05/09/2006 — 16:51(GMT+7)

Ha Noi (VNA) – More than 300 paintings and 50 short stories chosen from thousands of entries by street children are being displayed in an exhibition on joint social security efforts by the Vietnamese Government and the European Commission (EC).

The exhibition, entitled "East and West, Home is Best," kicked off on May 9 in Ha Noi and was organised under a cooperation project between the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs and the EC.

On display were the best chosen from a painting and writing competition held by the Support Street Children Project, which drew the participation of street children from 10 cities and provinces in Viet Nam. 

The participants described their aspirations to have their own homes as well as the dangers they faced when wandering the streets.

Addressing the exhibition's opening ceremony, Dam Huu Dac, Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said the project had a comprehensive impact because the beneficiaries include the street children themselves, their families and the community. 

Markus Cornaro, Head of the EC Mission to Viet Nam, expressed hope that there will be more families and street children in particular benefiting from the project in its next 16 months in operation.

The exhibition was held on the occasion of "European Day" (May 9) and will last until May 13. It aims to enhance the community's awareness of the street children and efforts in social activities for their security in Viet Nam. -Enditem


Vietnamese-French TV anchor and singer Marjolaine Bui-The has taken the plunge as an actress and is shooting for her first film in Ho Chi Minh City.

The presenter of Greg le Millionnaire, one of the most popular programs on the leading French channel TFI, is starring in a film made by expatriate Vietnamese director Othello Khanh for which shooting started last week.

The 25-year-old acts as Vanessa in Saigon Eclipse, a film based on the Story of Kieu, an epic Vietnamese poem written by Nguyen Du in the early 19th century. It deals with a worrying phenomenon in the Vietnam of today: trafficking of women.

The film narrates the tale of Kieu (played by Truong Ngoc Anh), a beautiful and talented actress, who is making a film with Kim (Dustin Nguyen), a hot young Hollywood director who returns to his native Vietnam to become a part of the new wave of Vietnamese cinema.

The film is produced by Kieu's uncle Henry and her mother Tu (Nhu Quynh). The fragile family balance is disrupted when Kieu falls in love with Kim and Henry loses all at the gambling tables.

Enter Vanessa, a foreign beauty, who is hired to be Kieu's stand-in, and heads begin to turn in her direction more than they should. She also becomes Kieu's best friend.

Henry resorts to shady ways to pay off his debts and the story plunges into the murky realm of human trafficking.

Bui-The told Thanh Nien that Vanessa bore many resemblances to her real life – she too is a Westerner of Vietnamese origin who goes back to her roots and discovers interesting things there.

Born and brought up in France, she is also a singer who has signed an exclusive one-year deal with Sony Music and released her first album Geisha last year.

The beauty, whose parents are Vietnamese, said Sony Music recently proposed an extension of the contract but she had decided to temporarily stop singing to concentrate on the film in Vietnam.

After Saigon Eclipse she plans to continue her film career but declined to comment on her plans.

Reported by Tram Anh – Translated by Thu Thuy

Last Updated: dayarray = new Array(“Sunday”, “Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday”, “Thursday”, “Friday”,”Saturday”); montharray = new Array(“January”, “February”, “March”, “April”,”May”, “June”, “July”, “August”, “September”, “October”, “November”, “December”); todaysDate = new Date(“May 12, 2006 21:37:43”); document.write(dayarray[todaysDate.getDay()] + “, ” + montharray[todaysDate.getMonth()] + ” ” + todaysDate.getDate() + “, “); //if (todaysDate.getYear() Friday, May 12, 2006 21:37:43 Vietnam (GMT+07)

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Huynh Hong Son (C)  

The police’s attention has now turned to three other footballers in the Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) bribery scam in which the club allegedly ‘bought’ the 2000-01 V-League title.

One of them is Bui Xuan Thuy, a Saigon Port FC player, while the identity of the other two, from Da Nang and SLNA clubs, has not yet been revealed.

The police said Truong Tan Hai, arrested last year, hhad fingered Thuy for taking a bribe of VND30 million (US$1,900) from SLNA official Nguyen Huu Thang.

On Friday in Hanoi they asked Thuy to explain the allegations but did not reveal if he admitted anything.

