|Rich heritage: The town of Krakow is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Later this year, the city will host the UNESCO World Heritage Committee session.— Photo courtesy of Polish Tourist Organization|
Polish Ambassador Barbara Szymanowska explains the significance of the National Day of Poland on May 3,and highlights the nation’s cultural and scientific contributions.
All over the world, Poles and friends of Poland celebrate the Polish National Day by remembering the declaration of the nation’s constitution on May 3, 1791. On this occasion, allow me to share a few words about Polish history, some highlights of the Polish-Vietnamese relations as well as some remarks on Poland’s position in the international arena.
The Polish Constitution was the first modern constitution in Europe and second, after America, in the world. It reflected the Polish spirit that enabled the nation survive 123 years of bondage and partitions. Over the years, celebration of the 3rd May anniversary has become a manifestation of patriotism, and it has become Poland’s most important civil holiday since the nation regained independence in 1918.
At present the Constitution of May 3rd is believed to be the most significant breakthrough event in the history of Poland. It is a matter of pride for the parliamentary and democratic traditions of the Polish republic.
Poland is a part of Europe, and since 2004, a member of the European Union. Poland has contributed substantially to the development of European culture and identity. In the era of growing threats and difficulties in Europe, it is essential to value the heritage of Polish political thought, which takes inspiration from its historic, geopolitical and social experiences and emphasizes co-operation between nations, intercultural dialogue and activities leading to respect and reconciliation.
Protecting world heritage
Poland is very active in protecting world heritages. Poland and Việt Nam have been successfully co-operating in this field. It is worth mentioning Polish architect Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, who actively contributed to preserving the cultural heritages of Việt Nam. Over 35 years ago, Poland established in Việt Nam the Polish-Vietnamese Monument Conservation Mission. It was the first international mission in Việt Nam after reunification of the country. It was also the first Polish conservation mission in Asia. Poland’s contribution to UNESCO is marker of the nation’s active role in this field. In July 2017, the Polish city of Krakow will host the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
This year, 2017, has been established by UNESCO as the Year of Zamenhof. Ludwik Zamenhof was a Polish medical doctor, inventor and writer. He is most widely known for creating Esperanto, the most successful constructed language in the world. It is a language which enables nations to overcome barriers between them. I am very happy that the Esperanto Association in Việt Nam is very active.
Thanks to steadfast growth for 25 years, Poland has risen in the world economic rankings.
For Poland, Việt Nam is definitely one of the most important economic partners in Asia. According to Polish statistics, bilateral trade in 2016 reached almost US$2 billion. It also made Việt Nam Poland’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN.
Poland is a tolerant, safe country. Polish society has always been devoted to liberty and democratic values. Poland respects tradition, but at the same time, it is a modern, innovative and creative country. It is also worth to mentioning Polish contribution to science and culture. This year we are celebrating the 150th birthday of Maria Skłodowska-Curie, the only woman who received 2 Nobel Prizes. She is quite well known in Việt Nam – there are two schools named after her in Hà Nội and HCM City.
Security in today’s world has become a particular concern, and since 1999, NATO has become the main security pillar for Poland. NATO summits in Newport and in Warsaw in 2016 confirmed that the organization is determined to provide effective defence for its members and support for its partners.
On the occasion of the Polish National Day, I wish all readers a lot of health, security and happiness. — VNS