January 25

The French newspaper La Vie Ouvrière published an article by Nguyen Ai Quoc titled “the Far Eastern workers’ movement.” It was about the Japanese workers movement in the major industrial city of Osaka, where the united strength of the worker class had created panic among the bosses. This was a new occurrence in the workers’ movement in the Far East, close to Indochina.

The file photo shows President Ho Chi Minh following Dong Khe front-one of important battles of the Border Operation in 1950

This day fell on the last day of the lunar year. Nguyen Ai Quoc was on the way from Hong Kong to Xiamen. He stayed there over the Tet holidays to find ways to contact his organization and avoid French secret agents who were following him.
On two different years, 1944 and 1963, the lunar New Year fell on January 25.
On January 25, 1944, while involved in revolutionary activities in Liuzhou, China, Nguyen Ai Quoc sent best wishes to the international communists through a poem, Greeting Spring, published in the Ally newspaper. He wrote:
“…Xuân ơi, Xuân hỡi, hỡi xuân
Spring, Spring, Spring

Từ xa tới gần, xuân khắp mọi nơi
Spring has come everywhere

Rót cốc rượu xuân mừng cách mạng
Raise a spring glass of wine to congratulate the revolution

Viết bài chào tết chúc thành công
Writing to welcome Tet, wishing big success.
On January 25, 1963, in a letter on New Year’s Day, the President said: Loving people in the South, we must work very hard and keep our spirits up to unite the North and the South as soon as possible.
He also recalled something he said 17 years earlier: “ Vietnam is one and the Vietnamese people are one. Though rivers dry up and stones wear off, people in the North and South are children of but a family.”
President Ho Chi Minh ordered the Central Party Committee to treat well the old regime’s mandarins trying to suppress the revolutionary movement. He exhorted local authorities to be large-hearted towards them.
“If people do not have rancor or bitterness, let them live in peace”, he said.
The Government wanted to give them an opportunity to understand the revolution and participate in the fight against the French and rebuilding the country.
President Ho Chi Minh sent an appeal to Ung Uy, one of the senior mandarins of the Nguyen Dynasty and the father of scientist Buu Hoi, asking him to participate in the fight against the French colonizers.
We must continue the unfinished task of our ancestors like Nguyen Dynasty kings Ham Nghi, Thanh Thai, and Duy Tan to drive out the French colonizers to get independence for the Vietnamese people and motherland, he said in the appeal.
Ung Uy came to Viet Bac base, considered the fighting capital of Vietnam and announced: “I was a Nguyen Dynasty mandarin and royalist. The French colonizers have carried out a plot to use Vietnamese to rule Vietnamese that I am so angry and decided to leave home for the fighting base, follow the Government, and offer my knowledge to the struggle.” 

By Duong Trung Quoc* and co-writers 

*The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Hai Dang

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