Ignorance ruins beach's good name

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Beautiful beaches in the central city of Da Nang are being officially called by a name nonsensically imposed on us by US soldiers who invaded our country.

What's worse, the misnomer makes it seem as if this beautiful coastline isn't even ours: China Beach.

Local authorities and tourism agencies have displayed breathtaking ignorance and apathy on the issue.

Brochures for the Non Nuoc Resort (Sandy Beach Resort) call Non Nuoc Beach, one of Da Nang's most famous beaches, China Beach. The traditional Vietnamese name is already beautiful, meaning Mountain and Water, as Da Nang is where central Vietnam's famous rolling hills meet the sea.

Why do we need to corrupt the place by naming it after a northern neighbor who also spent over a thousand years invading our country?

Businesses have taken to rewriting history as well, by naming their establishments things like China Beach Bar.

Da Nang tourism website like ToursVietnam.net, VietnamOpentours, and VN gold.com also refer to several strips of beach around Da Nang as "China Beach."

Mai Dang Quang Duc, director general of Ben Thanh Non Nuoc Corporation, said the company which they contracted to manage the Nuoc Non Resort used the name because it was commonly known among foreigners.

Although the corporation has been aware that the name China Beach had been used for at least 7 years, it didn't ask the company to change it because it was simple and convenient, according to Duc. He said they had never once received any warnings from local authorities about using the defiling name.

Duc attributed the use of China Beach partly to the fact that the management company was headed by a Malaysian man who probably didn't know about the name's origin.

However, recently the corporation has stopped using the name China Beach in emails and documents after receiving complaints from tourists.

In the meantime, Luong Minh Sam, director of Danang Department of Foreign Affairs, said that he had already ordered related agencies and hotels to remove the name from all documents when he was at the helm of Da Nang Tourism Department.

Ngo Quang Vinh, director of Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, also said they always forbade the use of the name and that they would ask Non Nuoc Resort to "strictly" follow the order.

On the other hand, a professor who wished to remain anonymous said it was unreasonable that China Beach was used as an official name at many companies and hotels for years without local authorities so much as batting an eye.

"No Vietnamese can accept that a Vietnamese beach is named China beach," he said.

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