Earlier this week, the police arrested two Saigon Port footballers Huynh Hong Son and Ho Van Loi also for bribery over the match-fixing scam.

So far, 11 people have been indicted for bribery, including five officials – Nguyen Hoang Thu, former director of sport in the central Nghe An province; Nguyen Hong Thanh, former SLNA managing director; Nguyen Thanh Vinh, SLNA head coach; Nguyen Huu Thang and Nguyen Xuan Vinh, SLNA assistant coaches; and six footballers, Truong Tan Hai, Huynh Hong Son, Ho Van Loi, Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Chuong, Nguyen Van Phung, and Bui Xuan Thuy.

Six of the 11 are in prison in Ha Tay province near Hanoi pending investigation.

In 2000-01 Thang allegedly bribed many footballers from Saigon Port, Song Da Nam Dinh, and HCMC Police for throwing games and enabling SLNA to win the title.

Reported by Viet Chien, Kap Thanh Long – Translated by Minh Phat

11:40' 20/04/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: AM 756993 gửi đến 996 để nhận ảnh này
Ao dai designed by Si Hoang.

VietNamNet – A programme on Vietnamese Ao Dai (traditional dress), with exhibition, conference and fashion show, will take place in

San Jose, California from April 18 to July 7.


The program Ao Dai: A Modern Design Coming of Age, organised by the Association of Vietnam Art (AVA) in San Jose, will focus on the history and role of ao dai in Vietnamese culture.


Fashion designers, professors and collectors in the US, such as Kieu Linh Valverde, Monica Tran, Le Phương Thao, and Chloe Dao, winner of the design contest at Bravo TV's Project Runway in New York recently, will join the event.


From Vietnam, collectors Trinh Bach, Ngo Viet Nam Son, and designers Sy Hoang, Minh Hanh, Le Minh Khoa will bring collections.


This is the biggest cultural event on ao dai in the US, under organisers and sponsors AVA, San Jose Blanket and Weaving Museum, Applied Materials, Piercey Toyota, Union Bank of California, Southwest Airlines and the San Jose Council.


According to organisers, participants will focus on the story of ao dai from the 18th century, looking at the 1930s under the Nguyen Dynasty, and its development and use in the 20th century, both in Vietnam and around the world.


According to designers, ao dai is a bridge linking culture, sentiment and economy between the Vietnamese community in Vietnam and the world.


“Vietnamese ao dai’s role is not aesthetic only. It is an ambassador of Vietnamese culture, history and tradition, on the way to integrate to the world. Its appearance in Hollywood and Paris, as artworks of prestigious fashion designers as Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Claude Montana and Richard Tyler, is strong evidence for its strength.” Organisers said.


(Source: TN)


HCM CITY — Two American actors currently working with HCM City artists are swamping the traditional setting for Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s most famous play, for a modern Vietnamese one.

American director Mark Woollet and actress Candace Clift have been working with the city’s Theatre and Cinematography College since early April on a new production of the play.

Based in Lenox, Massachusetts at Shakespeare and Company, the two Americans specialise in training and educating directors, actresses and actors who regularly perform Shakespeare plays.

"Our experiment will combine Western and Eastern culture," Woollet said.

The play as staged in Viet Nam will use indigenous nha nhac (royal court music performed under the Nguyen Dynasty) and feature ao dai (Vietnamese long dress) and ao tu than (a four-panel traditional dress).

Woollet said that other features of Vietnamese culture would be included in the play to make the play even more relevant to local audiences.

Lan Huong, who plays Juliet, said she was able to learn more about Shakespeare through this new adaptation.

Ha Quang Van, head of HCM City’s Theatre and Cinematography College, said the play had often been performed in Viet Nam in the Western style with a Vietnamese director.

"This is the first Romeo and Juliet to feature Vietnamese culture and to be arranged by an American director. It promises to be fresh and interesting," Van added.

More than 20 students from the college will perform in the play. — VNS

Project Ao Dai

May 18, 2006

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chloe Dao, the winner of the second season of "Project Runway" on Bravo, made two appearances this weekend at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles to promote its new exhibition "Ao Dai: A Modern Design Coming of Age."

