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Ancient village rules found in Hoi An City

Update: May, 13/2014 - 10:30

DA NANG  (VNS) — A four-page draft of village regulations written in Chinese characters has been found at Hoi An City's Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation.

The draft, which was made in the late 19th century under the reign of King Tu Duc of the Nguyen dynasty, was compliled by scholar Nguyen Tuong Tiep from the Nguyen Tuong Van (1774-1822) family in Hoi An.

Historical researcher Ngo Duc Tri from the centre said the draft was found during research on ancient documents.

"It's the only draft of village regulations ever found in Hoi An. It is a precious document that still influences values in modern life," Tri said.

He said the rules outlined ways of offering sacrifices and prayers, of acting with deference and sincerity, the need for equality in allocating property and farm land, the punishment of guilty people, the condemnation of unrestrained drinking - and how village meetings should be held.

Tri said the documents offered rules on morality, transparency, customs and the need for communication.

The city has restored the 208-years-old house on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street that sheltered 14 generations of former leaders of the Royal Army, Nguyen Tuong Van's (1774-1822) family.

The old house, which is one of the tourist destinations in Hoi An City, preserves 20 royal diplomas from the Nguyen dynasty and many antiquities. Some of the descendants still live there. — VNS


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