A nation that wants to last must develop a strong culture: expert

Update: May, 27/2021 - 08:30


Vũ Minh Giang

Vũ Minh Giang, Chair of Scientific and Training Council of the Việt Nam National University, talks to the Government Portal about the recent article by Professor Dr Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Party General Secretary, titled 'Some theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path towards socialism in Việt Nam'

As an expert in the fields of social sciences and humanities, how do you evaluate the things mentioned in the General Secretary's article, especially the points about the development of Vietnamese culture in the process of building socialism?

The Party has always paid attention to the importance of culture for development. There have been many important resolutions regarding the matter. When the country started to open to the world, we had resolutions to preserve the national cultural identity amid the penetration of foreign cultures. The Party’s Resolution 33 identifies culture as a resource of the nation that must be utilised and turned into tools for the development of the country.

In this article, the General Secretary has emphasised that we must consider culture equal to other important fields such as politics and economics. This is a new summary for us to see more clearly the importance and fundamental nature of culture for the development of the country. The General Secretary also wants to send a message to all of our people that the culture here has intrinsic strength in itself and a nation that wants to last must be based on its own culture.

In the General Secretary's article, it is emphasised that the goal of sustainable development is to develop culture along with economic development. How do you evaluate the cultural development in Việt Nam in recent years?

Việt Nam's development in recent years has had special achievements. The most recent results can be seen in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. People praised the Government's management skills and the involvement of all forces, organisations and agencies in the political system in this fight. There are scholars and foreign scientists who point out that Việt Nam has been taking advantage of the power of tradition. There is no other country where the Prime Minister went on to declare "we must fight the pandemic like fighting the enemy" like in our country.

Việt Nam has a tradition of fighting foreign invaders, but even in peacetime, people are aware that fighting the pandemic is also war and every time we respond to an outbreak, we are doing it like conducting a military campaign.

In the article of the General Secretary, he mentioned the issue of "putting people at the centre". What is your opinion on this?

When we talk about the importance of culture, culture is a human creation. But after all, any political activity, any campaign, is human-oriented and performed by people. In other words, people are the centre of all activities. Therefore, when the General Secretary, in his article, emphasised the central role of people, he points out the nature of development and emphasising humanity in the political guidelines of the Communist Party of Việt Nam.

After we won in the August Revolution in 1945, for the first time, in the name of the country appeared two words "democracy" and "republic". After thousands of years since the Vietnamese people built our country, we have such words in the country's name, upholding the people's mastery role in society.

Of course, the Government that is managing the country, running the country, is the Government of the people, elected by the people and must serve the people. The goal of service lies in the motto "preserve and protect independence", "ensure human freedom" and especially "bring happiness to the people". All these slogans ultimately revolve around people, towards the happy and free life of the people.

The 13th Party Congress pointed out a very important goal of how to arouse the aspirations of the entire people to build a prosperous and developed country. That is another expression of how we see people as the goal, the driving force and the centre of all plans and decisions.

In the context of globalisation, how should we balance the inheritance of good traditional values ​​​​and absorb the quintessence of human culture?

The nature of culture is the creation of the resident community, but another attribute of culture is that it is always adaptive: it must receive new things and change. A culture isolated from other cultures and civilisations is a poor culture and it will not be able to develop.

In the current globalised context, the locally creative nature of culture has not changed. Any ethnic group will continue to develop and acclimatisation will continue to multiply due to the conditions of exchange and contact and the development of science and technology. The current problem is how to harmoniously solve the relationship between those factors.

Our solution is to have a very good filter, to have a strong resistance to be able to receive the true quintessence of humanity and to enrich our own culture. To do so, we must have a confident attitude, firm bravery, especially in educating the young generation. The experience of developed countries and latecomers such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore shows that only when a nation knows how to turn everything it has into a competitive advantage, can it win and develop.

For example, in the past time, we have had a phenomenon in Vietnamese football. A Korean coach came and made the team stronger. Many think he created a miracle - but no - he said that the Vietnamese team was very strong already, but it was only because the players were not confident enough. He was able to explain that Vietnamese people already have strength, it was just not awakened yet. VNS

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