, married a Malay woman and made the pilgrimage to Mecca.

By the time World War II broke out, MacBryan had become a personal secretary for the Rajah of Sarawak, Vyner Brooke. MacBryan fled to Australia with Brooke when the Japanese occupied Sarawak, but then he tried to return, and this caused problems for him.


I came across a file about MacBryan in the Australian National Archives. This file contains a letter from Vyner Brooke in which Brooke pleads with the Australian authorities to clear MacBryan’s name.

The same file also contains a sort of biography of MacBryan in which it states that “He is described as tall, thin, shifty and unscrupulous, unwilling to look a person in the eye, and is said to be of such unstable character that it would not be fantastic to assume that he might have designs on being appointed by the Japanese as a quisling Rajah of Sarawak.”

It is difficult to determine if this is true, but several authors have claimed that MacBryan did want to create a caliphate based at Sarawak, with himself as caliph.


Meanwhile, The Straits Times (from Singapore) carried an article in 1937 about MacBryan’s Malay wife when she arrived in Singapore after spending a year in England. Apparently there was a novel that was published in 1937 about MacBryan’s pilgrimage to Mecca called Triumphant Pilgrimage: An English Muslim’s Journey from Sarawak to Mecca, so MacBryan and his wife were “famous” at that time, and The Straits Times referred to MacBryan’s wife by the name she was known by in the novel – “Munirah.”

The article claimed that “‘Munirah’s’ former shyness has disappeared. During the interview she spoke freely of her impressions, and without hesitation posed for the cameraman.

“Hair bobbed, wearing a two-peace costume, a white crepe-de-chine blouse, a small gold kris brooch, its only decoration, and a grey tweed skirt. Mrs. MacBryan declared enthusiastically, ‘I like England much better than Sarawak.’”


Ok, so in the 1930s there was an Englishman in Sarawak who converted to Islam, made the pilgrimage to Mecca and had dreams of creating a caliphate in the region, while his Muslim Malay wife got the latest British hairstyle and preferred England over Sarawak. . . that’s beautiful!!

I was reading an essay that is included in a collection of writings by the late Trần Quốc Vượng in which he encourages people to study about what he refers to as “the issue of the Hùng Kings” (vấn đề Hùng Vương).

The purpose of studying this issue, Trần Quốc Vượng states, is not to attempt to find out something concrete about a specific Hùng king, but instead is to focus on “people, society and our nation during the time of the Hùng Kings, to research the ancient culture of Vietnam of the time of the Hùng Kings – the period in the history of Vietnam of the establishment of the country.”

Trần Quốc Vượng goes on in this essay to argue that the best way to do this is to employ a “comprehensive applied approach” (phương pháp vận dụng tổng hợp) which combines information and insights from history and other disciplines.

On the surface, this is a good idea, however the way that Trần Quốc Vượng actually employs this comprehensive applied approach in this essay is selective and flawed.


Trần Quốc Vượng argues in this essay that there were 15 “tribes” (bộ lạc) before and during the Hùng Vương period. In actuality, there is only one historical text (the 14th-century [Đại] Việt sử lược) that mentions tribes. Other historical texts (such as the 15th-century Đại Việt sử kỳ toàn thư) mention 15 “regions” (bộ).

However, there is a bigger problem, and that is that these historical texts recorded this information about tribes/regions over 1,500 years after the time when they supposedly existed, and all of the names of these tribes/regions are written in classical Chinese, with some terms dating from the time of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

Trần Quốc Vượng notes that scholars had argued about this issue before, but he states that we can reach a conclusion about this matter, and he cites a statement that historian Đào Duy Anh made in 1964 to indicate what we can conclude:

“. . . we can guess that when historians of our country wanted to give concrete substance to the country of Văn Lang in legends, they took place names from the time of the Tang and earlier, selected a few of them; first in order to have one for each of the 15 regions in the legend, and second in order to find a way to cover the entire area where our ancestors lived during the time of the Hùng Kings.”


This statement that Đào Duy Anh made is based on various assumptions which Đào Duy Anh did not provide evidence to support. In order to argue that medieval historians tried to give concrete substance (nội dung cụ thể) to legends from the first millennium BC, Đào Duy Anh would need to provide evidence that those legends do actually date from the first millennium BC. He would also need to show that it was possible to transmit that information (apparently orally) for more than 1,000 years. However, Đào Duy Anh does not do this.

Trần Quốc Vượng, meanwhile, avoids addressing the fact that one medieval history refers to 15 “tribes” (bộ lạc) while another refers to 15 “regions” (bộ). Which one of these statements is historically accurate? How do we know?

Finally, Trần Quốc Vượng begins his essay with even bigger assumptions by assuming that “our nation” existed during “the time of the Hùng Kings” and that therefore the culture of that time was “the ancient culture of Vietnam.”

So the “historical” information in this essay is built on a large number of assumptions that are not supported by historical evidence, and from these assumptions, Trần Quốc Vượng then goes on to produce some of his own ideas. In particular, he takes some of the names of the supposed “15 tribes” and makes the argument that we can read through the Chinese characters that were used to write these names (some 1,500 years after they reportedly existed) to see the names of birds (Mling, Bling, Kling Klang, Blang) which Trần Quốc Vượng claims were the totems of some of the tribes during the time of the Hùng kings.


What is wrong with this approach? The problem is that Trần Quốc Vượng takes information that has not been verified in any way (be it through historical texts or archaeological evidence) – such as the idea that there were 15 “tribes” in the Red River Delta in the first millennium BC – and then he develops ideas based on this unverified information, which he then believes can help prove that the unverified information is true.

