Historical fact: The Chams are an integral part of Vietnam

14/11/2016

In occasion of Ok Om Bok 2016, the biggest festival of the Cham people, the whole country eyes on the Cham as an integral part of Vietnam against hostile allegations. Let take a look at this issue.
The term Champa refers to a collection of independent Cham polities that extended across the coast of what is today central and southern Vietnam from approximately the 2nd century through 19th century (1832), before being absorbed and annexed by Vietnamese dynasties. The Chams of modern Vietnam and Cambodia are the remnants of this former kingdom. They speak Chamic languages, a subfamily of Malayo-Polynesian closely related to the Malayic and Bali–Sasak languages.
Champa was preceded in the region by a kingdom called Linyi (林邑, Lim Ip in Middle Chinese) or Lâm Ấp (Vietnamese) that was in existence from AD 192; the historical relationship between Linyi and Champa is not clear. Champa reached its apogee in the 9th and 10th centuries. Thereafter, it began a gradual decline under pressure from Đại Việt, the Vietnamese polity centred in the region of modern Hanoi. In 1832, the Vietnamese emperor Minh Mạng annexed the remaining Cham territories. It must say that this tendency of annexation is a normal proceeding in history from the East to the West of the world. 
Yes, it’s admitted that as many conquerers, after annexation, Vietnamese dynasties destroyed evidence of Cham culture and artifacts left behind, plundering or building on top of Cham temples, building farms over them, banning Cham religious practices, and omitting references to the destroyed Cham capital of Song Luy in the 1832 invasion in history books and tourist guides, feraed that would lead to the issue of Cham autonomy being brought into the dispute.
 The Vietnamese government nowadays has realized its mistake and tried to make up for the Cham. The government has implemented many measures to recover and protect the Cham and Cham’s legacy. Cham temples are still standing now in many provinces like Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Nha Trang, even My Son Holyland has been recognized as the UNESCO World heritage. Cham festivals are still celebrated and the traditional Hindu ceremonies and worship continue. Life’s passages, such as graduations, weddings, births and deaths, are still observed in accordance with the Hindu traditions. Along with the Balinese Hindus, the Cham Balamon represents the only remaining non-Indic populations of indigenous Hindus surviving today.
The Chams in Vietnam are a minority. There are about 162,000 in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Cham (also known as the Eastern Cham) follow Islam and a relative few follow Mahayana Buddhism, but the majority are Hindu. These are called the Balamon (Brahman) people. It is claimed that 70% of the Balamon people are classed as kshatriyas. The Cham live in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces. They also live in An Giang, Tay Ninh, Dong Nai provinces, and Ho Chi Minh City. Cham villages are scattered throughout two principal areas in the Republic of Vietnam: along the Cambodian border in Tay Ninh and Chau Doc Provinces and in the central lowlands along the eastern slope of the Annamite mountain chain in the provinces extending from Quang Ngai to Binh Tuy. The greatest number seems to be situated around Phan Thiet and Phan Ri in Binh Thuan Province and near Phan Rang in Ninh Thuan Province. Their life has been improved and stablized thanks to the State’s policies of supporting the Cham and Cham’s culture.
And, yes, it really happened anyway. Now, there are some individuals and groups which claim themselves as Cham activists to appeal for Cham autonomy and rebuild a Cham kingdom. Some typical individuals like Po Dharma, Thanh Dai, Hassan A Kasem, Ja Kathaut Lộ Trung Căn Abdul Karim, Vinh Thanh… The two extreme are Po Dharma and Thanh Dai.
Po Dharma, named Quang Van Du (or Quang Dai Du), born in 1945 (some documents say 1948) in Ninh Thuan province. He is a Cham expert on Cham history and culture. In Vietnam wars, he joined the FULRO in 1968, a extreme reactionary armed group against the government. After the defeat in April 1975, he crossed the border and lived exile abroad, first in France and now in America. With a paranoid of being leader of the Cham autonomy movement, together with other Cham activists, he established the Cham advocacy group International Office of Champa (IOC-Champa). The IOC-Champa and Cham Muslim activist Khaleelah Porome have slandered that both Hindu and Muslim Chams have experienced religious and ethnic persecution and restrictions on their faith under the current Vietnamese government, with the Vietnamese state confiscating Cham property and forbidding Cham from observing their religious beliefs. They have often gone to Washington DC to lobby Congress against Vietnamese through their distorted allegations.
 About “doctor” Thanh Dai, true name is Thanh Thanh Dai, born in 1964 in Ninh Thuan province and now lives in Sweden. In 1987, due to his Cham origin he was prioritized for scholarship to study in Ukraine, but after graduation, he did not come back and lived abroad. Abusing the issue of Cham autonomy, he took advantage of many overseas Cham for his own benefits. His plots and filthy activities have been exposed and condemned by many overseas Cham people and organizations such as website Anakhan Champa, HaRak Champaka…
It should be warned that these extreme individuals have just exploited the issue of Cham autonomy as a trick to benefit themselves, and people, especially Cham abroad should be aware of and do not support for their activities. People should look for true information and reality of Cham developments in Vietnam on many official sources and come back to the country to know the State’s policy of developing and promoting Cham culture. After all, the Chams are an integral part of Vietnam’s national solidarity./.
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 10 ]


Deck Hero14 17/11/16 10:31

I know the Cham Muslim self-claimed human rights activist Musa Porome and his daughter Khaleelah Porome live in America and illegally advocate for Cham rights against the Vietnamese government.

Pack Cassiopian 17/11/16 10:51

Although there are a few courageous efforts to protect and promote the rich traditions of Cham Hinduism, there is a long way to go.

Only Solidar 17/11/16 10:54

The Cham have traditionally been very religious and perform daily rituals to appease animistic spirits while also practicing Islam and Hinduism.

MaskOf Zero 17/11/16 10:55

In Vietnam the Cham live in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces. They also live in An Giang, Tay Ninh, Dong Nai provinces, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Love Peace 17/11/16 10:57

It's true the Cham is a unseparated part of Vietnam, we are all brothers.

yobro yobro 17/11/16 11:00

These events are chances for Cham artists, artisans and dignitaries to meet, exchange and share experience in conserving and promoting the cultural identity of Cham people in the community, strengthening the national solidarity bloc.

Jane smartnic 17/11/16 11:01

Ok-Om-Bok, a moon worshipping ritual performed by the Khmer ethnic group, is one of the three main events celebrated every year. Traditionally, the Khmer believe the moon is a deity who controls the weather and crops throughout the year.

LawrenceSamuels 17/11/16 11:03

Due to changes of the time, many valuable ancient bibliographies have been damaged and lost; therefore, numerous cultural lovers sought to preserve the Cham beauty and values.

Gentle Moon 17/11/16 11:06

As part of the government's efforts, the Research Centre for Cham Culture is continuing to take inventory of ancient bibliographies in Cham villages in order to set out measures to preserve best.

John Smith 17/11/16 11:08

The Cham culture makes up a beautiful variety of Vietnamese culture.

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