Ho Chi Minh

Twelve Recommendations

First Published: April 5, 1948
Source: Selected Works of Ho Chi Minh Vol. 3
Publisher: Foreign Languages Publishing House
Transcription/Markup: Christian Liebl
Online Version: Ho Chi Minh Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2005

The nation has its root in the people.

In the Resistance war and national reconstruction, the main force lies in the people. Therefore, all the people in the army, administration and mass organizations who are in contact or live with the people, must remember and carry out the following twelve recommendations:

Six forbiddances:

1 — Not to do what is likely to damage the land and crops or spoil the houses and belongings of the people.

2 — Not to insist on buying or borrowing what the people are not willing to sell or lend.

3 — Not to bring living hens into mountainous people’s houses.

4 — Never break our word.

5 — Not to give offence to people’s faith and customs (such as to lie down before the altar, to raise feet over the hearth, to play music in the house, etc.).

6 — Not to do or speak what is likely to make people believe that we hold them in contempt.

Six permissables:

1 — To help the people in their daily work (harvesting, fetching fire-wood, carrying water, sewing, etc.).

2 — Whenever possible to buy commodities for those who live far from markets (knife, salt, needle, thread, pen, paper, etc.).

3 — In spare time, to tell amusing simple and short stories useful to the Resistance, but not betraying secrets.

4 — To teach the population the national script and elementary hygiene.

5 — To study the customs of each region so as to be acquainted with them in order to create an atmosphere of sympathy first, then gradually to explain to the people to abate their superstitions.

6 — To show to the people that you are correct, diligent and disciplined.

Stimulating poem

The above-mentioned twelve recommendations
Are feasible to all
He who loves his country,
Will never forget them.
When the people have a habit,
All are like one man,
With good armymen and good people,
Everything will be crowned with success.
Only when the root is firm, can the tree live long
And victory is built with the people as foundation.