First of all, on behalf of Vietnamese writers that we represent,
I would like to express friendly grreetings to all participants
and friends who are present at this meeting.
I also want to convey the greetings of the Vietnam Writers Associations
board of leaders, appreciating Malaysia, the host country, that
has the initiative of organising this meeting, creating condition
for writers from the Southeast Asian Countries to have a chance
of meeting each other to exchange information and experience,
and at the same time to consider their own capability and draw
up orientations for the co-operation programmes in the future.
The regular meeting of writers of this kind, along with the continuous
broadening of exchange and co-operaiton in other fields such as
economy, science, education, trade, sport
help us further understand and sympathize with each other, contributing
to the maintenance of peace and stability, making each country
and the whole region to be more and more prosperous, developed
and appropriate to the general trend of todays world.
Now I'll present the outlines of the situatuin of our countrys
Our written literature stook shape since the 10th. century and
could be divided into two main schools: the school of the chu
nom literature (i.e. the ancient Vietnamese script that lasted
from the 10th. century to the end of the 19th. century) and the
school of the quoc ngu literature (i.e. the Vietnamese script
that has been latinized) that came into being from the end of
the 19th. fentury and has been developing now. Right in the period
when the chu nom was used, our lietrature has produced great writers
and poets whose good reputation has not only spread in the country
but been also largely known in many other countries, such as Nguyen
Trai, Nguyen Du, Ho Xuan Huong, Cao Ba Quat
can be said that our literature has struly seen a strong development
both in quality and quantity when the quoc ngu began appearing,
and especially after the August Revolution (1945). And it can
be said that our country is an unique one in Asia whose language
has been latinized. Right after the success of the August Revolution
(1945), President Ho Chi Minh has mobilized the mass to carry
out a revolution to eliminate illiteracy, bringing a wonderful
result that only after a short time, 95% of the population could
read and write. These two factors were those that decided the
literary development in general and the formation of a numerous
contigent of writers and poets in particular. so far, we have
nearly 700 writers and poets who have been officially recognized
as members of the Vietnam Writers Association (of these about
70 are women writers), not to mention hundreds of writers and
poets who are not yet admitted to the association, but all of
them had works published in books, newspapers and magazines. Our
beloved President Ho chi Minh himself was also a great poet who
contributed many valuable works to our literature.
As an agricultural country with 90% of the population practising
farming (actually this ratio has reduced) and during the formation
and development of the country, our nation has continuously experienced
long and hard resistance wars against foreign invaders, and it
is, therefore, not surprising to see that the struggle for national
independence and problems of peasants and the countryside are
still two major themes that still attract the concern of many
writers. Besides, writing for children is also a great part in
the creation of our writers.
After the successful strunggle against American invaders, the
country has enjoyed peace and reunification 91975), especially
after the implementation of the renovation policy initiated by
the Party and State, our literature has had more condition to
develop. Along with the liberation of energy for production, our
Party and State have also carried out many policies aimed at liberating
Writers are free to choose any theme as well as any artistic expression
form they wish. They only are not allowed writer to write with
the purpose of propagandizing war and arousing violence, or supporting
the obscene and debauched life style or sowing division among
nationalities and religions (I would like to repeat here that
after the success of the August Revoluation, President Ho Chin
Minh has signed a decree abandoning the censorship previously
applied by the French colonialists).
During the period of renovation and shifting to the market economy,
beside the theme on war and the countryside, which have been still
exploited and illustrated by some writers with new point of view,
bringing about certain considerable successes, the themes on cities,
urbanization and negative affects of the market economy to a human
life style and personality are being tried by many writers.
At present,r egardless of what they write about the greatest concern
of our writers is to extol and honour human beings, raise the
humanitarian values of the work. Once written,e ach work must
help people perfect themselves their dignity, know how to live
honestly, hate and stand up to fight against all forms of evil.
in addition, while seeking for the methods of expressing the new
and modern art, a requirement posed to the writers is how to bring
into play the independence and the identity of the national culture.
Being aware of the fact that the promotion of national literature
cannot be done wihtout the exchange and contact with other countries
and the opening of the door to the outside to acquire the quintessence
and advance of foreign literature, therefore, the translation
of foreign literaty works in Vietnam have been also encouraged
and supported by the State.
In fact, in the recent years the situation of publishing translated
books in our country has been blooming than ever before. Works
of the world's most famous authors have been taught and translated
in Vietnam. Regrettably due to the lack of information and documents
the introduction of literature of the South East Asian countries
has been done very little. However, in the last four years we
have participated in the annual South-East Asian Write Award and
published a special issue to introduce this award and some short
stories of South-East Asian Writers. Another event, that proves
the concern of our state to the open door policy and the acquisition
of experiences of the world literature, has been the publication
of the World's Literature magazine of the Vietnam Writers' Association.
This is the first time our country has its own magazine introducing
the quintessence of the world's literature to Vietnamese readers
and right after its appearance, it has been warmly welcomed by
writers and readers. This is one of our concrete actions aimed
at meeting the requirement of broadening the literary exchange
with other countries.
Once again we appreciate the initiative of the Language and Literature
Institute of Malaysia of having organized sthis meeting. This
can be considered as a starting step for strengthening the mutual
understanding among South East Asian Writers, advancing toward
the promotion of the next co-operation and development on literature
in our region. Nevertheless, in order to have the next step and
more concreta co-operative orientations, we need to have a mechanism
for co-ordinating our actions and enhancing bilateral and multi-lateral
relations. To do this, we propose that after this meet, there
should be a meeting between the leaders of the South East Asian
Writers Associations in order to formalize the issues that we
can agree with each other at this meeting.
wish all of of you good health and success.
Thank you for your attention.