An exhibition displaying the images of typical Vietnamese women throughout history is open at Hoa Lo Prison Relic from October 20, 2021, to the end of May 2022.
The exhibition is a meaningful activity to celebrate the 91st anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam Women’s Union (October 20, 1930 – October 20, 2021).
Typical Vietnamese heroines
|The exhibition impresses and moves viewers through the stories of “gun-wielding women” in the two national resistance wars. Photo: Hoa Lo Prison|
Accordingly, the display section called “Flowers in the Prison’s Fire” introduces the examples of nine typical patriotic and revolutionary female combatants who endured brutality in French and American prisons throughout Vietnam during the wars.
These typical examples are Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, the first female Secretary of the Saigon City Party Committee (1910 – 1941), and her younger sister, martyr Nguyen Thi Quang Thai (1915 – 1944). Ms. Thai was the first wife of General Vo Nguyen Giap who died after spending two years in the atrocious penitentiary regime of Hoa Lo Prison.
Vietnamese national martyr and heroine Vo Thi Sau was born in 1933 and died in 1952, at the age of 19. The Vietnamese schoolgirl who fought against the French occupiers of Vietnam. She was captured, tried, convicted, and executed by the French colonialists in 1952, becoming the first woman to be executed at Con Son Prison.
Madame Nguyen Thi Dinh (1920 -1992) was the first female general of the Vietnam People’s Army. Her role in the war was National Liberation Front deputy commander, and was described as “the most important Southern revolutionary woman in the war”. According to The New York Times, Dinh had been the outstanding woman in Vietnam’s modern history.
|Madame Nguyen Thi Dinh (1920 -1992) was the first female general of the Vietnam People’s Army. File Photo|
Furthermore, she was commander of an all-female unit known as the Long-Haired Army, which engaged in espionage and combat against US forces during the American War (1945-1975).
Under her leadership, on March 15, 1960, over 5,000 women and children from six different villages marched on an army post in Mo Cay district town, Ben Tre Province. The women wore mourning bands in memory of 20 youths who had been arrested, killed, then buried in conspicuous graves around an army post at Phuoc Hiep village. Carrying their children and wearing ragged clothes, the women surrounded the district headquarters, demanding an end to brutality against the peasant population and compensation for the families of the dead.
In the end, the district chief agreed to the demands of the people and withdrew all the army troops from Phuoc Hiep village.
|The impressive digital portrait painting of Vietnamese heroic mother Nguyen Thi Thu. Photo: Hoa Lo Prison|
Visitors to the exhibition will be told touching stories about Vo Thi Sau, Le Thi Rieng, Vo Thi Thang, and Tran Thi Ly. The successful struggle of the women in the Mo Cay District initiated other women’s actions, and Nguyen Thi Dinh, an organizer of the demonstration, came to be known as the general of “the long-haired army.”
“The exhibition also portrays, through photos and documents, the bravery and intelligence of Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, the foreign minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam at the Paris Conference in 1973 and the resilience of Madame Truong My Hoa, who later became Vietnam’s Vice President, when facing with the brutal tortures of the enemy at Con Dao Prison,” according to the organizer of the exhibition.
Heart touching stories
In the display area with the theme “Long vang- Gan sat” (Golden Heart -Faithful Spirit), the organizer recounts stories about ordinary Vietnamese women who devoted themselves to the cause of national struggles for liberation and independence.
The female guerrillas bravely fought the two wars against the French and the US to save the country. Meanwhile, the women in the rearguard worked hard in the fields and factories, ready to supply food and necessaries to the people in the front lines.
|Statue of Mother Thu in Quang Nam province. Photo: Red.vn|
In addition, at the exhibition, there is also a portrait of the Vietnamese heroic mother Nguyen Thi Thu that was assembled from the names of 500 female patriotic combatants. Nguyen Thi Thu’s nine sons, a son-in-law, and two grandsons died in the fight for national liberation.
“I felt very touched when I learned about the heroic Vietnamese mother Nguyen Thi Thu. Not only Thu but also many other Heroic Vietnamese Mothers who silently devoted themselves to the community and ready to make contributions whenever the Fatherland needs,” said Hoang Thanh Thuy, a visitor to the exhibition
Besides, images of typical modern women are also displayed at the exhibition. They are artist Kim Ngoc- whose life is devoted to experimental music; female doctor of education Nguyen Thuy Anh- who promotes reading among children; swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien- a legend of Vietnamese swimming and one of the most successful athletes in SEA Games history with 25 gold medals, among others.