Weaving Life Across Borders: The Cham Muslim Migrants Traversing Vietnam and Malaysia

Angie Ngoc Tran


Focusing on the understudied Cham (Sunni) Muslims who live in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam, decades after Vietnam joined the market system, I found that they have sustained their century-old mobile ways of life— including retailing, fishing, and sewing—in close connection with the global Islamic community to make a living and to continue their religious studies. But a mixed picture emerges in their response to Vietnam’s labor export policy since 2002: practicing geographical agency with short-term successes but facing more risks as both men and women engage in extra local journeys, crossing borders into Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Continue reading

Nhận thức của giới nghiên cứu về thể chế chính trị miền Trung thời cổ trung đại


Tóm tắt: Bài viết này sẽ điểm lại những nghiên cứu liên quan đến thể chế chính trị của miền Trung Việt Nam thời kỳ cổ – trung đại, thông qua những nghiên cứu liên quan đến thể chế chính trị của vương quốc Champa, một cựu vương quốc đã từng tồn tại ở miền Trung Việt Nam. Bài viết này tập trung vào việc tổng hợp và phân tích những nghiên cứu đầu tiên, xoay quanh những quan điểm, tranh luận, phản biện về thể chế chính trị của vương quốc Champa như là một vương quốc theo kiểu tập quyền hay liên bang (hoặc liên hiệp). Sau đó, chúng tôi trình bày những công trình đề cập đến các quan điểm, phân tích và nghiên cứu về thể chế liên bang Champa khi ý tưởng về một chính thể liên bang đã được chấp thuận rộng rãi trong học giới. Những nghiên cứu về thể chế chính trị của liên bang Champa cũng giúp chúng ta có những tiếp cận tham chiếu nguồn gốc và những đặc thù của thể chế chính trị ở miền Trung thời kỳ Chúa Nguyễn.

Từ khóa: Champa, nghiên cứu, Champa học, thể chế liên bang, Mandala.

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ARI WPS 100 – The My Son and Po Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries: On the Cosmological Dualist Cult of the Champa Kingdom in Central Vietnam as Seen from Art and Anthropology

This paper is an attempt to detail the dualism observed in the cosmology of both the Cham monuments and contemporary Cham society. It first outlines the dualistic cults as represented in two royal sanctuaries, My Son in the north and Po Nagar Nha Trang in the south of the Champa kingdom. The My Son sanctuary was located in a deep valley surrounded by high mountain ranges and it was here that the god Bhadresvara/father/ mountain/areca were worshipped. On the other hand, the Po Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuary was located on a riverside hill near an estuary where the goddess Bhagavati/ Po Yang Inu Nagar/mother/sea/coconut were worshipped. Similar to the dualism observed in these two key sanctuaries of Champa, we can also observe cosmological dualism within contemporary Cham communities along the south central coast of Vietnam. The Cham people of this region are divided into two groups based on their religions. One group, called the Cham or Ba-la-mon (Brahmanists) are adherents of an indigenized form of Hinduism; the other group called Bani, are adherents of an indigenized form of Islam. The paper details the cosmological dualism within these communities. The study concludes by suggesting that cosmological dualism is a key concept for understanding Champa, elucidating both the structure of the kingdom in the past as well as the structure of contemporary Cham society.

Download this paper: ARI WPS 100 – The My Son and Po Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries On the Cosmological Dualist Cult of the Champa Kingdom in Central Vietnam as Seen from Art and Anthropology

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The Mongol Navy: Kublai Khan’s Invasions in Đại Việt and Champa

 Vu Hong Lien


During his campaign in southern China and following his final victory over the Southern Song in 1279, the Yuan Emperor Kublai Khan launched a series of naval campaigns to conquer East and Southeast Asia. The chain of attempted conquests began with Japan and ended with Java, and all ended in failure. Although Kublai Khan did not succeed, the Mongol intervention seriously affected the dynamics of the region and left long-lasting consequences. Most remarkable of all, the naval campaigns marked a dramatic change in the Mongol traditional warfare. Based on historical accounts by the Persian historian Rashid-al-Din, who had access to Kublai Khan’s papers, the Yuanshi, Vietnamese pro-Mongol documents, the Vietnamese official annals and analyses by modern historians, this Working Paper focuses on the series of crucial events that took place in the late thirteenth century, when the Mongols actively and violently interfered in Đại Việt and Champa. It highlights the first-ever failure of the Mongols worldwide in Đại Việt, a hitherto less known fact due to the lack of cross-study on the Mongols in the East and the West. As events gradually unfold, we can see why Kublai Khan paid such close attention to Southeast Asia, how the Mongol Navy was created, the Mongols’ own reaction to its function, and why they failed repeatedly in their attempts at expansion down the South China Sea/Bien Dong.

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Inrasara – Phu Tram

2Full name: Phú Trạm, pen name: Inrasara
[Inra: Cham transliteration of Sanskrit Indra, the god of Thunder; Sara: salt]

Inrasara was born on August 20th 1957, in the Cham town of Caklaing. His hometown is known as “Mỹ Nghiệp, Phước Dân” in Vietnamese, and is located in Ninh Phước District, to the south of Phan Rang, in Ninh Thuận Province, along the south-central Vietnamese coastline. In the late 1960s, he was a student at Po Klong High School in Ninh Thuận province, where he graduated from High School in 1969. He then went on to study at the University of Pedagogy in Ho Chi Minh City in 1977, although he left university a year later to wander in Cham villages. He began collecting Cham poems and folk tales. He read philosophy and composed poems in both Vietnamese and Cham language. After five years of independent work, he became employed as a Research for the Editorial Committee of Cham Textbooks-Ninh Thuận Province in 1982. After decades of work, his research skills became widely recognized. In 1992, Inrasara moved to the University of Social Sciences & Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, where he was employed as a Researcher at the Center for Vietnamese & Southeast Asian Studies. After six years at the university, however, he found that he was best left to his own devices as an independent scholar. Since 1998, he has thrived as a free writer and free thinker. He has published extensive poems in Vietnamese and Cham, along with numerous translations of Cham poetry into Vietnamese. He is renowned for his literary criticism, along with his research on Cham language and culture.
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Dr. Amandine Lepoutre

Dr. Amandine Lepoutre was born on November 26th, 1979 and currently lives in Lille, France.


From 1998 to 2000 Dr. Lepoutre attended the University of Charles de Gaulle, Lille 3, Villeneuve d’Ascq, where she received a DEUG in History, with foci in law and economy. Then, in June 2001 she also received a license in History, with a focus in archaeology, before following this study up with an MA in Medieval History in June 2002, also from University of Charles de Gaulle, Lille 3, Villeneuve d’Ascq. In September 2003 she earned a DESS in Southeast Asian Studies with foci in cooperation, development, and management, also from University of Charles de Gaulle, Lille 3, Villeneuve d’Ascq. The following year she entered the doctoral program in History and Philology at EPHE, in Paris, where she made rapid progress, and managed to defend her dissertation as of March 2010. She is fluent in English, has a reading knowledge of Eastern Cham Akhar Thrah script, and has a working knowledge of Sanskrit as well as Vietnamese. She is co-author with three others on the most recent multi-lingual epigraphic study of Cham inscriptions from the Museum of Cham Culture at Da Nang.

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