Hà Nội honours its miost fearless ’cook’

January, 19/2018 - 12:00

An exhibition entitled Ever Shining Faith opened yesterday in Hà Nội featuring revolutionary heroes such as Cảnh, Trần Phú, Lê Hồng Phong, Hà Huy Tập and Nguyễn Văn Cừ.

Shocking: Foreign tourists learn about colonial history at the exhibition. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — An exhibition entitled Ever Shining Faith opened yesterday in Hà Nội featuring revolutionary heroes such as Nguyễn Đức Cảnh, Trần Phú, Lê Hồng Phong, Hà Huy Tập and Nguyễn Văn Cừ.

A leader of the Communist Party, Cảnh, a young man, was described as a great impersonator. Wherever he went out, he carried an old bag with vegetables, onions and a duck inside so that he looked like a professional cook to fool the French, according to his biography published by the National Political Publishing House in 2015. The exhibition contributes to celebrations for his 110th birthday (1908-32).

He and the other heroes featured at the exhibition steered Việt Nam through the stormy, colonial period. Even though they were often tortured in prisons known as “hells on earth”, these soldiers remained loyal to revolutionary ideology.

They lived, fought and often died with the strong belief that the revolution would eventually succeed.

Cảnh was born in the northern province of Thái Bình. Offended by the bruitality of colonialism, he soon awoke to revolutionary ideas, becoming a senior Communist soldier. He stood firm for the rights of the working class as one of  the leaders of the Communist Party of Việt Nam.

When he was a student, he actively joined in movements, including the struggle for the release of patriotic scholar Phan Bội Châu (1925). In 1929, he became a founder of the first branch of the Communist Party in the country, the Indochinese Communist Party.

In February, 1930, he attended a meeting to found Việt Nam’s Communist Party and was appointed Party Secretary of Hải Phòng City.

In April 1931, he was captured by the French and imprisoned in Hà Nội’s dreaded Hỏa Lò Prison. Facing the death sentence, Cảnh kept his spirit and struggled to “turn the colonialist prison into a school of revolution”.

Like hundreds of others, he stepped fearlessly towards the guillotine in front of other shackled prisoners, becoming a symbol of sacrifice for the freedom of the nation.

“His revolutionary career lasted for about 10 years because he was executed when he was only 24. However, his dedication to his people and the Party was tremendous,” said Trương Minh Tiến, vice-director of the Hà Nội Department of Culture and Sports.

“His contribution will be remembered eternally,” he said.

The exhibition, presented in English and Vietnamese, will run until February 14 at Hỏa Lò Prison site, 1 Hỏa Lò Street, Hà Nội. — VNS 


The fight: The exhibition features the lives and careers of leaders of the Vietnamese Communist Party. — VNS Photo Minh Thu