Jun 15, 2009

The Changing Names

During the period of Chinese domination, Vietnam was called An Nam (安南) by Chinese rulers (means Pacified South in expectation of China). When Vietnam broke free, it was called Đại Cồ Việt (大瞿越), Đại Ngu or Đại Việt (大越). In 1802, Emperor Gia Long requested the Qing Empire to allow his country to be known as Nam Việt (南越). To prevent confusion with Triệu Đà's ancient kingdom, the Qing Manchu Chinese Emperor reversed the two words to Việt Nam. In 1838, during the Nguyễn Dynasty, the nation's name was changed temporarily to Đại Nam (大南). During the French colonization, Vietnam was divided into: Tonkin (Bắc Kỳ or North Vietnam), Annam (Trung Kỳ or Central Vietnam), and Cochin China (Nam Kỳ or South Vietnam).