Google honors Vietnam journalism trailblazer

By Minh Nga   January 31, 2023 | 10:49 pm PT
The Google homepage on Wednesday features an animated portrait of Suong Nguyet Anh, the first woman editor in Vietnam.
The animated portrait of Suong Nguyet Anh on Google homepage on February 1, 2023.

The animated portrait of Suong Nguyet Anh on Google homepage on February 1, 2023.

On February 1, 1918, Nu Gioi Chung (Women's Bell) published its first issue, with Anh as the editor in chief.

She was born Nguyen Thi Ngoc Khue in 1864 in the southern province of Ben Tre. Her father was renowned poet and teacher Nguyen Dinh Chieu, and she started writing poetry at an early age.

When her father died when she was 24, she and her brother took over his school. She then moved to My Tho City, married and had a daughter.

Her husband dies within a few years, and she did not remarry.

She became the first woman editor in chief and started writing under the nom de guerre Suong Nguyet Anh, meaning "Widowed Nguyet Anh," for the Nu Gioi Chung newspaper about women’s roles in Vietnamese culture and society.

Suong Nguyet Anh is remembered for her bright mind and personality, resilience in adversity and pioneering work as a women writer and editor who showed the way for future generations.

There are several streets named after her in Ho Chi Minh City and the tourism towns of Da Lat and Vung Tau.

U.S. guest artist Camelia Pham, who creates the Doodle that is only available in Vietnam, said she "got a lot of inspiration from the poems Suong Nguyet Anh wrote in response to various men’s confessions of love for her."

Pham said: "I tried to find visual symbols in one of her most famous poems, which features apricot blossoms, to include in the illustration. I also mixed a flat graphic style with retro colors, which adds a sense of nostalgia while remaining modern.

"Suong Nguyet Anh was a feminist before the term 'feminist' really existed as she actively tried to smash the glass ceiling by having her own newspaper for women."

"I just want more people to know about Vietnamese women and their struggles (mostly regarding their battle with societal norms). Hopefully this will serve as an inspiration for generations to come."

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