Dao, a sponsor of the exhibition, flew to San Jose from Houston with her mother, Luong Thuc Hue. At Saturday night's VIP reception, Chloe toured the exhibit of intricately detailed Vietnamese garments and answered questions from the guests, who paid $50 apiece for the event. She talked about her upcoming plans, her thoughts on the ao dai exhibition and who she's kept in contact with from "Project Runway."

Dao said she hasn't made an ao dai, but had wanted to make one for the weekend in San Jose. "I wanted to make my own interpretation, but I ran out of time," she said. Her mother, however, was wearing an ao dai she designed herself.

Of her "Project Runway" competitors, she said she still talks to Emmett McCarthy, Diana Eng, Nick Verreos and fellow finalist Daniel Vosovic. What about design diva Santino Rice, who was also a finalist at Fashion Week in New York? "I have Santino's number, but I haven't called him yet," Chloe said.

What's coming up for her? She hasn't done another collection since the showe ended but wants to get to one in the next year or so. Smiling, she said she also hasn't gotten her "Project Runway" winnings and hopes she gets her money and her car soon.

April 26, 2006

Rarely have I been to an exhibit where the museum guests were wearing the same article of clothing as was on display. (Well, usually i don't go to exhibits where the art is wearable, that's true, too.)

But not so last weekend in San Jose, where I kept taking sneak peaks at the women and girls running around in ao dai (pronounced "ow yie" or "ow zie") –many of which were equally beautiful, if less ornate, than the pieces on show.

I have to say, the ao dai is the ideal outfit. The long tunic is form fitting enough to give you shape but covers up a host of figure faults, and the loose pants underneath mean you can ride bikes, squat, do high kicks, or conquer the world a la Katherine Hepburn, but Asian style.

I'm a skirt girl, not just because my fundamentalist Christian elementary school required dresses everyday. No, because I have such trouble finding pants that fit. and jeans? forget it. But when it's cold (can't wear snowpants under the skirt anymore, like in Kansas) sometimes you just want a little more. That's where the ao dai would be perfect.

However, you won't see me sporting one anytime soon. Why? Because I would feel like it's 1) cultural misappropriation or 2) fetishizing / calling attention to my Asian-ness in my workplace that is almost entirely white (not to mention confusing them with the whole Chinese vs. Vietnamese vs. Japanese thing [a lot of people think i'm japanese even though i'm Chinese American –it's a long story]).

I've been accused of being too literal, and perhaps it's true. I don't have a problem eating Vietnamese food or hanging Lao art on my walls, but I guess clothing is a claim of identity. Am I taking it too seriously to feel that I'd be pretending to be something that I'm not? Or, perhaps worse, "dressing up" as Vietnamese, as if it were a Halloween costume?

There was a white woman and her daughter at the exhibit wearing matching ao dai and I couldn't stop looking at them either, trying to figure out what they were about. Had they lived in Vietnam, did they hang out with the Vietnamese community, did they in fact have a "right" to be wearing one?

And I know, how ridiculous is that? How can you go around judging and drawing lines as to who can wear what? But after seeing so many people running around with chinese character tattoos, people ordering "chai tea," creepy men extolling the virtues of Asian women, you just start to be a little skeezed out by stuff like that. Very scientific analysis, skeezed out.

But I digress. I wanted to tell you that the exhibit, held for the next 3 months at the San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum, is definitely worth a trip. Even better if you stop for some pho on your way (i hear SJ's got the best in the bay area).

I like exhibits of things that are usable, or used… Things that were held in people's hands, absorbed their smells or held their food or ink or babies. And this is that kind of exhibit –you can see how tiny some of the women were, how meticulously their garments were sewn, and the crazy ways they've been adapted –with Indian quiliting techniques, as above, with ruffles and lace in the Victorian era, or with the psychedelic prints of the 60s. it's a small exhibit, but has an impressive range.

They've also got a menu of lectures through June, if you go for that kind of stuff. Find out more by clicking here.

Posted by jennifer at April 26, 2006 10:47 AM

By Kevin Mulqueen
(Filed: 17/05/2006)

Pham Ngu Lao: the backpackers' area of Saigon, a magnet for foreign tourists and local expats like myself.

