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Culturist Hữu Ngọc wins Bùi Xuân Phái Award

Update: August, 18/2017 - 09:00
Doyen of culture: Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung (left) and Vietnam News Agency General Director Nguyễn Đức Lợi fetes veteran culture researcher Hữu Ngọc. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Culture researcher Hữu Ngọc has been awarded Grand Prize at the Bùi Xuân Phái - For the Love of Hà Nội Awards for lifelong research and huge contribution to popularising Hà Nội culture. 

In 70 years of writing, the researcher has penned about 34 books in foreign languages including A Sketch of Hà Nội Culture in English and French. The book was a special present to the leaders at the 7th Francophone Meeting in Hà Nội in 1997. 

At that time, it was the first book introducing Hà Nội to foreigners since 1945. It was reprinted in 2010 on the occasion of celebrating Thăng Long - Hà Nội’s 1000th anniversary. On this occasion, Ngọc was commissioned to compile Hanoi, Who Are You ? in English. 

"I wrote A Sketch of Hà Nội in three months," Ngoc recalled.

Hà Nội has been a main theme in many of his works. Another of his books, My Hà Nội, is about his foreign friends who have been living and working in Hà Nội. Throughout the 500-page book, readers can vividly see how much the foreigners love Hà Nội. 

Born in 1918 in Hà Nội, Huu Ngọc is fluent in English, French, German and the Han (Chinese) script. He was won many awards including the Order of Exploit and Order of Independence from Vietnamese Government; Order of the Polar Star from Sweden; and the French Academic Palm. 

He was a regular contributor to Le Courrier du Vietnam and Việt Nam News for many years. 

The Grand Prize was among the top honours awarded at a ceremony held yesterday at the headquarters of the Vietnam News Agency.

Other awards included the Idea Prize; Job Prize and Work Prize.

The Hà Nội Transport Department’s project on new system to reduce traffic congestion and environment pollution from 2017 - 2020 with a vision until 2030 won the Work Prize. 

"The award will encourage us in implementing the project," said Ngô Anh Tú, director of the department’s Science Research and Training Centre. "The project aims to build a modern traffic system in Hà Nội, providing better public transportation services to residents,” he said.

The Job Prize went to the Hà Nội People’s Committee and American Paul George Harding. The committee’s decision to open walking spaces around Hoàn Kiếm Lake and pedestrian only streets has been welcomed by thousands of people, including local and foreign tourists, who flock to the Old Quarter to enjoy walking as well as cultural, musical and art performances, including photo exhibitions and dragon dancing, every weekend. 

Harding, an American veteran, is being recognised for his efforts to clean advertisements posted illegally on public walls, inspiring local youth and hundreds of his Vietnamese students to do the same.

The Work Prize was also given to late writer Băng Sơn and photographer Nguyễn Hữu Bảo. Sơn won the award for his books and 3,000 notes about Hà Nội. His two most popular works Thú Lang Thang Người Hà Nội (Hanoian Enjoys Hanging Out) and Thú Ăn Chơi Người Hà Nội (Hanoian Tastes) have been reprinted recently. 

Bảo’s photo book My Dear Hà Nội is a collection of ten photographic "short stories" about daily life in the capital city that he recorded over three decades (from 1978 to 2015). 

The Bùi Xuân Phái - for Love of Hà Nội Awards were launched in 2008. The awards are named after renowned painter Bùi Xuân Phái (1920-88) whose iconic works on the capital city has achieved global fame and recognition. — VNS


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