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The Silence of Vietnam

Rice paddy (lua) near Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Rice paddy (lua) near Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Rice paddy (lua) near Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

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  • Image © 2007 Bruce Kivi

While traveling in Vietnam I had time away from the chaos and clutter of the cities. Saigon, Hanoi, all the cities there are a beehive of commerce and excitement. When you get away from the cites, even a short distance, you find a quiet that is unlike any other I have known.

It is said that "there is no space so empty as that which was occupied by a tree just fallen". This is the feeling I had in Vietnam while in the quiet of the countryside. It is not just a quiet that occurs when there is less traffic, less people...it is the quiet of a country free now, after decades, from the awful echoes of war and death.

To be in a country which has know only pain, anger, death for so long which only now is beginning to free itself of this dark cloud is an experience which touched my soul. To be sitting in an outdoor cafe, under a perfect sky on a perfect day and imagine what it was like not so long ago. The thunder and death raining down from the sky. The terror when someone approach's the door. No more, no more, never again. Fear not, it will never return. The nightmare is over children of Vietnam. Your world is safe now. Heal your wounds, build your country, your life, your future and the future of all your people.

The silence, the peace in a place so long wracked by war...can move you to tears. Go into the countryside of Vietnam, anywhere, and listen. The silence of peace at last, it is a palpable feeling, like no other...

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Published on 1/10/07

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