Public lecture: Historical geography in Central Vietnam

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Vietnamese archaeologist Tran Ky-Phuong will give a public lecture later this month as part of the Singapore National Library’s Lee Kong Chian Fellowship series.

Interactions between Upland and Lowland by ‘Riverine Exchange Network’:
A Reference to the Historical Geography in Central Vietnam

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The Indianization of Southeast Asia

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PDQ Submission
If you’re in the area, KaalaChakra: The Wheel of Time is a current exhibition at the National Library of Singapore showcasing the influence of Indian culture into ancient Southeast Asia. With the kind permission of the National Library Board, SEAArch brings you highlights from this fascinating exhibition.

The term ‘Indianization’ was coined in the early 20th century and was seen as a cultural colonization of Southeast Asia – the idea was that Indian princes and merchants would set up colonies and trading posts in Southeast Asia (notably, Suvarnabhumi and Suvarnadvipa) in their desire to build trade with China. In doing so “converted” local populations into their Indian way of life and religion. Yes, the theory sounds awfully colonial in its thinking, and it fed to another underlying assumption that Southeast Asia was an archaeological backwater compared to the great civilisations of India and China.
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I [HEART] my Library

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Seeing how it’s National Library Week in Singapore, I’d like to post a short kudos to the National Library Board of Singapore. I spent the afternoons of last weekend at the Southeast Asian Collection of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library looking up some research, and every time I go to the SEA collection at the 11th floor I’ve always had an enjoyable and productive time.

The SEA Collection has a good range of archaeology books including many that you can’t find in the stores anymore, which is really impressive since archaeological literature for this region is generally hard to come by anyway. And it was great to spend time in a library that had the Journal of Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Journal of the Siam Society and Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums all under one roof.

My compliments to the staff especially for being so helpful – from the librarian who suggested other libraries when I couldn’t find the book I needed, to the other librarian who let me deposit my stack of microfilms at the counter while I went down for a coffee break, to the staff at the photocopy room who fiddled with the settings of the microfilm printer until I got the best quality possible for my prints – without charging me extra.

I [heart] my library!