HÀ NỘI — Late President Hồ Chí Minh was not only a beloved leader of the Vietnamese people and founding father of the modern Việt Nam, but his life and career also left strong impressions and won the hearts of many international friends.
Indian journalist Sandip Hor, Vice President of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association in Australia, said he came to know of Hồ Chí Minh in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when his hometown – Kolkata city in India’s West Bengal state – witnessed demonstrations in support of the fight against the US and for national reunification in Việt Nam. Since then, the great leader of Việt Nam has been a person he always admired.
Talking to Vietnam News Agency, Hor recounted that in Kolkata, called Calcutta at that time, people went on many marches protesting the war and supporting the Government of the Democratic Republic of Việt Nam (now the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam). As protestors advocated President Hồ Chí Minh’s revolutionary ideals, many posters featuring images of the Vietnamese leader were placed along local streets.
Those posters were the first images of Hồ Chí Minh that he remembered, he said, noting that also at that time, the West Bengal administration named a central street in Calcutta capital after the leader who was a source of inspiration for the local liberation movement from 1945.
It was not until 2006 that Sandip Hor had a chance to come to Việt Nam for the first time. During this trip, like many other foreign visitors to the country, he paid tribute to President Hồ Chí Minh at the mausoleum and the stilt house where the late leader used to live in.
The journalist has re-visited Việt Nam many times since then, and through those trips, he has gained an even better understanding of the country’s history as well as the Vietnamese late President, he added.
From the West, Anjuska Weil, Chairwoman of the Switzerland – Việt Nam Friendship Association and Honorary President of the Swiss Party of Labour, said her youth in the 1960s was marked with anti-war activities in support of Việt Nam, along with the poem collection “Prison Dairy” by President Hồ Chí Minh that she was given at the age of 17 by her mother.
Those poems greatly impressed her and since then, she invested efforts to learn about President Hồ Chí Minh and Việt Nam, Weil said, noting that the more she learned, the more she was impressed with his dignity and ideology.
Her decision to become a member of the Swiss Party of Labour was closely linked with the President’s ideology, she added.
She expressed her hope that the late President’s dignity, ideology, and brilliant revolutionary career will become known more among young people in the West.
Meanwhile, Wang Feng, daughter of late journalist Wang Weizhen – former head of the Xinhua News Agency’s bureau in Hà Nội from 1955 to 1960, was the small girl in the photo with President Hồ Chí Minh taken on May 20, 1957 by Mai Nam.
The picture was taken when she, called Wang Xiaohong back then, followed her parents who came to the Gia Lâm airfield in Hà Nội to cover Soviet Union Marshall Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov’s visit to Việt Nam.
The now 70-year-old recalled that she was eager to meet Vietnamese heroes after hearing stories about them from her father and other Xinhua correspondents who had the chance to interview those people. She was very happy to meet the President of Việt Nam, and that moment is still fresh in her mind today.
After Hồ Chí Minh passed away in 1969, she has been back to Việt Nam four times. She plans to re-visit the country and pay homage to the late leader again after the COVID-19 pandemic has been brought under control, Wang said, voicing the wish that Việt Nam – her second home – will continue to develop and prosper.
Việt Nam is marking the 132nd birth anniversary of Hồ Chí Minh this year (May 19, 1890 – May 19, 2022). — VNS