Today’s Doodle honors Sng Nguyt Anh, the first Vietnamese woman to serve as editor of a newspaper. On this day in 1918, the first issue of Nu Gioi Chung (Women’s Bell), the newspaper where Nguyt Anh served as editor-in-chief, was published. Camelia Phm, a guest artist based in Hanoi, created the artwork for today’s doodle.
Nguyt Anh was born on March 8, 1864, in the Ben Tre province’s An Binh Dong village. Nguyen Dinh Chieu, her father, was a poet and teacher. He taught her to read and write in both Chinese and Chôm, a Vietnamese language with Chinese characters, and she was able to read and write both languages. Nguyt Anh began writing poetry herself. The Doodle artwork features apricot blossoms and a palette of apricot colors in honor of one of her most well-known poems about apricot blossoms.
For Nguyt Anh, the next few decades were tragic. When she was 24, she and her brother took over his school to teach the locals after her father passed away. After that, she got married, moved to Rach Mieu in My Tho City, and she had a daughter. She lost her husband two years later.
When she started writing for the Nu Gioi Chung newspaper in Saigon under the pseudonym Sng Nguyt Anh—which translates to “Widowed Nguyt Anh,” she became Vietnam’s first female editor in chief. Women’s roles in Vietnamese culture and society were discussed in numerous issues of the newspaper.
Sng Nguyt Anh is remembered for her bright personality and mind, as well as her ability to persevere in the face of adversity. She was a trailblazer for future generations of Vietnamese women writers and editors. She was respectful of everyone and had connections with people from all walks of life. Ho Chi Minh, Da Lat, and Vung Tau are just a few of the cities where Nguyt Anh is honored with street names.
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