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An update from Evaneos

Vietnamese celebrities

Naming a famous Vietnamese does not appear easy. No one in the sporting, media or cultural worlds readily springs to mind. There are well-known Vietnamese, but they won't be names you hear touted in the UK. Many will have heard of the famous Hô Chi Minh, but that's about it.

Several national success stories

Fans of Vietnamese history will have no problem remembering the names of emperors who ruled over the country for nigh on 1,000 years. If you can't manage them all, it's worth brushing up on the major dynasties. Your friends will be impressed when, upon your return from a trip to Vietnam, you roll the names Ngô, Dinh, Lê, Ly, Hô, Nguyen and Tay So'n off your tongue. If the level of expertise of your audience is limited, bluff them with some onomatopoeic noises; it'll do the trick.

On a serious note, you should read Du'o'ng Thu Hu'o'ng's Paradise of the Blind or her latest, award winning novel No Man's Land.

As far as films go, Ngô Quang Hai was nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for Story of Pao. Trân Anh Hung directed the masterpiece The Scent of Green Papaya. Another of his films Cyclo won him a prize at the Venice Film Festival. Finally, another great film to check out is Tony Búi's Three Seasons.

Hô Chi Minh's Mausoleum

Hô Chi Minh

Vietnam's most famous person, the man after whom Saigon was renamed. Often called 'Uncle Hô', Hô Chi Minh was a famous, revolutionary leader. Considered by many as father of the nation, he was the Democratic Republic of Vietnam's first socialist President. He was a man of simple tastes and, up to his death in 1969, lived a frugal life. If you're in Hanoï, you can visit his little two-room house, which sits by a pond in a copse of mature trees. Famous for declaring the country independent on 2nd September 1945, his wish was that upon his death, his ashes be buried under a tree, on top of a hill, in each of Vietnam's three principle regions. This wish, designed to symbolise the reunification of the country, was never respected. Instead, his body was placed in a glass coffin, where it lay in state at his huge mausoleum, whilst the public filed past and paid their respects.  

David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 30 September 2015
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