Doi Chay – source of inspiration

Update: 07:00 | 08/02/2019

(BGO) - In a winter morning, on a bus trip with Bac Giang newspaper colleagues to Cau Den hamlet, I kept imagining the journey of writers and artists of the resistance period to the hill area that went into the revolutionary cultural and art history of Vietnam.

According to Ngo Thi Thanh Lich (80 years old), the youngest daughter of Ngo Tat To, in 1947, her family left the homeland of Mai Lam to evacuate from Loc Ha village to the midland hill area of Nha Nam, Yen The.

Doi Chay, source of inspiration, Bac Giang province, Cau Den hamlet, revolutionary cultural, art history, Ngo Thi Thanh Lich, youngest daughter, Ngo Tat To,  revolutionary writers

Relatives of writer Ngo Tat To and painter Ta Thuc Binh return to Cau Den hamlet.

The journey of writer Ngo Tat To’s family could also be considered the first footprints of revolutionary writers and artists towards Cau Den hamlet. The family of writer Ngo Tat To was the first coming there and stayed at the house of Ky Nhan, a man who was allowed by the foreign boss to gather people to reclaim and establish hamlets in this hill. 

Because of that, when To’s family arrived, this place was also called Ky Nhan hamlet. Next were painters Tran Van Can and Ta Thuc Binh, and writers Nguyen Hong and Kim Lan ... All gathered to build Cau Den hamlet, which writer Nguyen Hong later called Doi Chay (Burning Hill) village.

Coming from many places, families of resistance writers and artists chose this place to settle. And also from this place, their footsteps spread throughout the paths of the arduous protracted resistance war. 

And also those footprints brought the writers and artists back to this lovely small hamlet to live, creating works not only for the purpose of serving the long-lasting resistance war but also for the next generations.

Doi Chay hamlet at that time also gathered all familiar features of the village life. Here, during 9 years of resistance, life still went on like that of previous generations.

In front of the gate of a secondary school named Nguyen Hong, Lich told us about a class that was built near a hill. The class, whose teacher was Luong Ngoc Thuy, had nearly a dozen children of different ages and educational levels. People in Cau Den hamlet at that time worried about the learning of their children. They also worried about creating happiness for couples. 

It was the story of musician Do Nhuan’s wedding held by the youth union of the hamlet. There were only green tea and songs but the wedding was warm and joyful. People in Cau Den hamlet also took care of organizing funerals for the deceased, including a funeral of To after two years of coping with serious diseases...

And Doi Chay not only welcomed new-born babies. It was also a cradle nurturing the spiritual children of the resistance writers and artists. In this hamlet, writer Kim Lan wrote "Lang" (Village) and writer Ngo Tat To wrote "Buoi chotrung du" (Midland market day), "Anh Lac" (Mr. Lac), "Bui Thi Phac" (Bui Thi Phac)... Painter Ta Thuc Binh created collections of paintings serving the resistance war and some of which won prizes at the National Fine Arts Exhibition ...

Particularly, for Nguyen Hong, this was where he created immortal works, not only in the years of resistance but also later, when he took his family from Hanoi to Nha Nam like "Dia ngucva lo lua” (The hell and the furnace of fire), “Dat nuocyeu dau” (My beloved country), “Dem giaiphong” (Night of liberation), or “Ap Doi Chay (Doi Chay hamlet). Also here he composed two huge novels "Song gam” (Waves roar) and "Cua bien" (Sea mouth)...

Doi Chay, source of inspiration, Bac Giang province, Cau Den hamlet, revolutionary cultural, art history, Ngo Thi Thanh Lich, youngest daughter, Ngo Tat To,  revolutionary writers

Ngo Thi Thanh Lich (second from left) visits place where the family of writer Ngo Tat To lived from 1946-1956.

Back to the years of resistance war, together with the footprints of the owners of families in Doi Chay hamlet, this place once stamped the footsteps of poets To Huu, Tran Huy Lieu, Tu Mo, Tran Dang and Nguyen Dinh Thi ...

And even in the days of arduous resistance, there were footprints leaving Doi Chay as a preparation for the future. Children who were born, grew up and learnt the first letters from here printed their footprints at domestic and foreign lecture halls, becoming soldiers, teachers and scientists. Then their descendants also did the same. Doi Chay has been contributing people and assets to the country like many other villages.

The Chairman of the Bac Giang provincial People's Committee has just decided to recognize the Resistance Culture Hill in Quang Tien commune as a provincial historical relic site. Such recognition will be the basis for building Doi Chay- Cau Den into a memorial area to honor those who have lived, worked and devoted to the country's art and literature on this land.

Thus, following the footprints of the predecessors, there will be footprints of today and tomorrow generations, coming and going, contributing to spreading the good values of a land that has entered the national history. Just like that, the Doi Chay source of inspiration has been spreading everywhere…


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 Ta Viet Anh

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