After sunset, the streets are filled with hawkers and hustlers of every kind: from teenage girls selling copies of The Quiet American to phony beggar-women clasping sedated babies. Young Brits and Americans, revelling in the warmth and freedom of Vietnam, pack the bars and souvenir shops. The prices are irresistibly cheap: 9,000 dong (60 cents) for a bottle of Tiger, $2 for a lacquerware plate. But there is more to Pham Ngu Lao than ambience, beer and souvenirs; for some of us the main attraction is movies and music.

All over Saigon, pirate CDs and DVDs are for sale. It would be wrong to say there is a flourishing black market for them, because they are sold openly. Occasionally there is a token police raid, and a shop is stripped of its illicit wares, but a couple of days later it's business as usual. A backhander has been paid, and the police will not return for a long time.

The epicentre of musical and filmic piracy in Saigon is Pham Ngu Lao. The shop I go to sells a CD for 10,000 dong (65 cents) and a DVD for 16,000 ($1). There is a huge range of music CDs, from the latest hip-hop to Tchaikovsky to John Coltrane. CDs are crudely packaged, often with no information as to track titles or personnel; but for 10,000 dong who cares? The missing info can easily be found on the internet.

All over Saigon, pirate CDs and DVDs are for sale

People these days seem to be more interested in DVDs than CDs. My shop stocks all the latest Hollywood movies. Brokeback Mountain was on sale just a few days after its general release, but, as always with instant copies, the quality was poor. Now, several months later, you can buy the superior pirate version, indistinguishable from the original.

There are boxed sets of the complete X-Files (68 discs for $68), The Office and Star Trek. In short supply, alas, are classic old movies – probably because there is no demand for them, except by me. Every so often, though, my heart skips a beat as I pluck a pearl from among the Hollywood dross – David Lean's Great Expectations or Vittorio de Sica's Bicycle Thieves.

A Vietnamese pirate disc – CD or DVD – is either home-produced or imported from China. Being so ridiculously cheap, it is, of course, inferior to a legally manufactured disc, but only in terms of packaging and durability. For a short time it will play perfectly well. And then, six days or six months later, when the plastic coating has deteriorated, you will have to squander a whole dollar on a new one. The golden rule is: buy silver discs, which may last several years, and avoid blue discs, which wear out quickly.

The short-lived pirate DVDs of Saigon have, apart from their price, one distinct advantage over US or European originals: they come with subtitles in a variety of languages, including English.

What about the ethics of buying pirate merchandise? Isn't it morally wrong to buy an illegally copied DVD? Personally, I have no qualms about it. The pirates of Saigon are making a tidy sum from their illicit trade, but they are not millionaires. By contrast, the giant music and movie corporations of the West are making vast fortunes, and any money they lose to piracy is relatively insignificant. By selling pirate discs, many Vietnamese families manage to keep their heads above water.

For a music and movie-lover like myself, Saigon is close to heaven. However, according to some authorities, the days of dirt-cheap CDs and DVDs are numbered. Bill Gates visited Vietnam in April, he discussed piracy with the country's leaders. In July, apparently, piracy will be outlawed.

I'm not worried. Even if the government cracks down hard on illicit DVDs and CDs, the street traders of Pham Ngu Lao will carry on selling them. They will find a way. The police, who are paid such paltry wages, will carry on accepting backhanders. And I will carry on buying cheap copies of old cowboy movies and jazz concerts by Thelonious Monk.

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ZNet | Asia

by Nguyen Ngoc and Aaron Glantz; Asia Times; May 16, 2006

    [The American war in Southeast Asia featured the most widespread use of chemical warfare since World War I. Earlier, the British had resorted to chemicals in their colonies, Italy did so in Ethiopia, and Japan in China in the 1930s and 1940s. These were lethal chemicals where the Americans thought theirs were not. Iraq in the 1980s made the largest-scale known use of lethal chemical weapons in its Iran war and against its Kurdish minority. But two elements distinguished the U.S. effort in Vietnam. First, massive quantities of these chemicals were used, as the below article makes clear. The amounts cited are equivalent to roughly 60,000 tons of chemical agent. By comparison, in the 1972 Christmas Bombing of North Vietnam, which some hold to be the decisive air campaign of the war, and including both B-52 bombers and tactical aircraft, the Nixon administration loosed some 36,000 tons of munitions over Hanoi and its environs.


