Vietnam and Cambodia have some fascinating examples in toleration that can be useful examples in our increasingly polarised world
A 1000 year Chinese rule had deeply influenced the region and Confucianism and Mahayana Buddhism were the ruling Religions, but they incorporated their earlier local gods and goddesses. Later when Hinayana Buddhism came directly from India, the southern part embraced that. Moreover, the gods and goddesses of the erstwhile Hindu kingdom of Champa were incorporated, and Saraswati, Durga, Kali are omnipresent in the temples and pagodas.
When the communists took over, they did not ban Relegion outright, but permitted it to continue as cultural heritage. Much like the neighbouring Indonesia, which though Islamic, has retained Hindu traditions as cultural heritage.
Thus, although 70 % of the people declared no religion in the bio, they religiously visit temples and pagodas on the first and 15th of every lunar month and all other auspicious days, have shrines in every home, with all mobiles having both lunar and solar calenders, and offerings at the temples, pagodas, shrines are used to support the victims of USAs chemical warfare, agent orange, which is affecting even the 3rd generation since the war, and deformed children are being born
As Hindu Buddhist and Confucian Relegions tolerate other faiths and do not have any foreign allegations, they are encouraged.
However, Christians and Muslims, or their spouses aren’t permitted to join army, police and government, as their origin and is foreign and allegiance is suspect. Thus it is tolerance with caution
In the neighbouring Cambodia, it is even more interesting.
An indian king in 2nd century ACE, or 2000 years ago, defeated the local tribal cave dwelling kings who called themselves Nagas, married theprincess, and introduced the Brahmanical Relegion here but incorporated the animist gods native to the region, which always has been the strong point of Hinduism, and the entire nation converted to Shaivaite Hinduism.
This has an interesting resonance with the Mahabharata story of Arjun defeating a Naga king in the East and marrying his daughter ulupi and establishing a kingdom there with Brahmanical traditions. Maybe history being reflected in literature and mythology?
Later Vaishnavites took over, as in India, and Vishnu temples started replacing Shiva temples. Frequently the two factions fought till around 4th century, when a smart king introduced Harihara, half Shiva and half Vishnu. Then onwards, both dieties were worshipped by all and temples had both idols, along with Ganapati,Durga, and lesser gods like indra, kubera and varuna.
But Nagas continued being worshipped, and still do, as well as their mortal enemy garuda, the vahan of Vishnu.
BY then, as in India, Buddhism was in ascendancy, and a succession of Buddhist and Hindu kings, whenever they replaced each other, would change temples to pagodas and vice versa, replacing the idols inside.
But one smart king found a solution that was least problematic. When this Hindu king took over, all he did was adding a third eye to the Buddha statues, thus converting them to Shiva with minimal damage
So when a Buddhist king replaced him, all he did was cover the third eye and Buddha was back
Around the 14th century, as the Hindus had already incorporated Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu , the Buddhist king who built ankor vat merged the two,and the people, who were now Buddhist, worshipped Vishnu and Shiva and Ganpati and Durga alongside Buddha with equal fervour and temples and pagodas became one.
An Islamic invasion from the east around this time was defeated with Chinese help, and this ideal system of tolerance continued till the colonial rule, and survived that too, till the Maoists took over and banned all Relegion, destroying images and temples with as much enthusiasm as the Taliban.
But their
rule was short-lived and currently, 90 % people are Buddhists who worship Vishnu and Shiva alongside Buddha with as much devotion and ceremony.
One of the last strongholds of the tolerance which is the basic tenet of the Indian or Hindu heritage culture and Relegion, thriving in this remote country while it has been struggling to survive in the land of it’s origin, for almost a millenia



  1. ♡ Extremely interesting post on Vietnam and Combodia giving information comparable to a Treasure 🍀💐💐💐🙏.

    ♡ Praiseworthy satire on Taliban’s enthusiasm !

    ♡ Most Inspiring:

    “One of the last strongholds of the tolerance……………for almost a millenia”.

    ♡ Best Wishes,💥.

    Liked by 1 person

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