|Trung Sister's Statue in city of Ho Chi Minh
Photo by CC BY-SA 3.0
Tru'ng Trac and her younger sister, Tru'ng Nhi were born in Gaio Chi (Northern Vietnam) to a military family. As they grew up under the Han Dynasty, Vietnam was under Chinese rule. With their father being the prefect of the county, the two girls were made to study martial arts and war strategy, which they utilized later in life.
At some point, a neighboring prefect came to visit Tru'ng's father. The neighboring prefect's son, Thi Sach, met and fell in love with the eldest daughter and a marriage was arranged.
According to the Vietnamese accounts, the Han Dynasty was a difficult one for the oppressed people. The Chinese overlords were cruel and heartless. Tru'ng Trac's husband made a stand against the Chinese and was executed. The overlords hoped to make an example of him and discourage further rebellion.
Thi Sach's wife and sister-in-law banded together and took over the revolutionary movement, somehow managing to raise a force, which seems to have been mostly women. They marched on the commandary capital Lien Lau. They were victorious and the Chinese commander fled for his life.
As the year went on, the sisters and their allies captured 65 cities. Tru'ng Trac and Tru'ng Nhi became co-reigning queens of the newly liberated state.
However, their success did not last long. The Emporer of China gathered boats, wagons, and supplies and sent an army to overthrow the two sisters.
The records of their death contradict each other. The most popular claim is that the two drowned themselves in the river to avoid capture, but other tales insist they died while fighting after being abandoned by their fellows, or they were captured and decapitated by the Chinese, one legend even claims they vanished into the sky.
Either way, these two sisters are emblems of freedom and are revered still today in Vietnam. There are many temples erected in their honor, and every year the Vietnamese hold a celebration to remember their valor. Even though they lived over 2000 years ago, the sisters are considered national symbols. Their legacy inspires patriotism and freedom in the Vietnamese people.