Culture Culture

04/04/2021 - 09:11

Hue Cultural Chorography: A gift for present and future generations

After many years of research, Thua Thien Hue Chorography – Culture Section (also known as Hue Cultural Chorography) has just been released to readers. This work reflects the unique characteristics and achievements of Hue culture throughout its development process.

The launch of Hue Cultural Chorography  the first publication of Hue Bookcase

Diverse "facets" of Hue cultural life

Thua Thien Hue Chorography – Culture Section is a massive scientific work including 2 volumes, each of which is over a thousand pages thick, with 14 chapters and appendices. This work gathers many scientists and researchers with in-depth knowledge of cultural fields such as Tran Dai VinhNguyen Xuan HoaPhan Thanh BinhTruong Thi CucNguyen Van ManhNguyen Dinh SangDuong Bich Ha and so on.

This work covers the main contents of cuisine, costumes, traditional medicine, customs, festivals and rituals, games, pastimes, folk sports, beliefs, religion, language, education, literature, journalism - publishing, performing arts, visualization and photography, cinema, historical-cultural relics and landmarks, cultural characters, etc.

The researcher Tran Dai Vinh, editor-in-chief of the project, said that the two volumes showed diverse "facets" of people's life, ranging from clothing, dining to coliving etiquette. They reflected all the achievements in the community life from the infancy to the migration; and from the formation of Thuan Hoa land till its development into a capital; and now, is a center of culture, medicine, and science. In addition, they, the two volumes, contribute to revisiting Vietnamese culture since the time Lord Nguyen Hoang came to the South to build the Inner Realm (Dang Trong) until Tay Son and Nguyen dynasties. Hue culture, therefore, has not only unique regional characteristics, but also national ones.

To provide an overview of Thua Thien Hue culture, the publication delivers a comment: Hue is the intersection between the cultures of Kinh and Cham people. It is also the place where the country's culture converged and crystallized in the nineteenth century, leaving cultural achievements that make up of the value of Hue culture.

That value manifests itself in the architecture, from garden houses to citadel, palaces, mausoleums, and temples; from folk dishes to noble ones; from commoners’ clothing to royal one; from labor chants to Ly singing and Hue chamber singing; from folk classical drama to royal one; from popular literature to scholarly one; from folk carpentry decoration to royal sculpture and modern painting, etc.

All contribute to creating the cultural identity of Thua Thien Hue, forming the qualities of Thua Thien Hue people, and crystallizing into the harmonious lifestyle of the local residents.

Through 14 chapters surveying aspects of Vietnamese culture in Thua Thien Hue, Hue Cultural Chorography summarizes and synthesizes the cultural features of the land, points out the personalities of Thua Thien Hue people in general, and concludes about the contributions of Thua Thien Hue culture to Vietnamese culture.

The researcher Tran Dai Vinh said: “These conclusions are in the form of a search of a defined yet still developing cultural entity, so they may not be closed but still open.”

A gift 

The work of Hue Cultural Chorography has been researched for many years, with the provincial leaders' interest in Thua Thien Hue culture. In the foreword of the work, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Phan Ngoc Tho emphasized: “This work is compiled in order to clarify the cultural, material and spiritual elements of the inhabitants in a land that used to be the “borderland” Of Dai Viet; the metropolis of Nam Ha – the “locomotive” for the whole region; the capital where cultural values converged and pervaded across the country; a strategic area in the Resistance War against the France and America. Also, Hue is currently playing the role of a cultural, educational, medical, scientific and technological center of Vietnam, and a typical place for national culture which preserves and promotes cultural and spiritual values of the country.”

Thua Thien Hue Chorography – Culture Section is the last section of Thua Thien Hue Chorography

The work records the achievements during the development of Thua Thien Hue culture from prehistoric to contemporary times, selecting cultural slices to identify and orient the next developmental stage. Therefore, this work should be made available to present generations.

“This is a work dedicated to present generations. All adolescents, students, pupils and ordinary people with interests may read to see how Hue culture has helped this land thrive throughout its development history. Our ancestors lived by Hue culture, so we must read to access and protect it. It is also a gift for future generations to access the culture from the ancient times of the land,” enthusiastically said Tran Dai Vinh.

According to Dr. Ho Thang, Director of the Department of Science and Technology, Thua Thien Hue Chorography is compiled in the form of a combined chorography, including 5 components: nature, history, population - administration, economy and culture. The work has been assigned to the Department of Science and Technology for deploying as a scientific task at the provincial level.

Up to now, the components of the Thua Thien Hue Chorography have been completed, with Nature Section and History Section being published in 2005, Population - Administration Section being published in 2013, Economy Section being published in 2014 and Culture Section being published in early 2021.

Completing the final component – Culture Section of Thua Thien Hue Chorography – is an important milestone of the science and technology sector, for it marks the completion of the mission entrusted by the provincial leaders to compile, release and publish Thua Thien Hue Chorography.

The first publication of Hue Bookcase: Hue Cultural Chorography is also an important beginning step for the implementation of the Hue Bookcase project, thence gathering and receiving many valuable publications and works to introduce and promote Hue culture, while at the same time developing the reading culture, introducing precious books, and forming a set of gifts with cultural and educational meanings of the land of the ancient capital.

Story and photos: Minh Hien 

Share