Lotus leaf-made painting of female general Nguyen Thi Dinh presented to Women’s Museum
The event aimed to commemorate the 31st death anniversary of the heroine of the people’s armed forces Nguyen Thi Dinh (August 26, 1992-August 26, 2023).
Nguyen Thi Dinh was an excellent daughter of Ben Tre Province. She was often referred to by her nickname, Ms. Ba Dinh. She joined the revolution activities when she was 16 years old and became a Party member at the age of 18.
During her revolutionary career, she embraced a lot of loss and separation as she had to leave her children when they were very young, and her husband was arrested and killed by the enemy. With extraordinary will and determination, she and her comrades overcame many difficulties and made feats of arm that terrified the enemy.
Ms. Ba Dinh actively participated in numerous activities of the Viet Minh Front - an organisation that united Vietnamese people from all social strata for the ultimate goal of national independence; and the General Uprising in August 1945.
She was also one of the leaders and the soul of “Long-Hair Army”, an all-female armed force during the resistance war against the US. The spread of “Long-Hair Army” played an important role in Dong Khoi movement as well as in the victory of the south’s revolution and national reunification in 1975.
In 1974, Nguyen Thi Dinh was promoted to the rank of Major General and became the first female general serving in the Vietnam People’s Army.
She took on important responsibilities and titles such as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Liberation Army of South Vietnam, Heroine of the People’s Armed Forces, member of the Party Central Committee, and Vice Chairman of the State Council. As President of the Vietnam Women's Union, she also actively participated in the women's movements.
Lotus leaf-made painting of female general Nguyen Thi Dinh (Photo: Vietnam Women's Museum)
Nguyen Thi Dinh's portrait made from dried lotus leaves was created by the members of the Women's Club of Cultural Heritage and the Vietnam Ao Dai Heritage Club to show gratitude and preserve beautiful images of Vietnamese women.
The artwork, made by artisan Le Van Nghia of Lap Vo District, Dong Thap Province, is part of a collection titled ‘Lotus in Vietnamese cultural life’ by Asian record holder Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam. It took Nghia three months to complete the painting.
Tam, who is also head of the Vietnam Ao Dai Heritage Club, has collected works from lotus leaves for nearly 20 years. In addition to Nguyen Thi Dinh’s portraits, Tam’s ‘Lotus in Vietnamese cultural life’ collection also features portraits of other influential women who made remarkable contributions to the national resistance wars as well as the Vietnamese history.
Tam shared that she had the opportunity to meet female general Nguyen Thi Dinh in person in 1984, when her sister worked as a driver for Ms. Ba Dinh. That southern strong will woman left many impressions and respect in Tam.
After coming up with the idea of making a lotus-leaf painting of Ms. Ba Dinh, she selected a portrait of Ms. Ba Dinh and sent it to artisan Le Van Nghia to bring it into life.
“When I received the painting made from lotus leaves, I was extremely touched as the work fully captures the spirit, aura and kindness of the female general,” Tam said.
Speaking at the event, Vice President of the Vietnam Women's Union Tran Lan Phuong said that this is a precious gift to honour and show respect to female general Nguyen Thi Dinh - the union’s late leader.
The painting was presented to the Vietnam Women's Museum will help to diverse the museum’s collection of Nguyen Thi Dinh while contributing to educating younger generation about the history and beautiful traditions of Vietnamese women.
Attending the event, former Vice President Truong My Hoa shared her beautiful memories about Nguyen Thi Dinh, whom she dearly called “Aunt Ba”.
She said that under the direction and guidance of “Aunt Ba”, she has learned and gained more confidence to contribute her best and fulfil her political tasks assigned by the Party and State.
A talk show entitled ‘Stories of Nguyen Thi Dinh’ was held at the event, attracting the participation of former Director of the Vietnam Women's Museum Dang Thi To Ngan, historian Duong Trung Quoc, and Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa — who worked for Ba Dinh from 1984 to 1992.
The painting will help to diverse the museum’s collection of Nguyen Thi Dinh while contributing to educating younger generation about the history and beautiful traditions of Vietnamese women.