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HEROIC VIETNAMESE MOTHERS

For some the war has never ended
Vietnam has been without war for more than 30 years. Young generationsborn during this time of peace only know about wars through documentaries, movies, television dramas, history lessons, exhibitions of photos and artifacts in museums or through the occasional narratives of their grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts. However, living right in the heart of this peaceful country are several living witnesses who experienced the brutal wars fought against France and America that once existed in Vietnam not too long ago. These witnesses are the Mothers-of-War Martyrs or former members of the volunteer youth corps, war veterans or the victims of agent orange and their relatives who are still nursing their dioxin-contaminated children born during or even long after the war. It seems to these people that the wars never ended.

The image of women as war victims
Women were not only passive war victims, they were also the agents of war in their own right. They were the ones who willingly joined the army and in some cases even changed their situation so that they could reach a more desirable social status or find a new direction for their life. The idealized images of Vietnamese women are those of mothers who brought up soldiers for the battle-field, and who rebuild the post-war society when peace was re-established. Mothers-ofMartyrs hence became the models of morality which represented all Vietnamese mothers during wartime who could take care of their families while fighting as civilian soldiers. . Mothers- of-Martyrs are also called the heritage of the people’s tradition. This image of an ideal woman has actually long existed in Vietnamese tradition as reflected in the old proverb: “When the enemy comes even women must fight.” This tradition can be found in the long history of resistance against foreign invaders and is illuminated by the legacy of courageous female generals including The Two Trung Sisters (Hai Bà Trưng), Bà Triệu, Bùi Thị Xuân , etc.

and Mother Bùi Thị Mè. many women who sacrificed much for the war still remain obscure and have received no recognition or compensation from the government. in deep jungles. Mother Nguyễn Thị Rành in Củ Chi who is also a designated Military Hero. former president of the Women’s Union. their sacrifices inspired and encouraged their fellow men and women to participate in the revolution. numerous young women living on the Ho Chi Minh trail. The stories of Vietnamese women who lived during the wars. Only a few individuals have been singled out for their contributions and their reputations are widely known to the public. For example. Mother Nguyễn Thị Thập. It is because their feats were representative in certain geographical locations. For example. or fighting with myriads of military troops were unknown and not recognized for their sacrifice. and it touched each family and each individual’s life. In fact. including awarding the honorable title “Vietnamese Heroic Mother” and providing former youth volunteers with small monthly stipends. The present life experiences of these women have not yet been studied well. The war penetrated each village. a former Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Health Service – Invalids and Society. Mother Nguyễn Thị Thứ in Quãng Nam. have yet to be studied properly. not clear-cut lines between the rear and the front. each urban corner. The war against America in Vietnam was different from the conflicts occurring in other countries because it was a people’s war. and they also participated in the fighting. (according to the Vietnam Women’s Union).law and 1 grandson. The Military-Hero mother. and a mother of 3 martyrs. numerous women were mothers of invalids or martyrs. all the efforts. who actively participated in secret attacks in Saigon. most of the research has been . It was a war with blurred. Ngô Thị Tuyến was famous for protecting Hàm Rồng Bridge in Thanh Hóa and General Nguyễn Thị Định was the representative for Southern Vietnam's battlefield. however.When peace was re-established In Vietnam. Despite recent attempts made by the government. lost her son who was educated overseas in the Trường Sơn trail. Many of their names are still widely known following the war and are frequently mentioned in the media. Notably. all of whom are martyrs. Therefore. The number of studies on this topic has been approached mainly from historical angles to record their heroic sacrifices or fighting experiences and their memories of the past. the mother of 9 sons. In addition. there is obviously still much to be done to compensate these women both materially and psychologically. 1 son-in. hardships and contributions to the war were deemed as a collective endeavor by all the people. either in the rear or in the front. Ms. Nguyễn Thị Điểm. Hence.

The South with its own characteristics in politics and social conditions deserves more attention in its own right. Student: Tran Phuong Mai Class :10 english 2 .conducted mainly in the North.