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.