A great love for President Ho Chi Minh

Friday, 2017-05-19 12:43:24
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President Ho Chi Minh welcomes American intellectuals who protest against the war in vietnam (January 17, 1967).
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NDO – The American historical researcher, Josephine Stenson, who was nearly 50 years younger than President Ho Chi Minh, expressed her great love for Uncle Ho while making a speech at an International Seminar to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the great leader (1890-1990) in Hanoi in May 1990.

Great admiration and passion for research

Speaking at the seminar in Hanoi, Stenson stated that she had spent a significant amount of time researching President Ho Chi Minh. With her curiousity and admiration for the patriotic young man, Nguyen Tat Thanh, she used her own money to travel to all of the places that Nguyen Tat Thanh – Nguyen Ai Quoc – Ho Chi Minh set foot on. She noted that she spent most of her time to research President Ho Chi Minh’s personality. “I am among Uncle Ho’s descendants. Allow me to show the praises of a prosperity”, shared Stenson.

Her journey passing three oceans, four continents and nearly 30 countries where Uncle Ho set foot on to seek ways to save the nation was highlighted in her English memoir titled ‘Ho Chi Minh – a great personality of the era’. Experts assessed that the memoir had many new features, particularly from the perspective of an American intellectual. It was printed in the yearbook of the 1990 seminar published by Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Why was Nguyen Tat Thanh not deterred after all of the difficulties and hardships on his journey across four continents around the world? Why did the luxuriousness and splendor of urban areas and the life in the western countries where he used to travel not seduce him and shake his determination and steadfast stance? These questions urged Stenson to spend her own money to travel around the world following President Ho Chi Minh’s footsteps to verify the history as well as to study whether there was the contrast between his words and deeds. Finally, the American historical researcher concluded that throughout President Ho Chi Minh’s life, his words always went hand in hand with his deeds.

Stenson traveled from the US to France and Russia (Soviet Union in the past) where Ho Chi Minh had travelled to, in order to find out original relics and information about him. “I had been in the Soviet Union for a relatively long time to study about him. Coming back to the US, I went from New York to the islands of fire in the northeastern region of the America where Ho Chi Minh had taken transatlantic boats to go. I was determined to find Ho Chi Minh’s cultural identity, although at that time he had been recognised as a cultural celebrity of the century”, she said.

Ho Chi Minh set foot in New York which is famous for the Statue of Liberty in December 1912. During her research, Stenson found a memorial book containing the feelings of visitors to contemplate the city’s symbol. Nguyen Tat Thanh only looked at the statue’s foot and wrote: “The light omitted from the head of the statue of Liberty shines out, lighting up the blue sky, but at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, the rights of black people and women were being trampled on. When will the blacks be equal to the whites? When will there be equality among nations? And when will women be equal to men?”

The great compassion of President Ho Chi Minh for the colonial nations and labourers around the world shook Stenson’s heart and soul. She reaffirmed the President’s progressive, equal and humane thoughts at the 1990 seminar. She emphasised that Ho Chi Minh always talked about the equality, education, freedom of speech, economic independence and the rights of women.

When coming to Vietnam – President Ho Chi Minh’s fatherland, Stenson visited his house. She was very surprised at Uncle Ho’s simple life. “A man, who had headed the ruling party for 18 years and the State for 24 years, did not have any private belongings. Now, his house on stilts and fishpond are the common prosperities for the entire Party, nation and future generations”, said Stenson.

Great love for Vietnam

Stenson came to Vietnam for the first time in April 1989 to collect documents for her master dissertation on the military history. According to her feelings, although Vietnam had not yet fully recovered from the devastation of the two resistance wars against colonialism and imperialism, the people were still willing to leave the pain behind to firmly construct and develop their country.

Also during that trip, Stenson nurtured her plan to publish her own book titled ‘An American woman in Vietnam’. Unlike most works on the war in Vietnam written by American people, Stenson’s book features Vietnamese people’s portraits through the perspective of those witnessing the two resistance wars.

In addition to admiring Vietnamese people, Stenson also fascinated by the charming Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional long dresses). In her memoir, Stenson shared that she had never seen any other dress that was imbued with the national cultural identities and history such as the Vietnamese Ao Dai.

Stenson’s story helped people learn more about the personality of Uncle Ho - the friend of peace-loving people around the world. With an honest understanding of President Ho Chi Minh’s life and career, anyone can find great things from him and certainly admire his personality.

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