I was channel surfing and came across several channels with this announcement. I didn’t realize that the postponement of entertainment activities in Vietnam extended to TV shows due to the 2-day funeral of General Vo Nguyen Giap which shall end today. According to news ALL entertainment is stopped, and even the first two shows of Dangerous Liaisons was affected. That got me wondering who is General Giap? Why is he so revered that caused for a 2-day funeral?
When he died in October 4, he was 102 years old. And from readings, I found out that he fought alongside Ho Chi Minh as his military commander during the Vietnam War. He survived the First Indochina War as well and fought in the battles of Lang Son, Hoa Binh, Dien Bien Phu, Tet Offensive, Easter Offensive, and the Ho Chi Minh Campaign. No wonder he’s much revered. A quick view of Saigon’s history is here.
I thought of my own country and I can’t think of a single moment that entertainment was shut down to pay respects to a political leader or war hero. I remember when Benigno Aquino, Jr. died, the whole country mourned but during that time, we were still under the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos, who obviously due to the political tension between both families, didn’t call for a national day of mourning.
So anyway, I was just quite surprised that such custom remains alive in Vietnam. And I’m glad for the history lesson.
Actually he was revered not just for military success, but also due to how Vietnamese saw him as a person. My wife told me that people loved him because he was always down to earth and humble, despite all his successes. Also he dared challenge those that everyday people don’t get away with challenging (I mention details of that in my latest blog post – shameless self-promotion!).
Thanks Adam for your comment. Insight to General Giap’s character is valuable information. 🙂 Will head on to you blog!
Good call Lyra. 102 years old. Must be all the green herbs at table! As you know Vo Giap was instrumental in the victory against Western interlopers with inferior resources but incredible tactics and resolution. I rather like underdogs. And your post..
This is exactly how I found out who Giap was, the guy who shut down the TV for two days. Really interesting man to read about, enjoyed your blog very much.