Vietnamese Culture
                        Copyright 1996 Tran Thong

Issue 31. Tru+o+ng's wife

Please direct all questions to [email protected]
Here is the proposed schedule of this column.

Issue #1:  Tet 1971 in Vietnam! by Phu Si, VB710118
Issue #2:  The Unicorn dance at Tet, by Minh Tam, VB710118.
Issue #3:  The origin of Tao Quan, the three kitchen gods, by
           George F. Schultz, VB710118.
Issue #4:  1971 - The year of the Pig, by Van Ngan, VB710118.
Issue #5   The Joy of "first writing of the new year", by Thuy Ngoc,
Issue #6:  Traditional Vietnamese male attire, by Van Ngan, VB710208
Issue #7:  The legend of Princess Lieu Hanh, George F. Schultz, VB710215 
Issue #8:  The dialogue on Mount Na-Son, George F. Schultz, VB710222
Issue #9:  The secret housewife, George F. Schultz, VB710301
Issue #10: The golden axe, George F. Schultz, VB710308
Issue #11: Golden age of Viet Nam under the Hung Kings, Pham Tung, 
Issue #12: The legend of Chu Van Dich, George F Schutlz, VB701221
Issue #13: The sandalwood maiden, George F. Schultz, VB7010??
Issue #14: Legend about Emperor Ly Thai-To, George F Schultz, VB7010??
Issue #15. Chu Dong-Tu and Princess Tien Dung, George F. Schultz,
Issue #16. The husband's most difficult task: teaching his wife, 
           Van Ngan, VB 691216
Issue #17: Superstition in Viet Nam, Van Ngan, VB6911?? - May 8, 1996.
Issue #18: Hair: VN style, VB7007?? - May 15, 1996
Issue #19: Funeral rites in Viet-Nam, Van Ngan, VB7006?? - May 22, 1996.
Issue #20: "Non Bai Tho" or the "Poetical Leaf", ???, VB7011??.
Issue #21: The different systems of writings in Viet-Nam, ???, VB710201.
Issue #22: Vietnamese literature in "Chu Nom", ???, VB710201.
Issue #23: The boat of illusion, Nguyet Cam, Heritage Sept/Oct 1995.
Issue #24: Tran Hung Dao's proclamation to his officers, 
           George F. Schultz, VB 710201.
Issue #25: The refined pleasure of tea-drinking, Tuong Minh, The 
           Saigon Times Weekly, No. 238.
Issue #26: The hero of Phu Dong, ADT
Issue #27: The genie of Ta?n Vie^n, ADT
Issue #28: The magic crossbow, ADT
Issue #29: The legend of tra^`u cau, ADT
Issue #30: Tu+` Thu+'c and Gia'ng Hu+o+ng , ADT
Issue #31: Tru+o+ng's wife, ADT - Dec 20, 1996.
                      Tru+o+ng's wife
                    Adapted by AnDinhTon

The temple to Tru+o+ng's wife is located on the side of the Hoa`ng river, 
village of Vu~ Ddie^.n, district Ly' Nha^n, province of Ha` Nam. Here is 
her story.

She married a man of the Truong family. After a half a year, he was 
conscripted to go and fight a distant war. When he left, she was 
pregnant. She gave birth to boy, which she name Dda?n. During her husband 
absence, as she sat with her child, she would point to her shadow and 
would tell him that that was his father. After three years, her husband 
was released from service and came home. The boy by then could talk. When 
he called him, he replied: 
	You are also my dad? How can you talk now? My dad used to be 
	silent. He came at night. He would sit when mom sat. He would 
	move when mom moved. 

The husband was struck by what his son has revealed to him. He became 
suspicious, then questioned his wife and did not believe when she denied 
having been with another man. He gave her such a hard time that in 
despair she jumped in the Hoang river to kill herself to prove her 

Then one night, as he sat with his child, he pointed to the shadow of his 
father on the wall and said: 
	Dda?n dad has come back, see!

It finally struck the husband that his wife has used her shadow to 
provide the boy with as a surrogate father. As he came to recognize the 
injustice he did onto his wife, he built a altar on the river edge so 
that he can make offering to help free her soul. The people of the 
village subsequently built a temple in her honor. King Le^ Than'h To^n 
(1442 - 1497) on a tour of this province passed the temple and this 
inspired the following poem about her temple

	Nghi ngu't dda^`u ghe^`nh toa? kho'i hu+o+ng
	Mie^'u ai nhu+ mie^'u vo+. cha`ng Tru+o+ng.
	Ngo.n dde`n da^`u ta('t ddu+`ng nghe tre?,
	La`n nu+o+'c chi cho lu.y dde^'n na`ng.
	Chu+'ng qua? co' ddo^i vu+`ng nha^.t nguye^.t,
	Gia?i oan chi mu+o+.n dde^'n dda`n tra`ng.
	Qua dda^y mo+'i bie^'t nguo^`n co+n a^'y
	Kha' tra'ch cha`ng Tru+o+ng khe'o phu~ pha`ng

	This column of incense smoke by the whirlpool
	Is this the temple of the wife of Truong.
	When the oil lamp is out, do not listen to the child,
	Why the river to bring her misfortune.
	Witnesses of her faithfulness are the sun and the moon
	Why is it necessary to have an altar to redress the injustice
	Passing by we learn the ins and outs of this story
	Truong you have been too harsh!

King Le^ Tha'nh To^n reigned from 1460 to 1497. He was one of the 
enlightened King of the Early Le^ dynasty. He made political reforms and 
also was a patron of the arts. He founded the Tao Dda`n nhi. tha^.t ba't 
tu', the 28 star literary society, and was their leader.