Vietnamese soldiers in the French naval force (Documentary photo​. Source: blogs.sch.gr)
Paris (VNA) – Nearly a hundred photos capturing the miserable lives of Indochinese workers in the French Toulouse Region during world wars in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 are being exhibited in Toulouse city, from April 2-23.

The event aims to cast light on a rarely known historical period, featuring the presence of first Vietnamese people in southern France.

The photos are arranged in topics and with captions to help visitors explore the hidden corners of French history.

The stories were told by witnesses or their descendants to depict the process of sending Indochinese peasants to France to support war efforts as well as the miserable lives of thousands of workers in the Toulouse region and its vicinities such as Tarbes, Castelsarrasin, Castres, and Pamiers.

The exhibition highlights the emigrations in 1915 and 1940 when tens of thousands of Indochinese people, mainly Vietnamese, were forcefully sent to France. Vietnam was still a French colony at that time.

The peasants, who were only familiar with farm work in the countryside, had to live far from home. They were used as soldiers or worked in weapons factories or worked on farms, often being exploited and underpaid.

Mayor of Toulouse city and Chairman of the Toulouse Region Jean-Luc Moudenc said the exhibition introduced an important period in local history.-VNA