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By Wayne Mutza, Ernesto Cumpian, Don Greer

''''''AH-1 Cobra In motion

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Notice in Search of Burial Grounds 42. Trade Mark of Hanoi in the Early 1990s 43. Bui Suoi Hoa, Cheo Theater 44. Dinh Thi Tham Poong, The Stream 45. ~ TO OUR READERS The text you are going to read in the following pages does not show Vietnamese diacritics. I sincerely apologize for that omission. As Amazon Kindle platform does not support Vietnamese diacritics, I had to go through my manuscript and remove all of them, one by one. I did not mind the mindless work, were it not for the searing feeling I experienced each time I had to mutilate certain words or names.

They are, indeed before all else, “family” persons. They trust no one but close relatives. Never mind countless cases of siblings swindling siblings, parents betraying their progeny, relatives cheating relatives, the Vietnamese still placed full confidence in their kin. In the past, it was common practice to bestow the ruling family names to people the kings wanted to cultivate their loyalty and thereby make them members of the royal family. However, if there were capable people within the family, they were to be preferred to all others.

Its water fertilizes and irrigates thousands of acres of rice fields, while its floods --almost an annual occurrence-- are legendary for ravaging entire provinces of North Vietnam. In order to prevent the river from overflowing out of its bed, the Vietnamese people have learned to build dikes over long stretches of the riverbanks. According to some scholars, these works of water control required such concerted effort that a centralized authority emerged early enough in the history of Vietnam and a unitary state --characterized by some as a hydraulic state-- was the ultimate outcome of the common struggle against natural calamities.

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