|Happy birthday: A set of stamps was issued to mark Nguyen Du's 250th birthday. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA TINH (VNS) — A stately ceremony to celebrate the great poet Nguyen Du's 250th birth anniversary was held in his birth place, the central province of Ha Tinh on Saturday, with State and Party leaders, and many other provincial officials in attendance.
The event aimed to honour Nguyen Du's cultural contributions while promoting literature and popularising Vietnamese culture.
In his opening remarks, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung highlighted the poet's reputation and literacy career with his most influential work, Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu), which has transcended national borders.
Over the past two centuries, his works have conquered the hearts of both Vietnamese and international readers, he said.
He expressed his hope that Vietnamese people and Ha Tinh residents in particular will preserve and spread The Tale of Kieu far and wide.
The ceremony was followed by an art performance themed "The poem touches the soul of the Earth and Heaven".
Earlier, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and other delegates offered incense at the poet's memorial house and tomb in Tien Dien Commune, Nghi Xuan District.
On the same day, a set of stamps marking Nguyen Du's birthday was issued, featuring the great poet writing Truyen Kieu, an epic written in the ancient Vietnamese Nom ideographic script, under the moonlight. It will be available on the post office's network until June 30, 2017.
Nguyen Du (1766-1820), also known as To Nhu and Thanh Hien, was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Figure in 2003.
The chief of the UNESCO representative office in Viet Nam, Katherine Muller-Marin, spoke at the ceremony, praising the cultural and humanitarian values in Nguyen Du's works.
"As an independent, creative ideologist, he depicts Vietnamese culture through his works," she said. "His works are so influential that people still quote him until now to express their idea and emotion."
In his 55 years of life, the poet left a monumental legacy that includes three collections in Han (Chinese) script, with 250 poems in Thanh Hien Thi Tap (Poems of Thanh Hien), Nam Trung Tap Ngam (Various Poems) and Bac Hanh Tap Luc (Miscellaneous Writings in a Trip to the North), as well as the most well-known, The Tale of Kieu.
The Tale of Kieu is a 3,254-line classic verse novel written in "luc bat", a traditional form of Vietnamese poetry that consists of alternating lines of six and eight syllables. — VNS