Russian students demonstrate their interest to Vietnam

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The article is a survey of the first scientific international conference on study of the Hung Kings’ epoch impact on Vietnam’s history held in the Ho Chi Minh Institute of Saint Petersburg State University in the frameworks of the World Hung Kings’ Temple Festival, and also of the students’ scientific conference in Moscow State Institute of International Relations in the frameworks of the 6th Vietnam Day.

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On April 21, 2021 the Ho Chi Minh Institute of Saint Petersburg State University jointly with the organizational committee of the World Hung Kings’ Temple Festival and the Vietnamese community of Saint Petersburg held (in the mixed format) a scientific conference on study of the Hung Kings’ epoch impact on Vietnam’s history. This first conference was timed to coincide with an annual Vietnamese Hung Kings’ Temple Festival, in 2012 UNESCO entered on the list of non-material cultural mankind’s legacy. Outstanding scientists and young researchers of Saint Petersburg State University, Far Eastern Federal University, Tyumen State University, the University of Liège (Belgium) and from the United States, as well as representatives of Saint Petersburg Vietnamese community took part in the conference. The conference was opened and finished by Professor Ta Ngoc Tan, Vice-Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council of the Communist Party of Vietnam (Fig. 1). In his introductory statement he mentioned that in Vietnamese history the Hung Kings culture gave a sense of unity to the Vietnamese people, assisting to overcome obstacles. The importance of holding such conferences for the Vietnamese studies potential in the country and in the world was assessed by Ye.Ye. Vlasov, Ph.D. (Politics), Deputy Vice-Rector in international relations of Far Eastern Federal University. Fig. 1. Professor Ta Ngoc Tan and Professor V.N. Kolotov at the conference opening. The picture by the author Nguyen Dang Hung, Ph.D. (Technics), Professor emeritus of the University of Liège delivered a report on the role of the Vietnamese language in maintenance of national identity of Vietnamese who live abroad. Nguyen Huu Ho (US) presented his research on the problem of the Vietnamese people emergence. In his report he demonstrated valuable artefacts of the Baiuye time, having been used in ancestor worship rituals. They were found during archeological excavations in the North of Vietnam (Fig. 2) Ye.Yu. Knorozova, one of the leading Russian experts in Vietnamese literature, Ph.D. (Philology), Assistant Professor, delivered the report on the theme “’The Tale of Watermelon’ from the Vietnamese collection ‘Linh Nam Chich Quai’ (15th cent.)”. Also, she represented her new book “Spiritual Culture of Vietnam: Traditional Religious Mythological Ideas of Vietnamese”. Fig. 2. On the left: participants of the conference, on the right: a jasper vessel of the Baiuye time. The picture by the author. Nguyen Tran Tan Hiep and Duong Thanh Nhan having come to the conference from Tyumen State University talked about traditional beliefs, about Hung Kings’ Temple Festival and their role in the development of Vietnamese culture. Also, students Vietnamists of the senior year of Saint Petersburg State University delivered their reports at the conference. A.A. Zorin presented his research “Military Matters of Van Lang State”. By means of an example of different kinds of weapons he illustrated intercultural relations and social order of Van Lang State. G.A. Lukonina broached the issue of conservation and investigation of masterpieces of oral and non-material cultural legacy in Vietnam and their use in educational and tourist programs. N.V. Kolotova touched the theme of application of a soft force in current foreign policy of Vietnam. Also, this force revealed itself in the present conference. The students delivered their reports in Vietnamese. In conclusion, V.N. Kolotov, D.Sc. (History), Professor of Saint Petersburg University, Director of the Ho Chi Minh Institute, delivered the report on the theme “Hung Kings Temple Festival and the Development of the Vietnamese Nation’s Identity”. He believes that in the context of political and ideological disunity of Vietnamese diasporas abroad the project “Hung Kings Temple Festival” is a fine base for their unity and for the removal of different contradictions, still existing after the end of the war in Vietnam. Professor V.N. Kolotov pointed to the tendency of the resurrection of traditional Vietnamese rites in current Vietnam, supported by Vietnamese political leaders. Fig. 3. V.N. Kolotov’s report at the conference. Source: TTXVN In his concluding remarks Professor Ta Ngoc Tan pointed to the high quality of all the reports and good knowledge of Russian students both of the Vietnamese language and the history of Vietnam. In the afternoon the Vietnamese community in Saint Petersburg held (also in