Many war veterans have devoted considerable time to collecting paraphernalia related to Uncle Ho’s life, but Lam Thanh Ron wanted to do more.
He wanted to do something meaningful with his collection as a tribute to his greatest idol, the person who led the nation’s struggles against colonialism and imperialism.
Ron’s hobby was collecting stamps, something he has done for more than four decades, and the idea of doing something with them was also born then – in 1960, when Ron, then 30 years old, had the chance to see Uncle Ho in the Central Highlands.
“Most of my comrades and I were moved to tears when President Ho Chi Minh, wearing an old and crumpled suit, asked after each soldier. Everybody admired Uncle Ho for his simplicity.”
It was meeting him in person that inspired in Ron the idea of making a portrait of Uncle Ho with the stamps that he had begun collecting.
The inspiration was still strong the day Vietnam was unified in 1975, when Ron came back to his hometown in the central province of Quang Ngai with thousands of stamps he had collected until then.
“I carefully took off each stamp every time I received letters from my friends and relatives. I kept the letters as souvenirs and used the stamps to create Uncle Ho’s portrait.
“Apart from stamps depicting Uncle Ho reading the Declaration of Independence, speaking on the phone, or reading the newspaper, the portrait also has stamps of soldiers and farmers defending the country.”
Below the portrait of Uncle Ho, Ron also made a world map by using stamps issued by the 24 countries and territories that Uncle Ho had set foot in during his lifetime.
Ron finished his work right on the 100th anniversary of Uncle Ho’s birthday in 1990. He threw a small party on the day and invited some veterans to pay respects and tributes to the picture hung on the altar of his house.
“I wonder how the country could have achieved unification without Uncle Ho’s leadership. Like other Vietnamese people, I always keep his great sacrifice to the country and people in mind. Through this art work, I would like to show my admiration for Uncle Ho.”
Reported by Hien Cu