Cultural and historical experts are making efforts to restore nghe (shrine) Dang Dong in Hanoi, an ancient folk relic.
Dang Dong Shrine (Thach Ban District, Long Bien District, Hanoi) is defined as a popular cultural heritage identified with the rural life of the capital. However, it is falling into oblivion and deteriorating.
|The Shrine Dang Dong is a familiar place of worship for the people in ancient Cu Linh village, Thach Ban nowadays in Hanoi. Photo: Kinh te & Do thi|
Archeologists, historians, and ethnologists have recently worked with the local people to discuss the plan to restore it.
Vestige of the relic
Secluded deep in a neighborhood in Co Linh Street, shrine Dang Dong is a familiar place of worship for locals. It used to be dedicated to the worship of a genie of Cu Linh village (renamed as Thach Ban from 1955).
Today, the Dang Dong Shrine is surrounded by fallow fields, ponds and lakes. When the ancient architecture nearly collapsed, the locals erected a makeshift structure as a place of worship.
The ancient relic is left forgotten by cultural researchers, according to Professor Tran Lam Bien, a local cultural expert. In fact, there have been many seminars to discuss the reconstruction of communal houses, pagodas, and temples but nghe or shrine is of little known and paid little attention.
|The sitting tug-of-war is recognized as a world heritage by UNESCO has to do with shrine Dang Dong. Photo: Nguoiduatin.vn|
Nghe or shrine used to play an important role in the cultural and religious life of the local people because it is the place to worship the supreme deity of a village, according to professor Bien.
Although the structure of nghe Dang Dong collapsed, it is still one of the three nghe – shrines of Cu Linh village. Moreover, it is a typical relic of the country’s resistance wars, according to historian Le Van Lan.
From the end of the 19th century until the August Revolution of 1945 and in the wars against France, nghe Dang Dong was where the patriots took refuge. Therefore, it is qualified to be classified as the typical revolutionary war relic.
Keeping the village spirit for the city
According to Dr. Bui The Quan, Deputy Head of Culture and Information Department of Long Bien District, the locals look forward to rebuilding nghe Dang Dong as a way to make cultural life thrive.
It is the fact that Vietnam’s countryside is changing strongly in the process of urbanization today. All the ancient villages and communes are now urbanized. That’s way, the folk spirit needs to be kept as well as the preservation of rural heritages such as temples, pagodas and folk games.
|The sitting tug-of-war is now replaying in Tran Vu Temple, Thach Ban Ward, Thach Ban District, Long Bien District, Hanoi. Photo: Nguoiduatin.vn|
The sitting tug-of-war in Tran Vu Temple, also in Thach Ban Ward, recognized as a world heritage by UNESCO has to do with nghe Dang Dong. It used to be held every year in March of the lunar calendar in nghe Dang Dong. But since the shrine collapsed, its celebration was moved to nearby Tran Vu Temple, according to the elders in the village.
In fact, the residents still keep in mind nghe Dang Dong ’s foundation, scale, and architecture. Apart from worshiping the God Linh Hue Dai Vuonge, other religious items for worship are still kept at the place. The God is now venerated in nearby Tran Vu temple.
“Based on what we have in the place at the moment and in the memory of the local people, scientists can totally restore a full foundation, scale and architecture of nghe Dang Dong”, Dr. Nguyen Duc Nhue, Deputy Director of the Institute of History affirmed.
The local authority also said that they would consult with cultural experts to complete documents and submit to higher-level agencies for the restoration proposal of nghe Dang Dong in the coming time.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 4 published the ST25 rice trademark on its official gazette for California-based I&T Enterprise, Inc.
Any party who believes it will be damaged by the registration of the mark may file a notice of opposition within 30 days from May 4.
The party can also request for an extension of time to 90 days to file the opposition. If there is no such request, a certificate of registration should be issued in 11 weeks from May 4.