    The Christmas Bombing of Hanoi


    Second, the Americans resorted to chemicals with poorly understood effects. The main defoliants utilized by the U.S. in the Vietnam War, Agents Purple, Blue — and, best known — Agent Orange, contained ingredients found to be carcinogenic in studies by the U.S. National Cancer Institute in 1969 and subsequently banned from use in the United States.


    There were two main propagating methods for the defoliant chemicals used in the Vietnam War. Operation Ranch Hand, which has garnered the most attention, was an aerial spraying initiative begun on an experimental basis in January 1962 and continued until January 7, 1971, though in its last years on a greatly reduced basis. In 1967, its peak year, Ranch Hand defoliated 1.2 million acres of land and dispensed 4.8 million gallons of chemicals. The other technique used vehicles and manual dispensers to defoliate land surrounding military bases, villages, and roads.


    Manufacturers of these chemicals in the U.S. acknowledge no responsibility, but reached an out-of-court settlement with American veterans' groups as long ago as 1984, and the Veterans Administration in the United States awards disability status for validated claims of Agent Orange exposure. No doubt it is due to the huge liabilities that might flow from a successful claim that the chemical companies have so long resisted Vietnamese efforts to obtain similar redress. In the article here, Ngoc Nguyen and Aaron Glantz show some of the personal and societal consequences of the chemical war in Vietnam. ~John Prados]


    HANOI — Vietnam, which is bidding for World Trade Organization membership and is already signatory to a trade deal with its former nemesis in Washington, is still grappling with the huge social and economic consequences of its military conflict with the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.


    The legacy of the United States' use of Agent Orange tops that list. From 1962 to 1971, the US military dumped an estimated 83 million liters of highly toxic herbicides, including Agent Orange, mostly over Vietnam but also Laos and Cambodia, in an attempt to flush out jungle-covered guerrilla fighters. Agent Orange contained trace amounts of dioxin, a toxic substance known to cause cancer in humans at high doses.


    A group of alleged Vietnamese victims are the first to seek legal redress and compensation from the US companies, namely Dow Chemical and Monsanto Corp, that then manufactured the chemical. In their complaint filed in New York, they claimed the defoliant had caused widespread birth defects, miscarriages, diabetes and cancer, and should be considered a war crime against millions of Vietnamese.

    The chemical companies, for their part, have maintained that no such scientific link has ever been proved, and that the US government, not the companies, should be held responsible for how the chemical was deployed.


    A US judge this month threw out the case against the companies, ruling that there was no legal basis for the alleged victims' claims. The court had come under heavy lobbying from the US Justice Department to rule against the plaintiffs, because of Washington's fears of the legal precedent it would set in other countries ravaged by US military interventions.


    The Vietnamese veterans' association has appealed the ruling, and hearings in that appeal are to commence next month.


    The case is widely viewed as an important expression for Vietnam's still small but increasingly assertive grassroots movements. In Hanoi, an international conference this month examined the social impacts of the wartime herbicide — a meeting that probably wouldn't have been possible without government support just a few years ago. Until now, research on the effects of the chemical has focused primarily on science that proves a link between dioxin exposure and numerous diseases.


    The veterans' group points to thousands of documented cases of birth defects. Consider the case of Nguyen Thi Thuy, who left her village when she was 22 to help build roads for the North Vietnamese Army during the war. She remembers crawling into tunnels during the day and covering her mouth with a wet rag when the US military sprayed the landscape with defoliant.


    'I didn't know what it was then, but it was white,' she recalled. 'The sky and earth were scorched. The earth had lost all its greenery. We didn't know it was Agent Orange at that time.'


    Thuy returned home in 1975 and started a family. 'When my daughter was born, everyone could see through her stomach,' said Thuy. 'It was like looking through translucent paper. You could see her intestines and liver. She died several hours later.'


    Thuy had two more children — one was normal and the other developmentally disabled — but she would keep her guilt, shame and pain to herself until 2002. At a gathering of female veterans of the Vietnam War, she met others who had suffered miscarriages and had given birth to malformed babies.


