Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — A life of material abundance but cultural and spiritual poverty is meaningless, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said.
“We are building a socialist-oriented market economy, not a market society,” the Government leader said yesterday during a conference marking nearly a decade since the launching of the movement “All people united to build cultural life.”
From the early 1990s, socio-economic conditions started to improve and Vietnamese people’s worries were no longer solely about making ends meet. They started to have more time to be concerned about living fulfilling cultural and spiritual lives.
Originally a small contest between six households in a rural hamlet of the northern province Hưng Yên in the 1960s, the criteria for a “cultured village” were adopted by Trang Liệt Village in Bắc Ninh Province and Nông Cống Village in Thanh Hoá Province in the 1980s. Their experiences created the foundations for the very first “cultured life” and “cultured families” in Việt Nam.
The movement of building "cultural villages" was officially adopted at the fifth Resolution of the 8th Party Congress in 1998. The movement is a uniting force, tying together disparate campaigns and movements from poverty reduction, national defence and sports promotion to spreading models of “good people, good deeds.”
By 2017, 19 million Vietnamese households have been granted the title of “cultured families,” while the cultural life of 69,000 villages, hamlets, and neighbourhoods in the country has been acknowledged as up to par.
About 3,500 communes have been certified as “new rural commune” – a term encompassing various aspects of socio-economic development as well as cultural targets – accounting for nearly 40 per cent of all communes across the country.
Quoting the late President Hồ Chí Minh in saying, “Culture is the guiding light for the nation,” PM Phúc stressed the need to build a robust culture that can serve as a foundation for the development of a “Vietnamese people with confidence, bravery and the capacity to join the global community, who can simultaneously resist the negative cultural aspects of globalisation."
At the conference, Deputy PM Đam called for the country to take a hard look at the reality of the culture and ethical values among people of all walks of life were “seeing signs of decline,” even in the ranks of Government officials and Party members, and those from highly respected professions such as teachers, doctors and religious leaders.
“Cultural life” activities in many localities had become mostly for show, while efforts to build a new rural paradigm had focused heavily on hard infrastructure and neglected the core component, which is culture, the Deputy PM said.
“It could be said that the movement has not retained the original sense of excitement, nor has it achieved the practical and permeating scope in its early years,” he added, urging cultural officials to conduct a comprehensive review of the titles.
The online conference attracted about 15,000 delegates from central to local levels. — VNS