|From Ho Chi Minhs fictional Diary: |
15 July 1904
Kim Lien Village, Vietnam
This morning when my friend Thanh and I were fishing down by the bridge, we saw some French soldiers followed by a few Vietnamese women. Thanh asked one woman where they were going, but she didnt know. She said the soldiers wouldnt like her talking to us, but she was, however, quite friendly and even threw us a bit of sausage. Later my father scolded us for talking to such women. They are bad women, he said, worse than the French. My mother disagreed. She said it was the French who made them bad so the French are far worse! Yet at school we are taught that the French respect women more than we do because that is the rule in Christianity.
|Hos father, being clever and resourceful, was able to educate himself against all odds. By working hard and conforming to French protocol, he was able to leave farming life to become first a teacher and then a district administrator. But the hard conditions of his youth, combined with his keen awareness of the difficulties of his countrymen around him, made him incipiently rebellious against the French, whose interests he was required to serve. Thus Ho, although living in some comfort and receiving education, became not only aware of but resented the fact that the majority of his countrymen suffered from forced labor, high rents and taxes, government monopolies, debasement of women in army camps, and harsh penal sentences that included transportation for life to the penal island of Poulo Condore - a living death for most.|