    Thuy is one of the lucky ones. Most Vietnamese people exposed to Agent Orange receive little or no specialized health care from the government. Thuy is one of only a hundred victims receiving treatment at Friendship Village, a clinic 20 kilometers outside Hanoi funded by American and other foreign veterans of the war.


    The Vietnamese government, which for decades publicly documented the impact of Agent Orange on civilian populations at its War Crimes Museum in Hanoi, recently toned down the exhibition in line with a warming trend in relations with Washington.


    However, where the Vietnamese government has gone quiet, grassroots movements are taking up the cause with renewed vigor. In 2004, the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange sued 36 US companies that manufactured and supplied the defoliant during the war.


    Thuy's story resembles many of the personal stories documented by researchers at the Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development. The grassroots group is working to bring more and more people's stories out of the war's shadow. 'Nowadays, people talk more about Agent Orange, because we have the lawsuit,' said Pham Kim Ngoc, deputy director of the non-governmental group, which organized last month's two-day conference.


    Environmental scientist Vo Quy, a consultant on the lawsuit who traveled to central and south Vietnam in 1970 and 1974 to study the impacts of Agent Orange, said he found victims suffering silently. 'In Vietnam, people with deformed children [fear] that neighbors [would] believe the family did something immoral in order to have deformed children — to have compassion for children, they didn't tell anyone,' said Quy.


    Quy continued: 'If they say their children were exposed to Agent Orange, then the stigma will transfer to children and they would not be able to get married, so they hid it. The government did not want to publicize it, because the victims had suffered enough. If people knew about Agent Orange-related illnesses, later the victims would suffer more stigma and shame.'


    Tran Thi Hoa served from 1973 to 1976 and spent one year in Laos. After her service, she returned home, but never married. The 51-year-old seamstress said she always thought about work and never thought about finding a husband. Now, she's afraid she'll have no one to care for her when her parents die.


    'After I was discharged, I was healthy,' recalled Hoa tearfully. 'It wasn't until 27 years later that I started to get sick and my hands and feet started to curl outward and shrivel up. Before, my hands and feet were not like this. I was able to work, but now I can't. I can't even take care of myself.'


    As more Vietnamese become aware of the consequences of Agent Orange, they are voicing their experiences and expressing their expectations and needs through global channels.


    Hoa said she'd like to receive compensation so she can hire an attendant to take care of her for the rest of her life. Thuy, meanwhile, wants to know who will take care of her disabled children when she's gone. And there are tens of thousands of other questions Vietnamese are just now finding the voice to ask their former US adversaries.



    This article appeared in Asia Times on March 20, 2006. Aaron Glantz is a reporter for Pacific Radio and author of How America Lost Iraq. John Prados is a senior analyst with the National Security Archive. His recent books are Hoodwinked: The Documents that Show How Bush Sold Us a War and Inside the Pentagon Papers.

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Yen Do, who worked for American reporters in Vietnam, founded a Vietnamese newspaper in California.

May 17, 2006

By SETH MYDANS, International Herald Tribune           

WESTMINSTER, Calif. — Even on his sickbed, Yen Do pushed himself forward, taking one more stab at mastering English grammar.

"I have returned to grammar 10 times," said Mr. Do, the founder of the country's oldest and largest Vietnamese-language newspaper. "Every year I returned to learn grammar. It became a bad habit."

Now it appears that grammar will elude him. At 64 he is weakening from kidney failure, diabetes and other ailments. Willpower may no longer be enough.

It has been a life created through sheer determination, following the arc of Vietnamese-American history from war to escape to renewal in an alien world.

Mr. Do was among the first refugees to arrive when Saigon fell in 1975 and soon began to publish a newspaper that helped define the refugee experience. With his newspaper, Nguoi Viet Daily News, Mr. Do, a courtly, cerebral man, became the steady, moderating core of this hyperactive refugee community known as Little Saigon.

He was the quintessential émigré editor, trying to bridge old and new cultures and seeming sometimes to infuriate almost everybody with his insistence on tolerance and even-handedness.

Mr. Do has been threatened, harassed and berated by groups who are still consumed by a war that in their minds has never ended.

