Fascinations in names of Sai Gon’s streets prior to 1975

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Learning Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh City - Live in Vietnamese

In the following article, we only mention street names in Sai Gon from 1954 when Ngo Dinh Diem was president of Vietnam’s old regime until 1975.


Streets in the vicinity of the Independence Palace

According to ASS Prof., Dr. Le Trung Hoa, the street in front of Independence Palace leading straight to the City Zoo was originally named “Đại lộ Thống Nhất” (Thong Nhat avenue). When secretary general Lê Duẩn passed away, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City renamed it “Lê Duẩn” street.

Lê Duẩn street view from Independence Palace

The street on the left side of Independence Palace was previously named “Hồng Thập Tự” (Red Cross) with a message that promoted helping those in need. It is now called “Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai” street.

The one on the right is “Nguyễn Du”. According to Prof., Dr. Le Trung Hoa, this street was named after a great poet, while the one at the back is called “Huyền Trân Công Chúa”. (It should be known that there was always an important woman instructing Ngo Dinh Diem, helping with the expansion of Vietnam.)

In addition, two streets, namely “Hàn Thuyên” - the creator of Chữ Nôm (Southern characters), which was used in Vietnam for almost 10 centuries in place of Cantonese – and “Alexandre de Rhodes - a contributor in completing Chữ Quốc Ngữ (the national language of Vietnam) which is used nowadays through the Việt - Bồ La dictionary (1651), helping to systemize the Latin alphabet to fit Vietnamese tones.


Streets bearing names of poets and revolutionists

Some streets in District 3 carry the names of poets such as Lê Quý Đôn (18th century), Hồ Xuân Hương (late 18th to early 19th century), Nguyễn Đình Chiểu (a mid-19th century), Lê Ngô Cát (19th century), Tú Xương (19th century. His real name is “Trần Tế Xương”), and Bà Huyện Thanh Quan (19th century). Similarly, some streets in District 1 bear the names of revolutionaries of the Vietnamese Nationalist Party.

New street names

Today, new streets in Ward 7 of Phu Nhuan District have been appointed to carry the names of different kinds of flowers such as Hoa Lan (Orchid), Hoa Sứ (Plumeria), Hoa Huệ (Tuberose), and Hoa Hồng (Rose). Furthermore, in the vicinity of Tan Son Nhat airport, there are streets with the names of rivers such as Tiền Giang, Cửu Long, Đồng Nai, Trà Khúc, Sông Nhuệ, Sông Thao, Sông Đà, and Hồng Hà.

(source: thanhnien.vn)


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