HO CHI MINH Complex – Hanoi

Our taxi did a U turn and we were chased by an angry looking young policeman in fancy clothes and a baton. Our driver suggested we get our money ready and quickly get out of the cab so he could make a hasty get away from the scene. We walked nonchanlty away and then cut back to cross the street toward the entrance of the complex.

We headed into the museum and I was quite pleasantly surprised at the interesting way the history of this very important man and his influence on the history of Vietnam was presented.

Whoever designed the displays did so in a way that added variety and interest to what can be a very dry subject. The use or art, metaphor and symbolism was seen throughout the displays on the second floor. 

Ho Chi Minh was concerned with the destructive forces of facism and this is depicted in a gallery through the uses of art and imagery including some from Picasso’s Guernica.

The above images are from a display that represents  Co Boc cave in the form of a brain. This cave  was used by President Ho Chi Minh as headquarters during 1941 – 45 when he pioneered the revolution against the French colonisers.

These artworks all represent the face of Ho Chi Minh. During his time as leader he had many name changes and disguises so as to elude capture from the French.

The volcano and the totems in this gallery represent the great power of national liberation movements throughout the world.

The symbols of nature in its beauty contrasted with industrial structures depict Uncle Ho’s expectation that the young people shoulder the responsibility for protection of peace and the environment and prevention of aggressive and destructive wars.

After leaving the museum we wandered up to the mausoleum to view Ho’s body. Unfortunately, we were too late, but we had fun stalking and photographing the fancy guards.

Then we went to have a look at where Ho lived as President. He chose not to live in the big Presidential Palace that used to house the French. Instead he lived in a simple house on stilts built in the traditional style.

We found out later from our student guide that the colour yellow was a traditional Vietnamese colour that represented power. The French, when they realised this, painted all their buildings yellow so that they were seen as powerful.


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