‘There is nothing that is difficult’

History and hardship on and after the Ho Chi Minh Trail in north Vietnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The North Vietnamese Army considered the Ho Chi Minh Trail a key part of their victory during the Vietnam War against the United States. The trail was often defended by encouraging large numbers of lowland Vietnamese villagers to show their patriotism by moving to the uplands. Ho Chi Minh himself said of the enormous task of making the trail, ‘There is nothing that is difficult’. Based on fieldwork in Ha Tinh province, where the trail began, this paper addresses what happened after the war to the many migrants who had moved to defend and support the trail. After 1975, many families had expected increased government support as a thank you for their tremendous patriotism and sacrifice during the war. Instead, they became gradually disillusioned with collective farming, and later with the retreat of state services, and incidences of social protest and discontent have been increasingly clamorous in the post-war era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-214
Number of pages18
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

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Vietnam
patriotism
history
Vietnam War
protest
military
incidence
migrant

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

Cite this

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abstract = "The North Vietnamese Army considered the Ho Chi Minh Trail a key part of their victory during the Vietnam War against the United States. The trail was often defended by encouraging large numbers of lowland Vietnamese villagers to show their patriotism by moving to the uplands. Ho Chi Minh himself said of the enormous task of making the trail, ‘There is nothing that is difficult’. Based on fieldwork in Ha Tinh province, where the trail began, this paper addresses what happened after the war to the many migrants who had moved to defend and support the trail. After 1975, many families had expected increased government support as a thank you for their tremendous patriotism and sacrifice during the war. Instead, they became gradually disillusioned with collective farming, and later with the retreat of state services, and incidences of social protest and discontent have been increasingly clamorous in the post-war era.",
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