Buddhism is Saigon’s predominant religion that was introduced to the city during its domination by the Chinese, as well as by Indian preachers (Grey 34). Confucianism was also introduced by the Chinese but, interestingly, it became important after Chinese domination ended because the resulting monarchy viewed its political philosophy as more favorable. Finally, Taoism was also introduced by the Chinese and especially appealed to the local Saigon residents because of its polytheism and mysticism (Grey 38).
Saigon’s history is mostly associated with war and destruction by most in the West, and for good reason. After being at the epicenter of Vietnam’s struggle for independence against the French, it again became the focus of attention in the US’ anti-Communism war in Asia during the 60s and 70s (Vo 51). The fall of Saigon in 1975 marked one of the biggest military defeats for the US and, soon after, its name was changed to Ho Chi Minh City.
There is more about Saigon than its position in the War for Vietnam. The City is well known for its independence from outsiders despite its occupation by Khmer settlers, the Chinese, the French, and the US (Kent 41). The fall of Saigon to Communist forces also marked the end of direct military interventions in South East Asia.