7 times Vietnamese women prove they don’t mess around

By VnExpress   March 7, 2017 | 10:20 pm PT
When the strength, wit and humanity of Vietnamese women make them the heroines of modern life.

1. The iron female soldiers

To what extent can a Vietnamese woman showcase her physical strength? A recent video in March answered the question for us. Female soldiers from Vietnam’s First Special Force Group can smash bricks, bend iron spears with their necks and take sledgehammers to the stomach.

If war-time heroines are ever forgotten, these ladies are right here to remind you not to mess around with Vietnamese women.

2. The first all-female flight crew

While Air India’s all-female crew marked history on March 6 by flying around the world, Vietnamese female pilots are not too far behind. On February 16, 2016, the country’s first all-female crew successfully landed in Saigon from Quy Nhon, completing a nearly 1,300km journey.

Vietnam Airlines now has 10 female pilots, two of whom are captains. The crew included Huynh Ly Dong Phuong, the first female captain in Vietnam, together with her assistant captain Nguyen Thi Ngoc Bich and four flight attendants. 


Two female pilots in Vietnam's first all-female crew flight. Photo courtesy of the pilots.

3. Mama squirrel

Like their physical strength, Vietnamese women’s love can be all-encompassing, even if it’s for squirrels.

Nguyen Thi Lieu has spent almost two decades feeding hungry, adorable squirrels in Tao Dan Park, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. From a few bananas, Lieu now feeds them up to 10kg a day. 

"I will continue doing this until my health doesn't allow me to," she said. 

4. The puppy fairy

At Nguyen Ngoc My’s tiny house in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, dogs eat first, humans eat second. My has been living with over 90 abandoned dogs for 22 years.

45-year-old My said she has an unexplainable love for abandoned dogs. Every day, she goes out and buys up to 13kg of rice for her dogs. Sometimes, she spends thousands of dollars on veterinary bills when they get sick. 

My has even given up her sewing business to care for the dogs. Soon, she will be moving to the suburbs and a bigger house with a whole floor for her lucky dogs to enjoy. 

5. The fetus burier

Ten years ago, Tran Thi Lanh, a 45-year-old woman from Ha Tinh Province, spotted a baby's glove next to a small tomb beside a rice field. The next day, the tomb had been dug up by some unknown animal, and the image haunted her.

Lanh decided to dedicate her life to giving dead infants she finds at hospitals, clinics and even rice fields a proper burial. She takes them home, bathes them, puts them in small coffins and performs proper funeral rituals.

“Fetuses are also humans. I have to do something to console the unlucky ones,” Lanh said, looking at the dozens of tombs in a 150-square-meter cemetery.


Nguyen Thi Lieu, the fetus burier, at her food stall. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung

6. Baby before cancer

In early 2016, Dau Thi Huyen Tram, a 25-year-old policewoman from Ha Tinh Province, was diagnosed with end stage lung cancer. At the time, she was bearing a 19-week old baby.

Local doctors suggested an abortion for her own safety, but Tram refused chemotherapy, insisting that her baby must live and grow up healthy. Tram gave birth to a 1.5kg baby on July 10 and surrendered to her cancer only 17 days later.


The final days of Dau Thi Huyen Tram's brave battle. Photo via VnExpress Community.

7. Tin Soldier’s Mom

In July 2006, an infant was abandoned in a garden in Quang Nam Province. Animals had bitten his genitals off and he was bleeding from the leg. 72 hours later, the baby was taken to a local hospital where the doctors named him Thien Nhan.

When Nhan’s story hit local media with his nickname “Little Tin Soldier”, Tran Mai Anh, a managing editor of Heritage Magazine, decided to adopt him and promised to cure him of his brutal injuries. For the past ten years, Mai Anh has been taking her son for endless surgeries in Germany, U.S., Italy and Singapore with the help of charitable donations.

The Little Tin Soldier is now 11 years old, healthy and active with his two brothers.


Thien Nhan the "Little Tin Soldier" and his mom. Photo by VnExpress/Binh Minh


Thien Nhan limps to catch up with his friends. Photo courtesy of Thien Nhan's family.

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