Ho Quang Cua – the farmer scientist who led a team to develop the rice – and his son’s company have filed a notice of opposition and at the same time registered the ST25 trademark to USPTO, said a spokesperson for law firm TDL which assists Cua in the case.
ST25 rice is the result of 25 years of work by Cua and his colleagues who cross-bred the premium fragrant rice of the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, described as having a sweet taste and a hint of pineapple flavor.
In 2019, ST25 rice was named the winner of the World’s Best Rice Contest in the Philippines, marking the first time a Vietnamese rice variety had won the title in the contest’s 11-year history.
At least six companies have registered to trademark the ST25 overseas, including five in the U.S. and one in Australia .
Polish ambassador Wojciech Gerwel writes to Việt Nam News to mark Poland’s Constitution Day (May 3)
This year Poland is celebrating the 230th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of May 3 – the second written act of this type in the world after the American Constitution. It was a momentous piece of legislation and an important reference point for further such acts internationally.
The Constitution of May 3 was even hailed as one of the first sources behind the idea of the European Union. For Poles, it is one of the most important events in the country’s history and a prominent symbol of successful co-operation in spite of differences.
The spirit of international co-operation that this anniversary evokes brings to mind also the achievements and potential of the longstanding close co-operation between Poland and Việt Nam.
Poland was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Việt Nam in 1950. Poland was also the only country that took part in both international commissions on supervision and control in Việt Nam, following the Geneva Accords of 1954 and the Paris Peace Accords of 1973.
During the challenging times of war and post-war reconstruction, Poland implemented countless bilateral co-operation projects in Việt Nam, some of which have grown to symbolise Polish-Vietnamese friendship – for instance the Polish-Vietnamese Friendship High School in Hà Nội, the Polish-Vietnamese Friendship Hospital in Vinh, or the preservation and restoration of priceless monuments in Hội An, Huế and Mỹ Sơn. In fact, in 2021 we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first arrival of Polish restoration specialists to Việt Nam, under the leadership of Kazimierz Kwiatkowski (“Kazik”), still one of the most celebrated foreigners to have lived and worked in Việt Nam.
Through generations of such efforts, a vibrant and prosperous Vietnamese community in Poland has grown to become one of the largest in Europe. The interpersonal bonds that have arisen between our two nations over the past seven decades constitute a solid foundation for the development of our relations in the future. Today Poland and Việt Nam co-operate on many levels – political, economic, cultural, scientific, and educational.
Mutual contacts have been maintained at every political level, even in spite of adverse conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, on April 20, there took place a telephone conversation between the Polish and Vietnamese ministers of foreign affairs. Last year, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with a Polish painting exhibition at the Vietnamese National Museum of Fine Arts in Hà Nội. In November 2020, political consultations were held online at the level of deputy foreign ministers, and the ministries of finance of Poland and Việt Nam signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of taxation and public finance.
Despite the pandemic and the global economic crisis, the value of our economic exchange has also been gradually increasing.
According to Polish statistics, trade turnover between Poland and Việt Nam in 2020 reached US$3.7 billion. For comparison, in 2019 it amounted to $3.5 billion, and in 2018, $3.3 billion. The EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which entered into force in August last year, also offers great opportunities for further development of mutual economic relations.
This positive dynamic would not have been possible without the interpersonal ties that stem from the many years of co-operation in the field of tertiary education. More than 4,000 Vietnamese students graduated from Polish universities between the 1950s and the end of the 1980s. Today, a growing number of Vietnamese students decide each year to undertake studies in Poland (mostly in English-language programmes). Some of them benefit from the pool of government scholarships and scholarship programmes offered by the National Agency for Academic Exchange, including Banach and Ulam scholarships. It is worth noting that in 2019 and 2020 Polish language courses have been launched at the University of Hà Nội and at the University of Mining and Geology in Hà Nội.
Poland and Việt Nam have shared a close and longstanding relationship. In Poland, we look forward to building on this rich tradition of close co-operation with Việt Nam in order to forge ever-closer bilateral ties in the years to come. VNS