It’s A Lot More Fun at the Mang Ca Post Than at Home

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Vietnamese News. Translating into English. Members Of Dan Luan News On Line

Mai Xuân Dũng
From Mai Xuân Dũng Blog

English Version by TM111

Those of us who are in our forties or older would know by heart the poem “Lượm” by Tố Hữu. The poem tells about the Vietnamese people’s fiery and blood-soaked war to overthrow the French domination through the story of a young liaison named Lượm.

The day Huế was drawn in a bloodbath
From Hà Nội I had just returned
And at Hàng Bè
We met by chance.

Such a little tiny thing he was
Carrying a small bag
Tilting his head
Bouncing along.

On his head his cap was slanted
In the air his whistling resonated
Like a little bird tweeting
Along the road of golden sand.

“I have so much fun
“Being a liaison;
“It’s a lot more fun
“At the Mang Cá Post
“Than at my own home.”

That was a long time ago. Then, all of a sudden, one hears Tố Hữu’s poem parodied in the Dương Nội fields today, “It’s a lot more fun at the Mang Cá Post than at home!”

Wait a minute! The Mang Cá Post in Dương Nội?

It’s rather funny to refer to a few makeshift tents put up to guard land and graves as the Mang Cá Post. Those who look at them up close, however, do not find it funny at all. The war has faded in the memory of millions, gunshots and bombs no longer thunder in the air, so why would one hear of “the Mang Cá Post” in the farmers’ fertile fields, among their ancestors’ graves, right in peace-loving Hà Nội?

One needs to look at blood-red declarations written on mourning-white banners raised all over Dương Nội, such as, “When enemies come, women will fight too!”; “The people of Dương Nội will sacrifice everything before losing their land and plunging into unemployment and starvation”; “We will hold on to our land until death to keep it for our children”, or “Burn the land robbers!”. One needs to look at tinder and gasoline bottles stored for self-defense strewn all over the fields, in order to see that the comparison of this situation to the Mang Cá Post of long ago during the bloodied struggle in Huế is not far-fetched after all.

Along the road, name plaques, altars for the dead, and paper figures (who supposedly would act for real people) stand silently but speak volumes to the obvious, boundless disappointment, when justice was put to death and farmers have to turn to the world of the dead for help in defending their land against the greedy developers who have the backing local governments.

As to the red-ink words written all over banners of white and yellow mourning colors that shout out, “Kill the land robbers!”, what else do they speak of but hatred? No one wants to tolerate violence, but clearly the farmers were pushed to the wall, to despair, and have only one last resort: fight for their survival. The farmers have no one to protect them. The law certainly does not protect them.

Along the road, name plaques, altars for the dead, and paper figures (who supposedly would act for real people) stand silently but speak volumes to the obvious, boundless disappointment, when justice was put to death and farmers have to turn to the world of the dead for help in defending their land against the greedy developers who have the backing local governments.

As to the red-ink words written all over banners of white and yellow mourning colors that shout out, “Kill the land robbers!”, what else do they speak of but hatred? No one wants to tolerate violence, but clearly the farmers were pushed to the wall, to despair, and have only one last resort: fight for their survival. The farmers have no one to protect them. The law certainly does not protect them.

The farmers here did just what those in Văn Giang or Vụ Bản did previously: they raised the red flag with a yellow star in the fields and on top of graves, hoping to create a fragile shield against those who also use the same flag, as their armor, however, to put them down, ordinary, defenseless people. Both sides try to use the flag as their “charm”, the people for protection, and those others who wear the clothes paid for by the people and declare themselves to be the people’s servants, for oppression.

A scene of “soldiers from the Mang Cá Post” eating in their tents to guard the land and their ancestors’ graves. They take turn “standing guard” around the clock in the cold winter weather.

“The old soldier”, 81-year-old Nguyễn Văn Tấn, from Đoàn Kết Hamlet, Dương Nội Commune, has been to several wars and lived under several regimes. He is now joining the people getting ready to fight against “the enemy attack”.

The Duơng Nội people try to keep their land and at the same time voice their appeal during the past several years, at local as well as at central government levels.

“Those of you who have guns: use them! Those of you who have swords: use them! Those of you who have neither guns nor swords: use your hoes, or shovels, or sticks!” in the fight against the land robbers.

“We are pushed to the wall! We are determined fight to the last drop of blood to keep our land, our properties, our ancestors’ graves.”

Those are words from “the soldiers from the Mang Cá Post”. They are willing to bleed to death in this last battle to keep their land. They are no longer self-centered small farmers who “mind their own business”. They have come together to form a circle of love, in defiance of the winter draft, in defiance of the thugs in uniforms hovering around nearby, getting ready for the next day’s war.

“It’s a lot more fun at the Mang Cá Post than at home!”

TM1111 gửi lúc 03:31, 31/01/2013 - mã số 78005

https://danluan.org/tin-tuc/20130129/mai-xuan-dung-o-don-mang-ca-thich-hon-o-nha#comment-78028

Tâm Như gửi hôm Thứ Sáu, 01/02/2013
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