LOTUS FLOWER IN VIETNAMESE CULTURAL LIFE
On July 28, 2023, the Hanoi Museum, in collaboration with the Support Fund for the Conservation of Vietnamese Cultural Heritage, held the "Lotus in Vietnamese Cultural Life" seminar to honour the beauty and value of the lotus flower in Vietnamese culture, as a contribution to preserving and promoting the traditional cultural values of the capital.
Attending the seminar were Musician Ho Huu Thoi - Vice President, General Secretary of the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Association; Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha - Chief of Office of the Cultural Heritage Association, Deputy Director of the Support Fund for the Conservation of Vietnamese Cultural Heritage; Mr. Nguyen Tien Da - Director of Hanoi Museum and four speakers participating in the seminar include:
- Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Minh Thai - Former Vice Head of the Department of Culture and Communication, Institute of Journalism and Communication, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Member of the Critical Theory Council of the Vietnam Writers Association;
- Dr. Tran Doan Lam - Chairman of the Editorial Council of the Vietnam Research, World Publishing House;
- Dr. Tran Hau Yen The - Lecturer of the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Sciences, Vietnam National University, Hanoi;
- Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam - Chairman of the Support Fund for the Conservation of Vietnamese Cultural Heritage, the record holder set by the Vietnam Records organization on April 17, 2021, owns a multi-faceted collection. The collection has the image of lotus and is a popular exhibit in many places, within Vietnam and abroad.
The topics presented by the speakers include Lotus in Vietnamese Cultural Life, Lotus in Fine Arts, Lotus in Poetry, and Preserving and Promoting the Value of Vietnamese Cultural Heritage through the image of the lotus.Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Minh Thai shared some of her research and observations about Lotus in the cultural and spiritual life and the material life of Vietnamese people. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Minh Thai said that she once learned to make lotus tea with a family with many generations of experience making lotus tea in West Lake, Hanoi, and was surprised at the value that lotus brings to people, including economic development.
Dr. Tran Doan Lam added: "The lotus is an endless source of inspiration for writers and artists, bringing the popular artistic and literary image to Vietnamese poetry. The lotus flower is associated with the beauty and affection of the country. It is a symbol for Vietnamese people, especially Vietnamese women, in terms of both body and personality, so many folk songs have taken the image of lotus flowers to depict the beauty of women. Lotus flower also has noble qualities, is very philosophical, and contains philosophical conceptions of space and time.
Dr. Tran Doan Lam (left) with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Minh Thai (centre) shared this at the seminar.
In the visual arts, Dr. Tran Hau Yen The affirmed that the lotus flower is chosen by many cultures in many countries to share their artistic and religious life. In Vietnam, across all regions, the lotus flower inspires many compositions from past to present. The lotus appears in architecture from the Ly, Tran, Le, and Nguyen dynasties and was carved and shaped by the hands of skilful craftsmen. The imprint can still be found in the relics of communal houses, pagodas, mausoleums and shrines.
Dr. Tran Hau Yen The (left) and Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam (in the middle) share at the seminar
Collector and record holder of the lotus collection and Chairman of the Support Fund for the Conservation of Vietnamese Cultural Heritage, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam, said the lotus imprint in Vietnamese cultural life is evident. Over the past 20 years, she has organized many exhibitions to promote the beauty of the lotus flower, notably a collection of calligraphy lotuses featuring poems about Uncle Ho, which is to be introduced to the public in the exhibition "Uncle Ho and Hanoi", displayed on the 3rd floor of the Hanoi Museum.In the seminar framework, there were activities such as demonstrating a lotus-themed fashion collection by designer Viet Phuong, a lotus tea party, and lotus cuisine. The program included the participation of the Vietnamese Ao Dai heritage club and the Dinh Lang Viet group. These demonstrations and activities are open to the conference attendees and the general public who are visitors to the Hanoi Museum.
Presenting the Lotus-themed fashion collection of designer Viet Phuong
Department of Display and Education