Saigoneer

Street Cred: The Sins and Saving Grace of Dr. Albert Calmette

If you help save hundreds of thousands of lives via medical breakthroughs and establish one of the country’s first and most advanced research institutes, but also assist in the colonial regime’s brutal oppression of natives via a draconian alcohol monopoly, do you get a street named in your honor? If you’re Albert Calmette, you do.

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[Photos] Tet Trung Thu Celebrations in Old Hanoi

As this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, more than a few Saigoneers have shown a renewed interest in the holiday’s traditions.

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Street Cred: Trinh Cong Son, the Voice of a Generation

Earlier this week, Hanoi officials announced the conversion of the capital’s narrow Trinh Cong Son Street into a pedestrian zone featuring artistic performances as well as snacks and souvenirs.

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Street Cred: The Ill-Fated Power Couple of Vietnam's Literary Scene in the 1980s

It’s been almost three decades since that fateful day in 1988 when, in a blink of an eye, Vietnam’s literary scene was robbed off two most beloved talents. Luu Quang Vu and Xuan Quynh’s death was something of a national tragedy in the late 1980s, but their legacy has lived on through their body of work and life story.

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Street Cred: The Tumultuous Life of Dinh Tien Hoang

Dinh Bo Linh – also known as Dinh Hoan or Dinh Tien Hoang – was a sterling emperor who is one of the main figures in Vietnam’s long history of struggle against occupying Chinese forces. In today's Saigon, his legacy is honored by two thoroughfares that connect the city's central area with peripheral districts.

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Street Cred: Ly Thai To, the Emperor Who Created Hanoi

Ly Thai To – founder of the Later Ly dynasty, Vietnam’s first stable empire – is one of Vietnam’s most important historical figures, so it’s no surprise that his name appears on one of Saigon’s most vital arteries.

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Street Cred: The Brothers From Tay Son

Flip through the history books and you’ll find a recurring character trait in many national heroes. From the Trung sisters to Ngo Quyen to Vo Thi Sau, Vietnamese history is full of badasses. While several of the country’s most famous rebels managed to oust their enemies from power for a few days, months or years, three Robin Hood-esque brothers from central Vietnam held onto power for three decades.

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Street Cred: Duy Tan, The 8-Year-Old Emperor

When the French first enthroned Duy Tan, the youngest emperor of the Nguyen dynasty, their expectation was that a boy, at the ripe age of eight, would not take much interest in imperial rule.

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Street Cred: Thich Quang Duc, the Monk Who Set Himself on Fire

Despite his peaceful nature, Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc is known today as “the monk who set himself on fire”, serving as a symbol of protest against religious discrimination. In today’s Saigon, the venerable monk lends his name to a cozy neighborhood street in Phu Nhuan District, away from the hustle and bustle of inner city life.

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Street Cred: Alexandre de Rhodes and the Birth of Chữ Quốc Ngữ

Among Saigon's many streets, there are only four roads named after foreigners: Yersin, Pasteur, Calmette and Alexandre de Rhodes.

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Street Cred: Nguyen Du, Father of Vietnamese Literature

Even if you’re in need of a refresher on Vietnamese history, chances are you know the name Nguyen Du. The 19th-century statesman and poet is often known as the father of Vietnamese literature, and his epic poem Truyen Kieu is easily the country’s most famous work.

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