Where social and cultural resources begin

by NDO02 February 2022 Last updated at 17:00 PM

“Culture is the soul of the nation, expressing the identity of the nation. (Photo: NDO)
“Culture is the soul of the nation, expressing the identity of the nation. (Photo: NDO)

It is no coincidence that Tet (Lunar New Year) is considered a family day. It is the most important festival of families in all ethnic groups around Vietnam.

Lunar New Year 2022 – the Year of Tiger – is welcomed with new hopes inspired by the 13th National Party Congress’s orientation on “comprehensive human development and building an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with a strong sense of national identity that will become an endogenous strength and driving force for national development and defence…”. That strength was also shared by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong while referring to his predecessor's quote: “Culture is the soul of the nation, expressing the identity of the nation. The culture remains, the nation remains”.

Western culture also gave prominence to the role of humanity and happiness as a driving force for development. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It's time we admitted that there's more to life than money and it's time we focused not just on GDP but also on GWB – general wellbeing.”

The world is entering the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is a historic opportunity for Vietnam to strive to realise its aspiration to become a developed country by 2045, when the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) will be celebrated. To realise that aspiration, Vietnam should develop an appropriate development model to mobilise and develop five resources, in which finance, infrastructure and nature are the main driving forces. Meanwhile, culture, society and human beings are endogenous resources for development.

Culture is the spiritual foundation of society as well as a great goal and endogenous resource and driving force of the country. It plays an important role in regulating the movement of society. President Ho Chi Minh made a point that “Culture illuminates the path for the nation to follow” at the first National Cultural Conference in November 1946. In President Ho Chi Minh’s point of view, being human means family first. The happiness of people is first and foremost the happiness of the family. The true happiness of man lies in the family, which was the key point of the human liberation in all revolutionary struggles launched by President Ho Chi Minh. Family happiness is the pinnacle of Vietnamese culture, the nucleus of family cultural values, and the core content of family culture in Uncle Ho’s thought. Specifically, Tet, the biggest cultural festival of the country, is an opportunity for reunion and family happiness. Tet must become the starting for the closest human connection towards the formation of social resources and capital.

In modern industrialised economies, the term “social capital” refers to the mutual trust and understanding, shared values and knowledge that society holds to facilitate the social coordination of economic activities. In order to promote and develop the social capital (including culture) towards ensuring the country’s sustainability, it is crucial to further raise awareness and enhance the propaganda among all socio-economic sectors. Culture is a specific production resource. History has shown that the country’s development in all aspects, including economy, politics and human, must be in the orbit of culture and guided by culture. Within that process, the culture during Tet and family traditions are the key points in the preservation and promotion of cultural and social resources.

In addition, the renovation of methods used in cultural and social preservation and development is especially essential. The development of cultural industry becomes a new driving force for the economy. In particular, Vietnamese families and socio-economic organisations are sustainable links in cultural industry. Many countries, such as Britain, the US, Israel, China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan, have succeeded in developing cultural industry to become a motivation of the economy.

It is also necessary to conserve, exploit and promote cultural resources. The document of the 13th National Party Congress emphasised that it is essential to protect and promote the good and sustainable values of Vietnamese cultural traditions, focusing on researching, identifying, and implementing the construction of the national value system, cultural value system, and human standards associated with preservation and development of Vietnamese family value in the new period. The cultural development should be innovated more effectively. Special attention should be paid to the development of Vietnamese cultural values, focusing on fostering patriotism, national pride, morality, lifestyle, personality and social responsibility among people from all strata, especially the youths. In addition, in a rapidly changing world with the appearance of digital technology, social networks must be used as a powerful tool for the social and cultural preservation and development.

Tet festival leads to the Year of Tiger which expresses a great strength and strong will. As the second pivotal year for the implementation of the 13th National Party Congress’s document, this year will be a new beginning for the social resources originating from the cradle of the Vietnamese family.


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