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The UprootedRace, Children, and Imperialism in French Indochina, 1890-1980$
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Christina Elizabeth Firpo

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824847579

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824847579.001.0001

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The Last French Island in Indochina, 1945–1956

The Last French Island in Indochina, 1945–1956

(p.106) 5 The Last French Island in Indochina, 1945–1956
The Uprooted

Christina Elizabeth Firpo

University of Hawai'i Press

During the French Indochina War (1946-1954)—in which France attempted to reestablish colonial control over Indochina while the DRV aimed to establish Vietnamese sovereignty–the colony’s métis population became a potent and bitterly contested political symbol. To the DRV, métis who had voluntarily turned their back on their father state (France) in favor of their motherland (Vietnam) embodied the revolutionary spirit. To the French colonial government, by contrast, métis were not only a cultural affront but also a political danger given that they could easily defect and be drawn into the anticolonial movement. The French colonial government and the military continued to support the institutionalization of fatherless métis children in protection society orphanages so as to minimize the chances of their rebelling against the colonial government. Under the leadership of adult métis, the protection societies expanded their searches to include the métis children of African, Caribbean, and Indian troops who had been brought in to fight the war.

Keywords:   Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indochina, Race, Imperialism, Children, Motherhood, France, orphan, métis, whiteness, William Bazé, FOEFI, French Indochina War, Eurasian, Afroasian

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