Topic: History, Myths and Legends Podcast Series: Revenge, Human Rights, Justice & Freedom! Việt Nam's Beloved Heroines, Hai Bà Trưng
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Host: Jenn Chung, Lifestyle editor of Chopsticks Alley Publication Guest: Trami Cron, Author of VietnamEazy
Produced by: Chopsticks Alley
Welcome to Chopsticks Alley's History, Myths, and Legends Podcast Series. In this episode, we explore a classic Vietnamese legend, the legend of Hai Bà Trưng. If you grew up in a Vietnamese household, you might very well be familiar with the name of these two sisters, Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị. They are two of the most celebrated female figures in Vietnamese history.
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“Một xin rửa sạch nước thù
Hai xin dựng lại nghiệp xưa họ Hùng
Ba kêu oan ức lòng chồng
Bốn xin vẻn vẹn sở công lênh này"
I swear, first, to avenge the nation;
Second, to restore the Hungs' former position;
Third, to have revenge for my husband;
Fourth, to carry through to the end our common task.
Chopsticks Alley seeks to bring a new, more modern perspective to the meaning behind these Vietnamese classics while exploring how it's powerful lessons can be translated into today’s generation.
Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị liberated Vietnam from China’s Han Dynasty in 40 B.C.E (Before Common Era) after the execution of Trưng Trắc’s husband by Chinese government. During this period of time when Vietnam was under Chinese control, tension grew as Chinese governors made demands for high tributary payments, monopolizing salt and iron production and forcing cultural assimilation to the Vietnamese people.
The Trưng sisters led an army of 80,000 people into what historians remarked as the first national uprising of the Vietnamese against the Chinese. Made up with a considerable amount of women warriors, the Trưng sisters eventually drove the Chinese out of Vietnam in 40 C.E. (Common Era). After their historic victory, the Trưng sisters made efforts to restore traditional Vietnamese values to preserve its national culture by making improvements to government. However, the story of Hai Bà Trưng was short-lived as the Chinese army returned three years after their victory to reconquer the land. Hai Bà Trưng is more than just a legend of two resilient sisters - it’s a glimpse into the importance of women and their roles throughout the history of Vietnam.
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References taken from the following sources: