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Eternal life


In the communal house of Tan Xuong 2 village, Suoi Cat commune (Cam Lam, Khanh Hoa), there is a small shrine. On the altar is a picture of a Western man with white hair, a firm face, very calm eyes through the dust of time. That is the doctor Alexandre Yersin, who in his rich life, made many miracles, has publicly opened this whole Suoi Dau area since the end of the 19th century. He was worshiped by the people here for many generations as a sage of this land.

Yersin shrine in Tan Xuong village 2 (Suoi Dau, Cam Lam, Khanh Hoa). Mr. Tran Sum, 63, head of Tan Xuong 2 village, when he opened the door for us to visit the communal house, introduced: – Our people still used to call Mr. Yersin Mr. Nam. In Tan Xuong village, we have a temple of Ong Nam for a long time. But this is a new shrine, because since the separation to establish Tan Xuong 2 village, villagers built communal houses and built more teachers’ shrines. He is the sage of the whole region, including the villagers of Xinjiang 2. Our people are forever grateful and remember him! On festive occasions, people here and visitors from all over the world still come here to smoke incense, offer sacrifices and ask for his blessing for a peaceful and prosperous life! It is known that Alexandre Yesin first came to Nha Trang in 1891, when this area was still isolated from the surrounding area. He was a famous scientist who was the first to discover the plague bacteria in the world, named after him (Yersin Pestis), the discoverer of the Lam Vien plateau – Da Lat and also the pioneer of the plague. opened roads from the central region through this plateau to Cambodia and Laos. Love of life and people, like a predestined fate, attached Alexander Yersin to the land of Nha Trang and Suoi Dau, including Tan Xuong village. Statue of Alexander Yersin in the central park of Dalat. In 1898, when he returned to Nha Trang, Yersin built the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang and expanded hundreds of hectares of land in Suoi Dau area to set up a farm. He brought here many precious plants and animals. He planted coffee, coca, opened a rubber plantation, built a center to produce anti-epidemic serum for cows, turning this place into a center for agricultural science research and experiments. He built a dispensary to serve local people, together with them to develop production and improve living standards in this area. From Suoi Dau, in 1914, Yersin continued to explore Hon Ba mountain, reclaimed thousands of hectares of the area around the mountain, introduced new plants to plant, raise and protect birds, plant forests and advise people quit the habit of burning forests. He planted quinoa and experimented with producing anti-malarial drugs for people. The development of Suoi Dau – Hon Ba area to this day originates from the tectonics and expansions of Yersin 123 years ago. The remembrance of the people of this region for him is the Vietnamese principle of “When drinking water, remember the source”. During a recent trip through the Central Highlands and Central provinces, I often think of Yersin’s image when he and a few locals explore this land. The trips through the sacred forests of poisonous water, without human footprints. Long trips with elephants through the plateau to southern Laos and northern Cambodia. There was a trip where he was robbed and nearly killed himself if the locals did not promptly save him… The highways on the Central Highlands are getting longer and wider and linking the whole region today with traces from the trails of the year. Yersin and his companions went to search and explore. In the central park of Da Lat city, there is a bust of Yersin made of gray stone, where a panoramic view of this dreamy city can be seen hidden in the morning mist. Surely Yersin was also pleased when on the plateau that he discovered during his expedition in 1893, such a beautiful city was born. Yersin’s tombstone. On the way from Da Lat to Nha Trang, we passed through Hon Ba – Suoi Dau area, which is undergoing many changes. We visited Alexandre Yersin’s grave (1863-1943) in the middle of a quiet green area, with only the sound of the wind whispering like a song over the years to remember him, a man from far away who came and loved the piece. this land as the fate of his life. On a normal day, there are still fresh flower petals on the grave. 78 years ago, when he passed away, Yersin donated everything he had built to his associates and people here, with his will to be buried in Suoi Dau, his second hometown. The building of Indochina Medical School, where Yersin was the first Principal, formerly. The imprints of Alexander Yersin, a great man who has been honored as an “honorary citizen of Vietnam”, are still preserved in many places in this country: the system of Pasteur institutes (institute of hygiene and epidemiology). in Vietnam, which he and his colleagues laid the foundation for, is still growing and playing a very important role in the fight against the epidemic, especially these days. first, then the Hanoi University of Medicine and Pharmacy, which have developed into large training centers for human health care.Da Lat city on Lam Vien plateau, “city city” thousands of flowers” is also growing day by day, there are roads and flower gardens, centers named Yersin in Hanoi, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat… Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (Pasteur Institute) on Yersin Street in Hanoi. Everyone’s life is finite. Yersin has gone far, but in Vietnam, the foundations for life that he has contributed to building, creating and leaving an indelible mark will be eternal.