Updated  
March, 16 2014 12:00:00

Battle of Dien Bien Phu remembered

Long ago, France ruled the country that today is called Viet Nam.

Vietnamese people did not like this and fought against the French to win back their homeland.

One of the battles was fought at Dien Bien Phu.

Many people have made a special trip to Dien Bien Phu to remember their national heroes.

Among them were artists.

Battle music: Vietnamese soldiers pull a heavy cannon over a slope to the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Composer Hoang Van, who wrote the song Ho Keo Phao (The Song of Cannon Pulling), will join a pilgimage to the historic site.
Battle music: Vietnamese soldiers pull a heavy cannon over a slope to the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Composer Hoang Van, who wrote the song Ho Keo Phao (The Song of Cannon Pulling), will join a pilgimage to the historic site. - File Photo

HA NOI  (VNS) — More than 100 performers and artists will tomorrow join a pilgrimage to Dien Bien Phu, where in May, 1954, the Vietnamese military defeated French colonial troops, ending the domination of the French in Indochina.

The group will include several artists who were members of the military during the historical campaign: composer Hoang Van, writer Ho Phuong, poet Le Kim and military writer Chu Phac.

Starting from Ha Noi, the pilgrims will go along National Highway No 6, which leads to the former resistance zone in the north-west. In fact, the road was used by Vietnamese military troops to reach Dien Bien Phu.

The group will stop in Hoa Binh tomorrow and in Son La on Sunday before heading to the final destination about 480km from the capital.

At both places, the artists will join locals at a special concert and art performance dedicated to the glorious victory of 60 years ago.

The concert will praise the Father of the Revolution, President Ho Chi Minh, and Commander-in-chief of the historical Dien Bien Phu campaign, General Vo Nguyen Giap.

Old songs to be presented by the artists include Ho Keo Phao (The Song of Canon Pulling), Truong Ca Song Lo (Lo River Epic), Tren Doi Him Lam (On the Him Lam Hill), Qua Mien Tay Bac (Through the Northwestern Region), Giai Phong Dien Bien (Liberate Dien Bien). Mua xoe, a typical dance of the Thai ethnic people living in Dien Bien, will also be staged.

On March 13, the group will arrive in Dien Bien, where they will join in the Hoa Ban Festival, an event dedicated to the rich culture of local region.

The Ha Noi visiting group will also meet up with Dien Bien Phu veterans.

The pilgrimage has been organised by the Viet Nam Union of Literature and Arts Association and the Viet Nam Association of Writers and the Viet Nam Association of Musicians.

According to deputy chairman of the literature union, Do Hong Quan, who is a composer of symphonies, this is the first time such a trip has been made.

The union will also host another cultural activity in Son La at the end of this month. Viet Nam's first opera, Co Sao (Ms Sao), featuring revolutionary music by celebrated composer Do Nhuan, will be staged in the northern mountain city on March 25-26.

The opera tells the story Lo Thi Sao, an ethnic Thai woman living in the northeast mountains. Sao, an orphan, suffered injustices at the hands of the ruling colonial powers and became a political activist.

Sao made considerable contributions to the fight for liberation after the historic August revolution in 1945, which led to Viet Nam's independence from France.

The opera was first staged in 1965 and revived in 1976. The most recent performance was in November, 2012.

The upcoming show will be performed by more than 100 musicians from the Viet Nam National Symphony Orchestra and the Viet Nam Theatre of Music, Dance and Song. — VNS

GLOSSARY

More than 100 performers and artists will tomorrow join a pilgrimage to Dien Bien Phu, where in May, 1954, the Vietnamese military defeated French colonial troops, ending the domination of the French in Indochina.

A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey during which the travellers, called pilgrims, often undergo some hardship along the way.

To defeat someone in a war means to beat them.

Domination means ruling with power.

The group will include several artists who were members of the military during the historical campaign: composer Hoang Van, writer Ho Phuong, poet Le Kim and military writer Chu Phac.

A composer is someone who writes music.

Starting from Ha Noi, the pilgrims will go along National Highway No 6, which leads to the former resistance zone in the north-west.

A resistance zone is an area where revolutionaries fight against the authorities in charge. A former resistance zone is one where there was once such fighter but that is no longer the case.

The group will stop in Hoa Binh tomorrow and in Son La on Sunday before heading to the final destination about 480km from the capital.

A destination is the place you are heading when you travel.

Old songs to be presented by the artists include Ho Keo Phao (The Song of Canon Pulling), Truong Ca Song Lo (Lo River Epic), Tren Doi Him Lam (On the Him Lam Hill), Qua Mien Tay Bac (Through the Northwestern Region), Giai Phong Dien Bien (Liberate Dien Bien). Mua xoe, a typical dance of the Thai ethnic people living in Dien Bien, will also be staged.

To liberate means to set free.

Ethnic people are different from others who live around them because of their language, culture, religion and sometimes, race.

According to deputy chairman of the literature union, Do Hong Quan, who is a composer of symphonies, this is the first time such a trip has been made.

Literature is reading matter, especially books.

Symphonies are carefully written pieces of music, played by an orchestra involving many people and many different musical instruments.

Sao, an orphan, suffered injustices at the hands of the ruling colonial powers and became a political activist.

Injustices are experiences people have when they are treated unfairly.

A political activist is someone who does a lot towards bringing about political change.

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

1.      The type of writing that Le Kim specialises in.

2.      People who go on pilgrimages.

3.      Features in the countryside in which the opera character Lo Thi Sao lived.

4.      The ethnic group Lo Thi Sao belonged to.

5.      The calendar month of the revolution of 1945.

 

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© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2014


































1.      Poetry; 2. Pilgrims; 3. Mountains; 4. Thai; 5. August.

 

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