Some history of the capital city now lives only in names and memories
The “Monument aux Morts” was one of the biggest and most carefully-made sculptures in Hanoi during the colonial time, built to commemorate French war martyrs. Photo credit: Kien Thuc
It had two French soldiers on top, one raising a gun and another throwing a bomb. Below are statues representing four major classes of the Vietnamese society at the time – scholars, farmers, workers and traders.
The scholar statue was of a young man preparing a box of stationery for school (C). The farmer was plowing the field after a buffalo (R), the worker pulling a rickshaw and the young trader carrying her shoulder pole to the market (L).
The farmer statue stood at the most prominent angle and thus locals called it the “Farmer Monument” and the park, which is now Lenin, the Farmer Park.
After Japan usurped France in March 1945, Hanoi mayor Tran Van Lai ordered the destruction of all colonial statutes in public areas, including the bronze ones of the monument (yellow). But its stone pedestal remained until the 1980s. The memory of the monument only exists vaguely among some old people in the capital these days.
You can find the original Vietnamese story here on Kien Thuc