The City of the Soaring Dragon: 1000 Years of Hanoi
Today marks the 1000 year birthday of the city of Hanoi. For the past week, the people of Vietnam have been celebrating the long life of this important historical setting. Through various dynasties over the course of Vietnam’s history, Hanoi has most often been the capital of the country. After a thousand years, through numerous wars and reconstructions, the city of Hanoi remains strong. It is a symbol of resilience and strength, reminding us of the long and revering history of the Vietnamese people.
During imperial times, the city of Hanoi was named Thang Long, meaning “Soaring Dragon.” The origin of Thang Long came from Emperor Ly Cong Uan. As leader of the new independent nation of Dai Viet, Ly Cong Uan decided to move his capital to the city of Dai La. In a dream, the emperor saw a golden dragon, soaring majestically in the sky. When he awoke, the emperor took the dream as a heavenly sign, and therefore decided to bestow upon his city the name of Thang Long, the “City of the Soaring Dragon.”
The name “Hanoi” came in modern times, under the rule of the Nguyen Dynasty. Emperor Minh Mang, arguably the only capable ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty, changed the name from Thang Long to Hanoi. That leads us to the city we have today, where a celebration is currently taking place. Red flags, pictures of Ho Chi Minh, the hammer and sickle, all integrated into the festivities in Vietnam. Many people in Vietnam see little reason to be excited, having resentment for the Communists for their poor leadership and shameful representation of the people.
Even so, let’s just look past the embarrassment of the Communists and celebrate the history of our proud people. Though the government has shamed our nation in so many different ways, the people of Vietnam have so much to be proud about. The tradition of Viet has been under fire for thousands of years, in spite of that, we continue to stay strong. The current situation will not last forever. One day, Vietnam will become free. Communism is dead, even the Communists know that.