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Hai Bà Trưng: How Two Sisters Fought off a Dynasty

 

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In what the west would recognize as 40 AD, Vietnam fell under the rule of a ruthless Chinese governor, To Dinh.  The Trung sisters were daughters of a wealthy military prefect, who enjoyed liberties and training that others did not.  Although the rest of the country suffered poverty and repression under the Chinese rule, no one rebelled until the husband of one of the sisters, Thi Sach, was executed by the local Chinese authorities.  While the Chinese believed they were thwarting a rebellion, they only ignited the fierceness of the Trung sisters who retaliated ruthlessly for three years to avenge his death.

Chronicled in many books, but most notably in the 5th century AD by Han Dynasty historian Fan Ye in the Book of the Later Hanby, the Trung sisters inspired over 80,000 men and women across the country-side in 65 individual towns to rise up and fight the Chinese invaders.  Many believe that Vietnam would not be the country it is today if it hadn’t been for the Trung sisters and their fierce courage and faith in their countrymen.

Statues and temples have been built around the country of Vietnam memorializing the sisters, and the Vietnamese pay tribute annually in ceremonies in February.  Even President Donald Trump recognized the sisters’ contribution to modern Vietnamese culture in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation event held in 2017.

It is not unusual for women to act fiercely when repressed or treated unkindly.  The Trung Sisters are inspirations to us all to be brave and stand up to injustice in the world.  What could be your challenge?  #bethechange #trungsisters #vietnam #womeninhistory

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