“All I know of you is all the sights of war.
A film by Coppola, the helicopter's roar.”
That is the lyrics of a very famous song, Hello Vietnam, which depicts closely how people know about Vietnam for centuries. Besides documentaries with helicopters, guns, bombs, and fire, there is a wide range of Vietnam War memorabilia that remind people of this intense war.
Zippo is one of the things that US soldiers always brought along. It was not only a mean of making fire but also a mean of expressing the soldiers’ thoughts about life, about the war, or their messages to their far-away family carved on the zippos. While some expressed the fear for the death, some expressed the hatred for their enemies or the resentment for the government, who pushed them to the war.
American soldiers’ zippos in Vietnam War
As you can easily realize, propaganda art of Vietnam bears a solid message of encouraging the civilians and the soldiers to believe in the winning of the revolution. It was cheap, appealing, and effective - Richard di San Marzano, an Italian artist commented. Just as Ho Chi Minh said, culture could also be a battlefield, and the artists are the soldiers.
Propaganda paintings in Vietnam War
Vietnamese soldiers can create thousands of household appliances from bomb and bullet shells. There are water pot, coffee filter, pan, and even tables and chairs. These things are not only used to serve daily life but also meaningful memorabilia that bear a lot of stories of the soldiers’ life. They are sometimes also the masterpiece in memory of the creator’s fellows.
Household appliances made from bombshell
You will more likely to come across these Vietnam War memorabilia in Ho Chi Minh City than any other regions in Vietnam - in Dan Sinh Market or Nhat Tao Market, the electricity markets. There are several booths selling zippos, necklaces, bullet shell, and even soldiers' badges or uniforms. For propaganda arts, you can also visit Saigon Kitsch (43 Ton That Thiep, District 1).
Vietnam War memorabilia is still an important part of many veterans’ life. There are Vietnamese who are interested in these pieces and gathered huge collections, not for any monetary value but a simple reminder of the long gone past.
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© Written by Minh Thuy for itourvn.com