20 January: Tribute to Sương Nguyệt Anh

OV Digital Desk
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Sương Nguyệt Anh

Sương Nguyệt Anh ((8 March 1864 – 20 January 1921) was the first female newspaper editor of the first women’s newspaper in Vietnam. On 1 February 1918, the first issue of Nu Gioi Chung (Women’s Bell) was published.  On 1 February 2023, google doodle celebrated Sương Nguyệt Anh.

Life and career

Nguyệt Anh was born on 8 March 1864 in the village of An Binh Dong within the Ben Tre province. It was her father, Nguyen Dinh Chieu, who taught her how to read and write both Chinese and Ch Nôm, a form of Vietnamese that uses Chinese characters. Nguyệt Anh began writing her own poetry. The Doodle artwork incorporates apricot blossoms and an apricot color palette in honor of one of her most well-known poems about apricot blossoms.

The following decades were tragic for Nguyệt Anh. Upon her father’s death at the age of 24, she and her brother took over his school to teach the locals. Upon moving to Rach Mieu in My Tho City, she married and gave birth to a daughter. Her husband passed away two years later.

She became the first female editor-in-chief in Vietnam when she started writing for the Nu Gioi Chung newspaper in Saigon under the pen name Sương Nguyệt Anh, meaning “Widowed Nguyệt Anh.” Many of the newspaper’s issues spoke about women’s roles in Vietnamese culture and society.

She is remembered for her bright mind and personality as well as her ability to persevere despite adversity. She paved the way for future generations of women writers and editors in Vietnam. Her connections with people from all walks of life were strong, and she treated everyone with respect. A number of streets are named after Nguyt Anh in cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, and Vung Tau.

She died on 20 January 1921.

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