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Việt Nam, Morocco share experience in maintaining cultural diversity

Update: March, 28/2018 - 10:00
Ben Aomar and his wife on cover of the book. Moroccan Communist Party sent Aomar to Việt Nam following President Hồ Chí Minh’s request with aim to support the then Việt Nam Communist Party in 1949. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI —  Vietnamese and Moroccan experts have emphasised the importance of cultural diversity for national unity during a conference held yesterday in Hà Nội.

They also shared experiences in cultural preservation and development as Việt Nam and Morocco have many similarities in culture and history. Both of the countries enjoy the harmony of different communities with unique cultures, said Azzeddine Farhane, Moroccan Ambassador to Việt Nam.

The conference was held in the framework of historical relations between Morocco and Việt Nam, and within the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies (IAMES) and the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Research (CERSS), signed, on March 28, last year.

The conference saw the attendance of senior officials, professors, Ambassadors and students.

During the event, the specialists discussed general scope and meanings of cultural diversity and lessons learned from Cultural diversity experiences and implementation of legal frameworks on this issue. They considered cultural diversity as ‘a cement’ for national unity and territorial integrity.

“This event aims to contribute to strengthening academic research, and more specifically to exchange the experiences of Morocco and Việt Nam in cultural diversity, for permanent inter-cultural dialogue and mutual enrichment,” said Farhane.

“The seminar took the form of a debate about the relations between culture diversity, co-existence and national unity.”

The Ambassador said the event will help strengthen co-operation in research academic programs about cultural diversity, smooth integration and national unity; and put out the policy model of Morocco and Việt Nam for strengthening national unity, social cohesion and territorial integrity.

Michael Croft, head of the UNESCO Hà Nội Office said cultural diversity is embodied in uniqueness and plurality as a source of exchange, innovation and creativity.

“Cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature,” he said. “Cultural diversity widens the range of options opened to everyone. UNESCO always works to promote cultural diversity in each country.”

Lê Phước Minh, general director of the Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies (IAMES), said Việt Nam has a rich and diversified culture, that’s the result of the establishing and developing process of the nation during thousands years.

“The ethnic groups always show solidarity and cultural exchange due to the real condition that Việt Nam always faced with the risk of being invaded during its history,” he said.

“Việt Nam has a treasure of 7,000 festivals; a rich heritage of folk music, art and crafts; as well as various beliefs and worshipping that nurture the spiritual life of the Vietnamese people.”

In order to preserve and develop cultural diversity, Minh suggested that managers and cultural activists should focus on popularising Vietnamese language, training a generation of traditional cultural practices and respecting the indigenous culture of ethnic groups.

Prof Abdallah Saaf, former Minister of National Education of Morocco, said he has researched much about Vietnamese history and culture and realised some similarities in cultural diversity between two countries.

“While Việt Nam has 54 groups with some communities immigrated from neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Laos and Cambodia and China, so does Morocco, some Moroccans look like Europeans, some look like Asians.”

He stressed that the unique culture of each group is an integral part of the national culture and plays an important part in developing the nation comprehensively.

On the occasion, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Việt Nam introduced a Vietnamese translation of the book Histoire d’Anh Ma (Brother Mã’s History), written by Prof Saaf.

It’s the story of Ben Aomar whose Vietnamese name is brother Mã. Moroccan Communist Party sent Aomar to Việt Nam following President Hồ Chí Minh’s request with aim to support the then Việt Nam Communist Party during the resistance against French invaders.

Prof Saaf compiled the book due to his personal sentiment and respect for Aomar. He wants to honour Aomar’s braveness and achievement in political activities in general and Vietnamese revolution in particular.  — VNS

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