Vietnamese nationalism was nurtured in the cradle of the country’s history of resistance to Chinese domination. Direct Chinese rule from 111 BCE to 939 CE and again from 1407 to 1428 was punctuated by numerous uprisings and the final ouster of the northern invaders. However, hatred of Chinese rule did not preclude a willing absorption of some of the traits of the culture of China, the Chinese civil and moral law, the Confucian glorification of bureaucracy, the civil-service examination system, and finally, the institution of an emperor, whose primary duties included establishing harmony between earth and heaven. More important, it should be noted that the Sinicization of Vietnam affected mainly the upper classes of society, whereas the villagers were left to themselves. The peasants clung to the Vietnamese habits of chewing betel nut and worshiping hosts of village genies, spirits of their ancestors, and mountains and rivers. They rejoiced in the ceremonies and festivals that predated the advent of Chinese culture. In that sense, Chinese domination had never posed much threat to the traditional modes of Vietnamese rural social behavior as the French administration did, particularly toward the end of the nineteenth century.