Lotus-leaf painting honours Heroine Nguyễn Thị Định

August 26, 2023 - 07:08
A special portrait of Madame Nguyễn Thị Định (1920 - 1992) is taking pride of place on the walls of Việt Nam Women's Museum, handed over on the 31st anniversary of her death.

By Trần Khánh An

HÀ NỘI – She was one of the Việt Nam’s most historic female icons. A woman who was not only the country’s first-ever female army general but would also become Vice President of Việt Nam State Council.

Now a special portrait of Madame Nguyễn Thị Định (1920 - 1992) is taking pride of place on the walls of Việt Nam Women's Museum, handed over on the 31st anniversary of her death.

Nguyễn Thị Thanh Tâm (first from right) donated a lotus-leaf portrait painting of Madame Nguyễn Thị Định as a gift to Việt Nam Women's Museum. VNS Photo Trần Khánh An.

The work of art was carefully created by Lê Văn Nghĩa from Đồng Tháp Province who used lotus leaves as the canvas to create the piece in three months.

The painting belongs to Nguyễn Thị Thanh Tâm, the president of Việt Nam Áo Dài Heritage Club, who owns the largest collection of lotus-leaf art.

Tâm hopes her donation to the museum will help diversify the artefacts about Madame Định and educate the young generation about the history and tradition of Vietnamese women.

"When I received the painting of Madame Định from artist Nghĩa, I was extremely emotional, especially when the painting shows the appeal of a female general, strong and very kind," Tâm said.

Tâm shared that she had the opportunity to meet the general in 1984 when her brother worked as a driver for Madame Định. The female general left many impressions on her.

The handover event was organised by Việt Nam Women's Museum in conjunction with the Women's Club of Cultural Heritage and the Việt Nam Áo Dài Heritage Club.

Former Vice President of Việt Nam Trương Mỹ Hoa delivered a speech at the event. VNS Photo Trần Khánh An.

Not only does it coincide with the anniversary of Madame Định’s death, but the ceremony also took place on the 78th anniversary of the August 1945 Revolutionary (August 19), and Việt Nam’s Independence Day (September 2).

The event was attended by former Vice President of Việt Nam, Trương Mỹ Hoa, who said the late general was a great inspiration in her own political career.

"Thanks to the guidance of Aunt Ba Định, I learned and gained more motivation to contribute to the leadership position of the nation,” Hoa said.

“Aunt Ba Định once said to me that there were tasks that only women could do."

General Định contributed to the comprehensive renewal of the National Assembly and State Council's activities, as well as the lives of Vietnamese women. File photo

Đặng Thị Tố Ngân, former director of Việt Nam Women's Museum, shared her gratitude to Madame Định and her significant contribution to the foundation of Việt Nam Women's Museum.

"General Định was not only strong and decisive but also thoughtful and kind," Ngân said. VNS

Madame Nguyễn Thị Định - a female iconNguyễn Thị Định was born into a peasant family in Bến Tre Province, and she joined the Việt Minh forces against France when she was 16. Her reputation was associated with the Đồng Khởi Revolution as the leader of the Long-haired Army - a nickname given to female soldiers due to them having longer hair than the men.During the war, she became a founding member of the National Liberation Front and the first female general of Việt Nam People's Army.After Việt Nam's reunification, General Định continued to hold important positions such as Vice President of Việt Nam State Council and the President of Việt Nam Women's Union. She passed away in 1992 in HCM City while still in office.For her tireless dedication, in 1995, General Định was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the People's Armed Forces.