A little-noted line in a notification from General Nguyen Cao Ky‘s family indicates the family is embracing a hidden part of his past – something that many other Vietnamese families have trouble doing.
According to Vietnamese customs, at least recent customs, when someone passes away, the family posts or sends out notification to friends and neighbors informing them of the passing. Called a “cáo phó,” it is intended to give those friends an opportunity to pay their last respect.
So it was that when the former South Vietnamese strongman died, his family sent out a cáo phó. This cáo phó was amended several times, as funeral plans kept changing.
The final version, sent to Nguoi Viet Daily News to be published (click here), contains something interesting:
The English portion of the cáo phó lists 6 children, but the Vietnamese portion lists 7.
The extra name, Nguyen Cao Ky Trang, is reportedly that of a daughter the former general had out of wedlock before he became a general.
Stories circulated of how General Ky, once he ruled the country, started taking revenge on those who disclosed the girl’s existence. No, no severed heads of horses in bed or anything, just things like yanking a publisher’s permit and such.
But that was a half-century ago.
Today, it looks like the now-grown woman has finally been taken into the fold of her family in a very public way.