HA NOI — Politburo member Truong Tan Sang applauded the work of Vietnamese historians while addressing the 6th Congress of the Viet Nam Historians' Association in Ha Noi on Thursday.
Looking back: The Thang Long Imperial Citadel opened to the public in October. The site provided archaeologists with a treasure-trove of artefacts and insights into the country's history. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Duc
"The association has made an active contribution to the learning of Vietnamese history and to preserving our cultural heritage," he said. "The association's members have helped improve the way history is formally taught. Their research has benefited society and helped to protect the country's sovereignty. The society also made a great contribution to the 1,000th anniversary of Ha Noi celebrations."
Sang called on the society to continue its work on preserving the nation's cultural values. He said he hoped historians would play an even greater role in the teaching of history in and outside of schools so that students better understood the nation's past.
Duong Trung Quoc, general secretary of the association, said it was important not to present a biased view of Viet Nam's past when teaching history.
"Modern Vietnamese history is generally thought to have begun with the Dong Son Civilisation (700-100BC) and the formation of the Van Lang-Au Lac State and subsequently, the Dai Co Viet State," he said. " We should therefore realise that Viet Nam's history embraces the history of various communities, races and states which went to form modern-day Viet Nam."
"Viet Nam's history includes the history of the Sa Huynh Culture (1,000-200BC) and the establishment of Champa State and the Oc Eo Culture (1-630AD) with the Phu Nam State," he said.
He further stressed that history was not just about foreign invasions, revolutions and history but should include every aspect of society such as economics, culture, religion and beliefs.
He said the importance of an "objective" and "comprehensive" approach to Viet Nam's past had been discussed at a number of recent history conferences.
Quoc said the importance of that notion had been forgotten by authors of a number of history textbooks, which had led to a skewed teaching of the subject.
The conference also heard that a history book titled Ho Chi Minh Era should also be published for use in schools.
The association asked the State to implement more effective policies to promote the country's history. The association also asked the Ministry of Education and Training to rewrite history textbooks so that they presented a more balanced approach to the nation's past. They also called on the ministry to help historians publish their research.
At the meeting, professor Phan Huy Le and historian Duong Trung Quoc were re-elected chairman and general secretary of the association respectively. — VNS