Hue's culture and heritage 'dominated' by one dynasty

Historians and cultural heritage experts say that the presentation of Hue’s history and culture to the layperson has been focused too much on the recent Nguye Dynasty and not enough on the preceding 2000 years.

Artefacts from Hue kept in storage. Thanh Nien News, 20101224

Monumental blunder
Thanh Nien News, 24 December 2010

The ancient capital of Hue is a land rich with culture and a history of at least 2,500 years, but the recognition of its cultural and historical heritage is dominated far too much by the Nguyen Dynasty, experts say.

The Nguyen Dynasty ruled Vietnam for 144 years, from 1802 to 1946.

However, said researcher Ho Tan Phan, “They [local researchers] just focus on the Nguyen Dynasty, forgetting and ignoring other periods, including the prehistoric age, the Cham culture, and 700 years of the Ly, Tran, Ho and Le dynasties from the 14th century, as if Hue has only had the Nguyen Dynasty.

“Each historical period has its own value. That we keep focusing only on a certain period will lead us to improper on co tri tan (Remembering the old to know the new).”

Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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