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A lifetime dedicated to culture and country

Update: October, 02/2021 - 09:27

 

Hero of Labour in renewal period, Professor Vũ Khiêu. — Photo courtesy of vietnamplus.vn

HÀ NỘI — The brightest star of Vietnamese cultural studies, Professor Đặng Vũ Khiêu, has passed away. Over his lifetime, he inspired many generations of students, scientists and people to continue his love of national culture.

Professor Đặng Vũ Khiêu once said to Việt Nam News: "I told myself that I will continue working as long as I am alive." He was true to his word. 

The renowned professor passed away on September 30 in Hà Nội. He was 105 years old. 

Professor Vũ Khiêu was born in 1916 in Hành Thiện Village, Xuân Hồng Commune, Xuân Trường District, Nam Định Province. After graduating from school, he left Hải Phòng and went to find work in Hà Nội as a teacher, where he became involved in revolutionary efforts during the French period. 

What followed was a lifetime dedicated to the study of Vietnamese culture. 

Out of the 72 books and 10 epitaphs written by the late professor, most were self-composed and researched. This includes renowned works like: General Culture and Cultural Policy of Việt Nam, Development Culture and Identity, Confucianism and People, Understanding the Thousand Years of Thăng Long Culture and Ethics, and Law in Development Philosophy in Việt Nam.

As well as intellect, Vũ Khiêu also became a symbol of creativity in other fields.

The esteemed professor wrote nearly 30 books on topics such as philosophy, ethics, literature, art, culture and society. He participated in the creation of many more.  

Among these works are: Đẹp  (Beauty, 1963), Cao Bá Quát (1970), Anh Hùng Và Nghệ Sỹ (Heroes and Artists, 1972), Ngô Thì Nhậm (1976), Cách Mạng Và Nghệ thuật  (Revolution and Art, 1979), Nguyễn Trãi (1980), Nguyễn Đình Chiểu - Ngôi Sao Sáng Của Người Trí Thức Việt Nam (Nguyễn Đình Chiểu - The Bright Star of the Vietnamese Intellectuals1980), and Bàn Về Văn Hiến Việt Nam (Discussions on Vietnamese Culture and Civilisation2002).

As a pioneer in the construction of sociology in Việt Nam, Khiêu also contributed to building moral relations, good moral qualities and promoting revolutionary heroism, especially during the American war. His goal was to direct literature and art towards beauty, criticising and eliminating negativity. 

Many works by Professor Khiêu, such as Marx - Engels - Lenin, discuss morality and have had a strong influence on our country.

Even at the age of 100, the venerated professor was still researching and writing.

General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng visited Professor Vũ Khiêu on the occasion of the 2015 Lunar New Year. — VNA/VNS Photo Trí Dũng

In addition to his career in scientific, ideological and cultural research, Khiêu was also famed for his talent in writing couplets and văn biền ngẫu phú (an ancient literature originating from China). He was a master of văn phú (an ancient literary form of Việt Nam), especially in topics about history and national culture.

At a young age, he wrote two phú essays; Truy Điệu Những Lương Dân Chết Đói (Pay Tribute to People Died of Hunger, 1945) and Văn Tế Anh Hùng Liệt Sĩ Của Cách Mạng Tháng Tám (Oration for August Revolutionary's Martyrs, 1946).

Khiêu lived through a remarkable century for the country of Việt Nam, witnessing all the changes taking place with his own eyes. As a result of his many contributions and sacrifices, Khiêu was awarded many prestigious awards and titles by the Party and State.

The most prominent among them were the Hồ Chí Minh Prize in 1996 for the work Bàn Về Văn Hiến Việt Nam, the title of Hero of Labour in renewal period in 2000 and First-class Independence Medal in 2006.

He was also honoured as one of 11 outstanding citizens of Hà Nội in 2010, when the city celebrated its millennial anniversary.

Behind his cultural career, he was an ordinary person. The simple lifestyle was what most people related to in Professor Vũ Khiêu. 

His personality, life and career are still shining examples for the younger Vietnamese generation to be inspired by. — VNS

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