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VN admits that it is occupying Khmer lands where a city was built since 892 CE?

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Khmer pagodas of the Mekong Delta25 January, 2008
Thanh Nien News (Hanoi)Archeologists have, however, discovered a stone stele engraved with Sanskrit words saying Vinh Hung was built in 892 CE.”Seven kilometers southeast of Bac Lieu Town in the province of the same name is Xiem Can, a century-old pagoda with unique architecture and festivals that is at the center of Khmer Buddhist culture. It has a stupa containing the ashes of monks, monks’ living quarters, and other small temples.The pagoda also boasts a multi-layered roof and a pointed top that adds to its height and solemnity.Inside the sanctum, the Great Buddha statues in various poses and sizes represent the Buddha’s reincarnation in several eras.Reliefs on the pillars represent the religions philosophies of the Khmer living in the Mekong Delta.Xiem Can resembles Angkor Wat somewhat from the architecture on its dome, stairs, and walls.The walls of the pagoda’s main hall are covered in pictures showing the Buddha’s life from birth – as Prince Gautama, life in the palace, renunciation of his royal life, and becoming the Buddha.Inside, visitors have to take off their hats and shoes.Cultural centerXiem Can also doubles as a hub of ethnic Khmer culture, offering classes in Khmer and Pali, an ancient Indian language.The pagoda moreover is a storehouse of Khmer folk stories.During major Khmer festivals like Ok Om Bok (The Moon Prayer Festival on April 13), Chol Chnam Thmay (New Year, April 12-15), and Don Ta (“Amnesty” Festival for the Dead, October 12-14), Xiem Can pagoda is filled with visitors who come to pray for luck and happiness as well as to celebrate.Bac Lieu Province is home to another famous site – Vinh Hung ancient tower built by the Oc Eo Culture that flourished in the southern region of present-day Vietnam in the second and third centuries BCE.The tower is in the middle of a swamp in Vinh Loi District.It remains a mystery as to who built it and for what purpose.Archeologists have, however, discovered a stone stele engraved with Sanskrit words saying Vinh Hung was built in 892 CE.The tower measures 5.6 m by 6.9 m at the foot and is 8.9 m high.It is built of three sizes of bricks – small ones for the top, medium-sized for the middle, and large for the foot.Intriguingly, the bricks are held together by an unknown substance and not mortar.Vinh Hung’s materials and architecture are the same as in other towers in the central region built by another Indic civilization, the Champa.The 1,000 square meter tower may have survived immersion in rice paddy water for centuries – its rear is in good condition but the front and the top are slightly damaged – but it remains little-known among either local or foreign tourists.Excavations and restoration have been going on at the site since 2002.   They have unearthed hundreds of relics like bronze statues, potteries, and yoni – representation of the female genitals – as well as Buddha statues. Vinh Hung’s interior also has a deity’s hands and a Brahma idol made of bronze.Reported by Diem Thu

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Written by Kolbot Khmer

February 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm

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