We had our seventh meeting on the 13th. Nghi told Elisa and me about known Vietnamese people and their accomplishments. When we started our EOTO course, I couldn’t name any Vietnamese people (besides my Vietnamese fellow students) so this meeting was interesting.
Probably the most prominent Vietnamese figure has been Ho Chi Minh. The name was actually his political (public name), and his real name was Nguyen Sinh Cung. Ho Chi Minh was the leader of the Vietnamese independence movement and a city has been named after him (Ho Chi Minh City). Ho Chi Minh was born in 1890 and around the age of twenty he went to France and did some physical work there. He was self-educated and able to speak many languages, French and English, to name a few. He goes by the nickname Uncle Ho in Vietnam.
I also learned about the prime minister of Vietnam, about a mathematician, a cosmonaut and a composer. These were all male. When I asked Nghi to name a famous Vietnamese woman, I found it amusing that she went over 2000 years back and named two sisters who were great war leaders (the Trung sisters). It seems that at that time there were quite a few women soldiers in Vietnam.
I feel that every meeting of ours highlights the fact how little we know about countries and cultures that we haven’t been in contact with earlier.