because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Trai and Nhi Trung

Trai and Nhi Trung were born into a military family in Vietnam at the beginning of the Common Era, so they learned martial arts as a matter of course. Even though they were girls, they spent long hours studying warfare and honing their fighting skills, at least partly in response to what they saw the Chinese doing to Vietnamese people after more than a century of occupation.

When they grew old enough, Trai married a young radical who was eventually executed for rebelling against the Chinese. So Trai and her younger sister decided enough was enough and in the year 39, they took over one city, amassed an army (constituted mostly of in-your-face women), and proceeded to take over sixty-five other cities, running the Chinese out of Vietnam. Trai's reign as queen didn't last forever, but she held off her much stronger foes for more than two years -- which no one else had been able to do.

Ultimately, the Chinese overpowered the Trung sisters' forces and re-occupied Vietnam for another seven hundred years. In a last act of belligerent self-will, the sisters robbed the Chinese of the satisfaction of ridiculing, torturing and executing them by jumping into the Hat River to drown.

Some have said that the power of the Trung sisters suggests that pre-occupation Vietnam was a matriarchal society. Either way, an in-your-face woman will always be just who she is and go out, when necessary, on her own terms.
NOTE: The statue in the photo is of the Trung sisters and can be found today in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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