Prominent Vietnamese cultural heritage events of Vietnam in 2018

(No.1, Vol.9,Feb-Mar 2019 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

In 2018, Vietnam cultural heritage- related activities
were hot and made a significant mark on the international stage.

Cao Bang’s Hills & Water was recognized as a Global GeoPark

On April 12, 2018, the 204th Meeting of the UNESCO Executive Committee in Paris, France, passed a resolution recognizing the Hills & Water geological park of Cao Bang as a UNESCO Global GeoPark.
UNESCO Global GeoPark Hills & Water of Cao Bang has an area of 3275 km2 spread over nine northern districts of the country. This is also the habitat for over 250,000 people of nine different ethnic minorities.
The Park encompasses 130 unique geological heritage spots with extremely rich and diverse limestone formations such as towers, gorges, caves, caverns and connected lake-river-cave systems, which reflect the completion of karst evolution cycle in the tropics. In addition, there are many other geological features such as fossils, stratification line, faults and, mineral forms, all proof of the complex geological development that lasted over 500 million years in this region.
UNESCO Global GeoPark Hills & Water of Cao Bang also has famous tourist attractions such as eco-tourist zones of Phia Oac, Phia Den, the lake system of Thang Hen, Nguom Ngao cave and most remarkably, the Ban Gioc waterfalls, one of the world’s four biggest and most beautiful border waterfalls.
Moreover, the park has rich cultural and historical heritage with 215 ranked sites, including three special national relic sites. The region is also one of the few places in Vietnam thought to be early habitat of prehistoric people, besides being the ancient capital of some feudal dynasties, the cradle of the Revolution of Vietnam, and a base of the war for resistance against the French colonialists.

2018 Asia - Pacific Conference on Intangible Culture in Hue

The 2018 Asia - Pacific ICH NGO Conference with the theme “ICH NGOs towards Sustainable Development of Communities” took place on Nov 6th-8th 2018 in Hue. Participating were representatives of 35 organizations from 16 countries working on protection of intangible cultural heritage. At the conference, delegations shared experiences of running NGOs to achieve sustainable development goals, while at the same time figuring out future directions for building intangible cultural heritage protection systems.
Notably, there was a session on intangible cultural heritage protection in Vietnam. A number of talks addressed the lesson to be learned from intangible cultural heritage protection in Vietnam, especially from the vibrancy of Royal Court Music 15 years after being recognized by UNESCO as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage, also Vietnam’s first Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Vietnam added a documentary heritage to the Memory of the World

“China Royal Mission Records” is the records of the journeys of Dai Viet ambassadorial missions in 18th century, collected, edited, revised and footnoted by Minister Nguyen Huy Oanh (1713-1789) from 1765-1768 based on the documents of his predecessors, supplemented with details from the 1766-1767 mission headed by himself.
The book was successfully presented  at the 7th meeting of the 8th plenary session of the Memory of the World of the Asia-Pacific region (MOWCAP) of UNESCO in Gwangju, South Korea (May 29-31, 2018). Thus, the only manuscript of the book made by the descendants of the Nguyen Huy clan in 1887 from the original of Minister Nguyen Huy Oanh, was recognized as a documentary heritage of the Memory of the World of the Asia-Pacific region.­­­
The tricolor copy of “China Royal Mission Records” is  written in Chinese characters on Nepalese paper and includes: a map of the mission journey from Vietnam – China border through districts, counties, posts to the final point (s the Tan Thanh district of Beijing;) notes on the mission process; records of the itinerary, structure and date of completion of Yen King gates; and detailed notes of landscapes, mountains, rivers, people, customs, culture and diplomatic rites and ceremonies as the mission passed through localities of China and Vietnam.
The UNESCO members voted unanimously to find the book an invaluable document on diplomatic relations between two countries of the Asia-Pacific region in the 18th century, which can be a positive contribution to the maintenance of peace between nations in the region and in the world. Moreover, it is found to be a great reference source on geography, history, politics, diplomacy, culture and arts etc. of many regions of Asia of the time.

The first remains of prehistoric humans found in a volcanic cave in Vietnam­

In September 2018, Vietnamese geologists and archeologists uncovered traces of prehistoric human dwelling in volcanic caves in the Volcanic Geological Park Krong No, Dak Nong Province. This was the first time Vietnamese scientists applied a comprehensive research approach comprising multiple methods to establish complete heritage natural and cultural values on the volcanic cave heritage.
According to experts and specialists, this was a breakthrough discovery marking a pivoting point for the science of paleoanthropology of Vietnam.

First conferment of campaign medals “For the cause of cultural heritage of Vietnam”

The conferment of campaign medals “For the cause of cultural heritage of Vietnam” of the Association of Cultural Heritage took place on the Viet Nam Cultural Heritage Day of Nov 23, 2018.
268 individuals received the medals for the first time in 2018, among whom 115 were nominated by the Association leadership, 100 others by the Association’s sub-organizations, 35 others from the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and 18 from business entities.
This event marks the recognition and appraisal of entities and individuals that have made great contributions to the cause of preserving and protecting traditional cultural heritage of Vietnam.