Tet, the Year of the Snake

On our trip along the coast of the South China Sea, we reached Danang, where US Marine battalions landed in 1965, inaugurating  full scale ground combat in Viet Nam. Except for the government's efforts to keep the war alive in the minds of the citizens, there seems to be no visible animosity to Americans we could see. Efforts are underway here to expand the port facilities which had been heavily damaged in the war. The principal occupations , fishing and rice farming, are risky and not very remunerative. They are also boring to young people who are flocking to cities, even as unemployment remains high (one estimate is about 15% which is high in a country where 70% of the population are self-employed fishermen and farmers). To ease pressure on Hanoi and Hoi Chi Minh City (Saigon, as it still is largely known to Vietnamese), the government would like to expand Danang.  In Viet Nam, Tet, the lunar New Year is an important three day holiday. (Among the Chinese communities it is...(Read Full Article)