Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and philanthropist, takes the first spot among all the men that are most admired by Vietnamese people, followed by US former president Obama and Lai Van Sam, the most famous TV show host and program producer in Vietnam, as found in an annual survey conducted by YouGov, a world-leading online market research company based in the UK.
As for women, Queen Elizabeth II arrives third after Hai Ba Trung, or the Trung sisters, two Vietnamese military leaders who ruled Vietnam for three years after rebelling against the first Chinese domination of Vietnam in AD 40, and Vietnamese diva My Tam, who has been hailed the “Queen of V-Pop” for many awards in and outside of the country, including Best Selling Artist of Asia by Big Apple Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Award for Best Southeast Asian Act, and World Music Award for World's Best Selling Vietnam Artist.
This year, YouGov expanded its study to cover the views of people in 35 countries, the highest ever, and interviewed more than 37,000 people to compile the list.
The results are calculated from the combination of responses to two questions – whether a respondent admires the figure at all and whether they are the figure the respondent admires the most.
In December, YouGov gathered open-ended nominations from panelists across 35 countries, asking them simply: “Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?” These nominations were then used to compile a list of the 20 men and 20 women who received the most nominations and were nominated in at least four countries.
An additional 10 popular local figures were added to the lists for individual countries.
Over the beginning of the year, the company then used the lists to poll each of the 35 countries asking two questions: “Who do you truly admire?”, where respondents could make multiple selections, and “Who do you most admire?”, where they could only pick one, and combined those two numbers into a percentage share of admiration.
On the global scale, American actress Angelina Jolie, Michelle Obama, former first lady of the US, and Oprah Winfrey, American TV show host and producer, conquer the group of women.
As for the male category, Bill Gates and Barack Obama take the lead, and Chinese actor Jackie Chan occupies the third position.
Both American men have been to Vietnam where they were welcomed like rockstars. Bill Gates funded big projects to provide internet access for people in rural Vietnam and to support Vietnamese orphans.
Obama visited Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in May 2016 where he met with entrepreneurs and students, and caused big fanfare by having dinner at a plastic stool noodle restaurant popular to locals.