HÀ NỘI — The brightest star of Vietnamese cultural studies, Professor Đặng Vũ Khieu, has passed away. Over his lifetime, he inspired many generations of students, scientists and people to continue his love of national culture.
Professor Đặng Vũ Khieu once said to Viet Nam News: "I told myself that I will continue working as long as I am alive." He was true to his word.
The renowned professor passed away on September 30 in Ha Noi. He was 105 years old.
Professor Vũ Khieu was born in 1916 in Hanh Thien Village, Xuan Hồng Commune, Xuan Trường District, Nam Định Province. After graduating from school, he left Hải Phòng and went to find work in Ha Noi as a teacher, where he became involved in revolutionary efforts during the French period.
What followed was a lifetime dedicated to the study of Vietnamese culture.
Out of the 72 books and 10 epitaphs written by the late professor, most were self-composed and researched. This includes renowned works like: General Culture and Cultural Policy of Viet Nam, Development Culture and Identity, Confucianism and People, Understanding the Thousand Years of Thăng Long Culture and Ethics, and Law in Development Philosophy in Viet Nam.
As well as intellect, Vũ Khieu also became a symbol of creativity in other fields.
The esteemed professor wrote nearly 30 books on topics such as philosophy, ethics, literature, art, culture and society. He participated in the creation of many more.
Among these works are: Đẹp (Beauty, 1963), Cao Ba Quat (1970), Anh Hung Va Nghe Sỹ (Heroes and Artists, 1972), Ngo Thì Nhậm (1976), Cach Mạng Va Nghe thuật (Revolution and Art, 1979), Nguyễn Trãi (1980), Nguyễn Đình Chiểu - Ngoi Sao Sang Của Người Trí Thuc Viet Nam (Nguyễn Đình Chiểu - The Bright Star of the Vietnamese Intellectuals, 1980), and Ban Về Văn Hiến Viet Nam (Discussions on Vietnamese Culture and Civilisation, 2002).
As a pioneer in the construction of sociology in Viet Nam, Khieu also contributed to building moral relations, good moral qualities and promoting revolutionary heroism, especially during the American war. His goal was to direct literature and art towards beauty, criticising and eliminating negativity.
Many works by Professor Khieu, such as Marx - Engels - Lenin, discuss morality and have had a strong influence on our country.
Even at the age of 100, the venerated professor was still researching and writing.
In addition to his career in scientific, ideological and cultural research, Khieu was also famed for his talent in writing couplets and văn biền ngẫu phu (an ancient literature originating from China). He was a master of văn phu (an ancient literary form of Viet Nam), especially in topics about history and national culture.
At a young age, he wrote two phu essays; Truy Đieu Những Lương Dan Chết Đói (Pay Tribute to People Died of Hunger, 1945) and Văn Tế Anh Hung Liet Sĩ Của Cach Mạng Thang Tam (Oration for August Revolutionary's Martyrs, 1946).
Khieu lived through a remarkable century for the country of Viet Nam, witnessing all the changes taking place with his own eyes. As a result of his many contributions and sacrifices, Khieu was awarded many prestigious awards and titles by the Party and State.
The most prominent among them were the Hồ Chí Minh Prize in 1996 for the work Ban Về Văn Hiến Viet Nam, the title of Hero of Labour in renewal period in 2000 and First-class Independence Medal in 2006.
He was also honoured as one of 11 outstanding citizens of Ha Noi in 2010, when the city celebrated its millennial anniversary.
Behind his cultural career, he was an ordinary person. The simple lifestyle was what most people related to in Professor Vũ Khieu.
His personality, life and career are still shining examples for the younger Vietnamese generation to be inspired by. — VNS
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