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Vietnam - classroom CP - 1

With comments by C. Farrell

Classroom canings or paddlings of schoolboys in Vietnam - 12 video clips.

Clip 1 of 12

In this 15-second clip from 2007, a secondary boy comes to the blackboard for two strokes of the cane. The modus operandi is very similar to that commonly used in Thailand and Malaysia and sometimes in South Korea -- standing up straight, facing the wall.

Vietnam turns out to be yet another south-east Asian country never occupied by the British (Thailand and Korea are others) but where canings are clearly delivered very specifically to the offender's seat, giving the lie once again to the popular myth that this procedure is peculiar to English culture or to places where the British have historically had influence.


Clip 2 of 12

Same schoolmaster, same classroom. In this clip (1 min 30 secs) the atmosphere is highly jocular as six boys come forward in turn for one stroke each with what looks in this case more like a ruler or a paddle than a cane. Some of them put on a comedy act for their classmates, sticking their bottoms out beforehand and over-reacting afterwards. Clearly these are not supposed to be very significant punishments.


Clip 3 of 12

Another clip (30 seconds) of a jocular caning in the same classroom. Here the boy being punished is getting big laughs from his comrades by acting the clown. The schoolmaster maintains a deadpan face.


Clip 4 of 12

This five-minute clip shows a mass "caning" in a secondary school. As in several other Vietnam clips, each student comes to the front of the class and stands up straight to be punished. The rod used is too thick and stiff to be called a proper punishment cane in the British sense. This is why we do not hear the characteristic "thwack" of a real caning. The class is extremely rowdy. The strokes are rather light; these are clearly not very serious punishments, despite some of the students jokily pretending to be in pain, amid much hilarity. There are girls in the class, but in this particular session all the recipients are boys, no fewer than 13 of whom receive two strokes each across the seat of their school uniform trousers.

On the blackboard is written, I'm told, a list of the offences -- including failing to write lesson in notebook, not bringing textbook to class, and arriving late -- with the names of the culprits ticked off by the teacher as he goes along. This has perhaps the look of being a regular (weekly?) event, and one wonders if the teacher is a bit bored with the whole thing. At any rate, it will all seem somewhat unsatisfactory to those observers who believe that you should either cane a boy to some significant effect or not do it at all.


Clip 5 of 12

Two or three boys, perhaps a bit younger than those seen earlier, get 3 or 4 strokes with a paddle across the seat of their trousers while lying across a desk at the front of the class. Some rubbing of buttocks by the recipients suggests that the punishment is not without effect.


Clip 6 of 12

A secondary boy of perhaps 16 gets two strokes with a stick in front of the class from his lady teacher (2009).


Clip 7 of 12

At a high school in Saigon, twelve boys take turns to lie face down on the desk at the front of the class. Each receives two strokes across the seat of the trousers from the teacher, who is giving a running commentary via microphone. The implement looks to be only a lightweight ruler, and the atmosphere is jocular.


Clip 8 of 12

Another rowdy classroom with a jocular atmosphere in this clip (1 minute 40 secs). A cheeky young lad is at the front of the class for punishment with a metre rule across his trousers seat. After each of several strokes he jumps around exaggeratedly, clutching his bottom and playing the fool, and wanders about the room before coming back for more from the patiently waiting schoolmaster.


Clip 9 of 12

This clip lasts 8 minutes. A large number of boys get 5 or 6 moderate strokes with a paddle across the seat of the trousers, adopting a Korean-style push-up position, from a teacher who is, rather oddly, sitting down and facing away from the class. As the film opens, some of the culprits are standing against the blackboard. The atmosphere seems quietly serious at first, with some discussion going on between the teacher and the students, possibly about who is guilty of what offences. Probably the teacher is scolding the boys before punishing them; at one point the boys appear to be arguing amongst themselves, perhaps about who is most to blame for whatever has happened, and/or about who is to go first. Later the tone becomes a little more light-hearted, with one or two of the miscreants jokily rubbing their buttocks in an exaggerated way. A couple of boys are shirtless, which may or may not be an extra punishment in its own right.


Clip 10 of 12

A 40-second clip from 2011 showing part of a mass paddling in a secondary-school classroom. All the recipients are boys, though it is taking place in a mixed class. The culprits to be punished are lined up at the blackboard. One by one they step forward to the desk to receive a pretty solid whack with a paddle across the seat of the tracksuit uniform. The atmosphere is highly jocular. We see four students punished. The fifth is about to get his whack when the film ends, with at least three more still waiting their turn.


Clip 11 of 12

This one-minute clip from 2012 shows a young boy in pioneer uniform lying flat over the desk for three moderate whacks across his uniform trousers seat with a metre rule, in a mildly jocular atmosphere. Not a terribly serious punishment.


Clip 12 of 12

In this 10-second film, we see two high-school boys in turn lie flat across a desk for sharp paddle swats on the seat of their dark grey trousers from a lady teacher. The first boy gets one swat (which may be the second of two) and the second gets two. The atmosphere in the class is neutral, but the boys seem to be smiling


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