There are now nearly 200,000 ethnic Vietnamese in Orange County, most of them living around the cluster of towns known as Little Saigon, 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Like other communities of immigrant refugees, Little Saigon seethes with feuds and factions.

In the intense early years, five Vietnamese-American journalists were killed in the United States, apparently by a radical anti-communist group. Mr. Do chose not to visit his mother in Vietnam before she died, fearing reprisals from those who oppose any contact with the country they had fled.

"They continue to fight with each other," he said of the Vietnamese refugees in an interview before his illness became critical.

"Many don't know how to deal with each other in peacetime," he said. "We need to educate them step by step to be part of the larger community. But to expect some of them to behave like normal immigrants, no way."

Mr. Do tried to lead by example. When new refugees arrived he sometimes gave them work to tide them over. If a would-be writer brought in a freelance article, he said, he paid for it even if he did not plan to use it.

And in offering benefits to the staff, he said: "I don't consider seniority. The more people are newcomers, the more they need help. It's not all about money."

From its start in 1978 as a four-page weekly, when shellshocked refugee families were flooding into the country, the paper's motto has been "Working together to survive."

In Little Saigon, the Vietnamese past is rooted in place, but an American future is transforming it into something increasingly different from its namesake. Mr. Do is himself an artifact of the past, and in his own family and newspaper he has participated in that transformation.

At its start, the paper was filled with news from home as well as with crucial how-to's about welfare, driver's licenses, insurance, mortgages and parent-teacher conferences. It has swelled into a full-color daily with a circulation of nearly 18,000 that has spawned a magazine, a radio station and the Vietnamese yellow pages.

Mr. Do continued giving away stock options in the paper, reducing rates on death notices for the poor, providing lunches to his staff for just $20 a month, hiring out-of-work artists and writers and even giving thousands of dollars in seed money to those who wanted to start rival publications. Nguoi Viet also rents space in its building to other media operations.

As his health has failed him, his daughter, Anh Do, 39, a journalist trained in American-style objectivity, has played an increasing role at the newspaper he built.

A columnist at The Orange County Register, Ms. Do is also chief financial officer of Nguoi Viet and editor of Nguoi Viet 2, a new English-language weekly section intended for her own generation of Americanized Vietnamese.

"The young generation brings change, that's the happy part of the story," the father said. "They change by refusing to copy the older generation."

His daughter's career has been with American newspapers, which do not share Nguoi Viet's tangled culture of mutual help, flexible rules and the imperatives of long-running friendships and enmities.

"She considers almost everyone the same," Mr. Do said, describing the culture clash. "That's what she has been taught in this society: give and take, fair is fair. I take the community approach. We treat newcomers more gently than oldcomers. That's fair."

His daughter said she relishes the debates she has with her father over the different paths they take toward what she called their "shared goal — to empower our community."

"I often see things in black and white, especially in the beginning," she said. "Now I'm more flexible, but I think it's still important to adapt modern American management to a traditional Vietnamese company."

The son of a funeral flower-shop owner, Mr. Do was caught up in politics in elementary school, "following along" on demonstrations against Vietnam's French colonial rulers.

In his teens he became a leader of the protests until he was arrested, briefly jailed and expelled from high school — a trauma that can still bring tears to his eyes.

He spent the next years educating himself in libraries and was politically active again until he became disillusioned by the manipulation of idealistic students and religious groups.

"Finally, I understood what politics is," he said. "Politics is a game, and I saw no way, no exit. So I told myself never to do politics again. Never, never, never. I would use my strength for social reform."

Journalism offered a home to "vagabonds" like himself, he said, and soon he was a war correspondent, covering some of the most dangerous engagements on the battlefield. In the final weeks, he worked as an assistant to American reporters from papers like The Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune. His pay was less than 40 cents a day.

And then the North Vietnamese army was at the gates of Saigon, he said, and "I saw my world collapse." He, his wife and three children caught one of the last flights from the country. A fourth child was born in the United States.

In the enforced quiet of his illness, before it finally sapped his strength, Mr. Do said he thought back over his early life and realized how long a road he had traveled. In his thoughts, he said, "I recognize again my teenage spirit, when I taught myself that I could do anything."