Vietnam’s National Heroines
The Trung sisters, Trung Nhi and Trung Trac (circa 12 – 43 AD), are Vietnam’s national heroines. They led an independence movement and rebelled against China’s domination of their country. They broke the Chinese yoke and established an independent Vietnamese state, which they ruled for three years. Vietnam had groaned under Chinese domination for about a century by the time the Trung sisters were born. Trung Trac, the older sister, was married to a Vietnamese nobleman who resisted Chinese hegemony, and objected to a particularly oppressive Chinese governor’s ham handedness.
For his troubles, Trung Trac’s husband was executed by the Chinese to cow other would-be rebels. In response, his widow organized and rallied other Vietnamese nobles to resist the Chinese. With the help of her sister Trung Nhi, Trung Trac launched a rebellion in the Red River Delta, near modern Hanoi, in 40 AD. From there, the revolt quickly spread up and down the long Vietnamese coast. After generations of life under foreign domination, the Vietnamese were ready to rebel, and the uprising became wildly popular.