Nam quốc sơn hà

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Nam quốc sơn hà
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese Nam quốc sơn hà

Nam quốc sơn hà (The Southern country) was a famous historical Vietnamese poem written in 1077 by General Lý Thường Kiệt, asserting the sovereignty of Viet Nam's rulers over its lands. This poem was first recited on the Nhu Nguyet river (site of an ancient Vietnamese riverine defense system) when Viet Nam fought against the invasion of a Chinese dynasty. Legend had it that this poem was spoken by God for a Viet victory 宋朝 over the Song invasion. The poem was instrumental to Viet morale, leading to a complete victory by General Ly Thuong Kiet's forces 宋朝 and securing the independence of Viet Nam. In recent times, this same poem was often recited to show anti-Chinese sentiments by Vietnamese citizens when China began oil exploration in historically Vietnamese marine areas. It is written in the form of an oracle.[1] This poem is one of the best known Lý Dynasty poems,[2] and is considered the first Vietnamese Declaration of independence.[3][4][5] It became an emblematic poem for study in the early independence movement alongside the plea of Trần Hưng Ðạo to fight against the Mongols, Hịch tướng sĩ.[6]


Chinese Transliteration[7] Vietnamese English[8]


Nam quốc sơn hà nam đế cư

Tiệt nhiên định phận tại thiên thư
Như hà nghịch lỗ lai xâm phạm
Nhữ đẳng hành khan thủ bại hư.

Sông núi nước Nam vua Nam xử

Rành rành định phận tại sách trời.
Cớ sao lũ giặc sang xâm phạm,
Chúng bây sẽ "bị" đánh tơi bời!
(You will "be" suffer unbearable defeat!)

The Southern country's mountain and river the Southern Emperor inhabits.

The separation is natural and allotted in Heaven's Book.
If the bandits come to trespass it,
You shall, in doing that, see yourselves to be handed with failure and shame!


The South nation resides the Southern Emperor
This fate is written in the book of heaven
By none reason you invade this soil (soil spelt like soul)
As said you will be suffered a vanquishable destruction!


Nam country’s rivers and mountains, Nam Emperor ruled
Completely delimited in the bible
As which the enemy arrive to invade it
Thou can come here to take a false defeat

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Essays on Literature and Society in Southeast Asia 1981 Page 305 "The "Nam-quốc sơn-hà" poem had the form of an oracle"
  2. ^ Nguyễn Đức Sự Some Features on Vietnamese Buddhism in the Lý Dynasty Religious Studies Review, No. 02-2010 Institute of Religious Studies, Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences 2011 "Besides the well-known works of celebrities and of the Lý court as Chiếu dời đô (Royal edict on the transfer of the capital), Nam quốc sơn hà (Mountains and Rivers of the empire of the South), Văn lộ bố khi đánh trống, Di chiếu lúc lâm chung (King's last will at point of death), etc. There were many Zen poems in the literature of the Lý dynasty. Almost poets and writers in the Lý dynasty were Zen masters."
  3. ^ Hán Nôm Review Issues 74-79 Viện khoa học xã hội Việt Nam 2006 page 3 article "The Poem Nam Quốc sơn hà is the first Declaration of Vietnam"
  4. ^ Tạo Văn (2007). "Ten great reforms and renewals in Vietnam's history". Social Sciences Information Review 1 (2): 15. ISSN 0866-8647. Lý Thường Kiệt’s poem, “The Country of Vietnam” (Nam Quốc Sơn Hà), was regarded as Đại Việt’s first declaration of independence 
  5. ^ An Introduction to Vietology "For example, in the Lý dynasty (1010-1225), the leader Lý Thường Kiệt (1076) wrote to his followers: Nam quốc sơn hà Nam đế cư, Tiệt nhiên phận .."
  6. ^ Patricia M. Pelley Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories of the National Past 2002 Page 268 "The relevant works are Nam quốc sơn ha, Lý Thường Kiệt's famous affirmation of Vietnamese identity; Hịch tướng sĩ, the plea from Trần Hưng Ðạo to fight against the Mongols; Quốc ngữ thi tập, Chu Văn An's collection of poems in the national language..."
  7. ^ James Anderson The Rebel Den of Nùng Trí Cao: Loyalty and Identity 2007 Page 214 "The Vietnamese text reads: "Nam quốc sơn hà nam đế cư, Tiệt nhiên định phận tại thiên thư..."
  8. ^ Vuving, Alexander L. (June 2000). "The References of Vietnamese States and the Mechanisms of World Formation". 

External links[edit]