Indian Friends Visit Quoc Tu Giam, Try Woodblock Printing
The delegation of the Indian Society for Cultural Co-operation and Friendship (ISCUF), consisting of 17 members, led by Mohanty Bijay, Vice President of the organization, is visiting Vietnam from July 6-10, 2023. On July 6, the delegation visited Quoc Tu Giam relic, the first university in Vietnam. According to Bijay, all members of the delegation came to Vietnam for the first time, so everyone was excited and eager to learn about Vietnam.
The delegates listened to the history of the Temple of Literature - Quoc Tu Giam and admired the ancient architecture which contained many cultural values, and learned about the Vietnamese system and culture.
The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) was built in 1070 under the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong. The relic lies in Thang Long to worship Confucian teachers used as a study place for the crown princes. Quoc Tu Giam was built after the Temple of Literature, in 1076 under King Ly Nhan Tong, where the children of mandarins and aristocrats studied to become scholars and mandarins. This is not only a place of worship but also the largest Confucian education center in Vietnam during the imperial time.
The delegates listen to an introduction about the 82 stone steles and the history of university education in Vietnam. The delegates said that 82 steles are documentary heritages of high cultural, historical, and artistic value that need to be preserved for future generations and introduced to international friends.
ISCUF delegates learned about traditional woodblock printing techniques and materials used such as jackfruit wood (to make printing boards), loofah, ink, and paper for painting and book printing.
Indian friends were excited to experience woodblock printing.
According to Priyanka (center) and Mani (left), members of the ISCUF delegation, they were eager to learn how to use the wooden molds. "The relic staff guided us step by step so we had no difficulty in the process. We were happy to visit the Temple of Literature and learn many interesting things about Vietnam."
Manjhi Dev Anand, writer, ISCUF team member said: "This is the first time I try to print letters with wooden molds. I am very excited because India has no similar activities."
Manjhi Dev Anand printed the word "Talent," which he would bring back to India and keep as a souvenir.
Indian friends showed the letters they printed themselves
Nguyen Van Tu (third from left), Deputy Director of the relic site presented the delegation with a book introducing the Temple of Literature. He hoped the book would help the delegation better understand the relic and remind them of the memories during their visit to Vietnam.
Leaving the Temple of Literature - Quoc Tu Giam, the ISCUF delegation visited Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center in Hanoi. Monica Dharma, Director of the Center introduces the center and its activities to promote Indian culture to Vietnamese people such as teaching yoga and Indian dances, organizing music, art performances, and seminars.
Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center was established by the Indian Embassy in Vietnam in 2016 to enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples through cultural exchange. According to Monica Dharma, Vietnam, and India have many similarities from religion, ancestor worship customs to culture, and climate. Vietnamese people are friendly, hospitable, and resilient. Vietnam has delicious food, diverse fruits and vegetables, and many scenic spots. Many Vietnamese people love yoga. Unlike yoga in India, yoga in Vietnam is developed into stage performances with difficult, beautiful, and artistic poses.
Farewell to the Center, singer Mohapatra Susanta, a member of the ISCUF delegation, sang a song called "Song about Vietnam."
To the delegation, the meeting at Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center helped them better understand Hanoi and the similarities between Vietnamese and Indian cultures. The delegates wished to have the opportunity to return to visit Hanoi and spend more time exploring the capital of Vietnam.
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