the mixed format) Hung Kings Temple Festival. The complete program of the conference can be accessed on the site of the Ho Chi Minh Institute . On April 29, 2021 in Moscow State Institute of International Relations in the frameworks of the 6th Vietnam Day the students’ scientific conference “Vietnam in the New System of International Relations: Seeking Responses to New Challenges” took place. The conference was organized by the Center of ASEAN at Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the Vietnamese association of MGIMO. Due to the hybrid format the participants of the conference were not only students of Moscow universities (MGIMO, the Institute of Asian and African Countries of Moscow University, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia), but also representatives of other Russian leading universities: Saint Petersburg State University, the branch of the HSE University in Saint Petersburg, Kazan Federal University and Far Eastern Federal University. The participants were greeted by diplomats and leading Russian Vietnamists (Fig. 4). Among guests of the conference there were representatives of the Embassy of Vietnam in Moscow and of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Russia), teachers and students of the universities, training specialists on Vietnam, representatives of Vietnamese and Russian mass media. Fig. 4. Diplomats and scientists from Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Hanoi greeted the participants of the conference. Source: The conference was held in the two parallel sessions: “Russia and Vietnam in Regional Dynamics” and “Vietnam’s Domestic and Foreign Policy”. There were delivered 15 reports in a very wide scope of themes: Vietnam’s economic development, international migration, political processes in Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific, etc. According to the results of the sessions MGIMO experts-teachers chose the two best reports, and their authors got souvenirs. Besides, there were recorded two speeches more. The texts of the best reports will be placed on the website of the ASEAN Center in “Opinions” section. The themes of the reports of “Russia and Vietnam in Regional Dynamics” were the following: strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership of Russia and Vietnam after the 13th Congress of the CPV; Russia - Vietnam military and technical cooperation; Vietnam’s regional cooperation and educational migration; Vietnam’s economic development, also, in conditions of the Sino-US trade war; Vietnam’s chairmanship in ASEAN. The reporters drew the audience’s attention to some problems in Russia - Vietnam bilateral relations. In particular, they spoke of the insufficient use of the export potential of Russian education and investments, of Russian owners’ insufficient knowledge of the possibilities to do business in Vietnam and of little knowledge of possible cooperation with Russia among the Vietnamese population. At the same time, Vietnam’s high activity in the international scene, its consistent technological transformation and its growing role in the international affairs give significant possibilities to develop cooperation with Russia. In the session on problems of Vietnam’s domestic and foreign policy (Fig. 5) the speakers touched such actual themes as the peculiarities and perspectives of the development of Vietnam - Japan strategy partnership, Vietnamese assessment of ASEAN international role, the efficiency of the measures, undertaken by the Vietnamese government to fight the Coronavirus infection, the specificity of Vietnam’s consumer market and the role of Vietnamese mass media in the context of throwing light on territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Some reports of the session touched historical problems. In particular, there were discussed the peculiarities of Vietnam’s political system formation in 1975-1986 and the sequences of US application dioxin-containing chemical weapon in the south of Vietnam explained in the analysis of Tran To Nga social activity. A.B. Popov, the General Consul of the Russian Federation in Ho Сhi Minh City (2015-2021), took active part in the discussion. He compared his observances on how the Vietnamese Government fought COVID-19 spread in the country. The audience was especially interested in the reports done on the base of sociological surveys among the Vietnamese population conducted by the authors. Fig. 5. At the session on the issues of Vietnam’s domestic and foreign policy. Source: Summing up, the invited experts pointed to a high level of the reports, the actuality of the discussed themes and the growing interest to Vietnam among Russian students and young researchers.

About the authors

N. V Kolotova

Saint Petersburg State University

Student, Faculty of Asian and African Studies

D. D Bachilo


Expert, ASEAN Centre

V. V Vershinina


Expert, ASEAN Centre


Copyright (c) 2021 Kolotova N.V., Bachilo D.D., Vershinina V.V.

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