Tag Archives: history

Oh, Saigon! It was a name familiar to those of us who grew up in the West: first as an exotic part of France’s colonial empire, until – as Saïgon – it achieved a hard-won independence in 1955, and then as a component of the evening news for its pivotal role in the Vietnam War; the city now known as Ho Chi Minh (HCM) has been at a […]

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In Bali, rice is synonymous with food. The word nasi (rice) also means “meal” in Bahasa Indonesia, the lingua franca of the region.  But, rice is so much more than that: it is an integral part of the Balinese culture. This little Indonesian island has been inhabited by Southeast Asian Austronesian people since at least 2000 BCE. From around the 1st century CE., […]

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Lucerne has history. Of course, every place has a history. But – as is the case across Europe – so much of Lucerne’s history is still present in the wood, the stones, and the brickwork of the Old City. Lucerne also has scenery: sitting on Lake Lucerne where the Reuss runs into it, and surrounded by mountains – including Rigi and Pilatus – Lucerne […]

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My husband was born in Passau, Germany. Or, so they tell him; he doesn’t actually remember. It is named as his birthplace on his papers, which always causes some consternation at border-crossings, because he has a Hungarian name and an American passport. His parents escaped from Hungary after the Soviet Red Army invaded in September 1944. Some years later, when my husband was five, they emigrated to the USA with […]

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Irony: the future of the little city of Hội An has literally been saved by it’s own past demise. Hội An (會安) means “peaceful meeting place”. Once upon a time, particularly between the seventh and 10th centuries, this strategic port near the mouth of the Thu Bon River was part of the Chăm Pa Kingdom (192-1832). The Cham, who were seafarers and traders, controlled the spice […]

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