In this essay, for instance, Trần Quốc Vượng believes that the linguistic ideas that he puts forth help to prove the existence of the 15 tribes that are mentioned in “legends.” However, this is not true because his ideas do not answer any of the questions that surround the existing unverified information.

Saying that “Mê Linh” was actually the name of a bird, Mling, does not show us how this information could have been passed on orally for 1,000 years. It also does not explain why one medieval text refers to 15 “tribes” while another refers to 15 “regions.” And it doesn’t explain why some of those “tribes/regions” were named after place names that only came into existence during the Tang Dynasty.

Instead, Trần Quốc Vượng avoids all of these important issues, and develops his own ideas based on ungrounded assumptions.


This is thus not a “comprehensive applied approach” to studying the past. It is a “SELECTIVE applied approach” to studying the past (phương pháp vận dụng lựa chọn). Trần Quốc Vượng selects information that he wants to use, and then develops his ideas from that information.

What is a better way to look at these issues? First of all, it is necessary to demonstrate that an oral tradition can get passed down through time for 1,500 years before it is recorded. Such evidence does not exist for the Red River Delta, so a scholar would have to find evidence from some other part of the world to show that this is actually possible, and then use that evidence to say “while we don’t have evidence from the Red River Delta that these ‘legends’ were passed down orally for 1,500 years before they were recorded in writing, we do know that this happened in XXX, and therefore, it is theoretically possible that this could have happened in the Red River Delta as well.”

As for the “15 tribes,” modern Vietnamese scholars have pointed out how important archaeology is for understanding the past. This looks like a perfect issue for archaeology to explain. Have archaeologists found 15 different cultural complexes in the Red River Delta? Have they found evidence of 15 different totems in the Red River Delta?

If there is evidence from somewhere in the world that it is possible for a legend to get passed down for 1,500 years before it is written down, and if there is evidence from the archaeological record in the Red River Delta that there were 15 distinct groups in the first millennium BC, then we can definitely argue that the “legends” like the one Trần Quốc Vượng works with in this essay are based on some historical reality.

However, this is not what Trần Quốc Vượng does. Instead, he takes numerous assumptions – that there was a nation in the first millennium BC in the Red River Delta, that it contained 15 tribes, etc. – and then he creates his own ideas to “prove” that these assumed ideas are true.

This is not valid historical scholarship, because the ideas that Trần Quốc Vượng creates do not resolve any of the existing problems surrounding the ideas that he bases his own ideas upon. He simply ignores the true historical issues, and then makes up his own ideas.

This is the essay I’m referring to: Tu Truyen Thuyet, Ngu Ngon Den Lich Su.

The post I wrote below about a new and exciting history documentary that is being made has inspired me to move ahead with a project that I have long been thinking about – taking Le Minh Khai’s SEAsian History Blog to YouTube.

Increasingly I find that I turn to YouTube for materials to supplement my teaching. And while I can regularly find more and more historical footage from twentieth-century Southeast Asia that people have uploaded, there is very little academic information, or scholarly interpretations, on YouTube.

That’s not good, because YouTube is becoming as important to many people as a source of information as Wikipedia already is, so it is essential that scholars/academics have their voices heard on YouTube.

With that in my, in the weeks ahead (hopefully it won’t take months) I plan on launching a YouTube channel for Le Minh Khai’s SEAsian History Blog so that some of the views that get expressed on this blog can find a space to be heard on YouTube.

To give a taste of what’s to come. . . here is a “teaser.”

They call me Le Minh Khai and I love history,

I write it on a blog and read it on the screen,

But my eyes get so tired from reading those lines,

Sometimes I wish I could just recline,

Sit back and feel the groove,

And get my history from YouTube.

I usually refrain from “advertising” on this blog, but a project came to my attention today that I feel, for various reasons, that I simply have to “advertise.”

A few months ago I wrote about an Irishman (Laurence Carroll) who became a Buddhist monk in Burma (U Dhammaloka) in the early twentieth century. I wrote that piece based on the scholarship of a group of scholars.

One of those scholars pointed out to me today that there is an Irish filmmaker, Ian Lawton, who is attempting to make a documentary about this man (in collaboration with the scholars who have researched about U Dhammaloka).

dhammloka dana

How, however, can someone make a documentary about someone for whom there is very little documentary evidence, and absolutely no film footage? Ian Lawton is attempting to do this by combining animation (which he wants to employ someone to create) with footage of “talking heads” (i.e., experts).

From looking at the brief footage that Ian Lawton has already filmed, it’s clear to me that this man is creative, and has ideas about how an “historical documentary” can be presented in new and engaging ways.


So I’m really happy to learn about this project, and I have made a meager contribution to assist it. I do so because I believe that film/video is the future of knowledge.

This project on U Dhammaloka is one in which a professional filmmaker is working with a professional animator and academics. That is great, and we will always need works that are the product of such collaborations.

However, we also need to find a way for academics to produce their own videos on their own. Academics absolutely must enter the world of film/video, because that is the media of the future.

In the not too distant future, I hope to launch a video version of Le Minh Khai’s SEAsian History Blog. But I also encourage everyone to spread the news about this (more professional) U Dhammaloka documentary, and to contribute financially to it, if they have the means to do so.

Erin go Bragh, and let’s work together to move academia into the (HD) 21st century.

mini myna

on knowing the past in Singapore


Albert Einstein — 'What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.'


About Vietnamese Cultural History and Scholarship

Digital Southeast Asia

Ideas for employing digital humanities approaches to the study of Southeast Asian history


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