|The Ha Dong Intellectuals group is named the Job Prize winner at Bui Xuan Phai Awards 2020. (Photo: thethaovanhoa.vn)
The Ha Dong Intellectuals group consists of 8 members who are renowned poets, painters, artists, and entrepreneurs. Since 2015, the group has collected and presented about 150 royal decrees of the Le and Nguyen dynasties between the 15th and the middle of the 20th century to localities, more than 80 of which were for temples in Hanoi.
The royal decree is considered the soul and spirit of communal houses, temples, palaces, places of worship, cultural and spiritual activities and a valuable part ofVietnam’s heritage. For many Vietnamese rural villages, the royal decree is the expression of cultural and spiritual values.
One day in 2015, members of the Ha Dong Intellectuals group talked about the royal decrees being kept by member Trinh Huu Sy and then decided to do something about this.
Poet Nguyen Quang Thieu, a member of the Ha Dong Intellectuals group, told VOV: “Our job originated from our love for Vietnam’s villages. When the royal decrees are presented to the locality, they seem to change the life of the people there as they receive something beautiful and sacred, closely associated with the places where they are from. This shows that the people are very aware of their traditional cultural values."
"The royal decrees often date back to 70, 80 years ago, or even more than 100 years ago, which means a very long time, so a lot of things have changed and we have had to do a lot of research and fact-finding tours to find the places mentioned in the royal decrees,” said Thieu.
|Since 2015, the group has collected and presented 200 royal decrees to localities across Vietnam. (Photo: thethaovanhoa.vn)
In addition to those in the collection of Trinh Huu Sy, the Ha Dong Intellectuals group has searched and collected missing royal decrees. They even offered to buy documents from their owners. The group members then do research and translate the documents.
“We consulted with the Institute of Han-Nom Studies and they said the royal decrees are of great cultural value. This is part of an original record on Vietnam’s culture that we need to restore. We asked the institute to verify the documents we collected, translate and put them into the files," said poet Thieu.
"Preserving national cultural background is of great importance as it helps us to stay balanced in every step we make towards the future. That’s why we decided to do this job,” he said.
By collecting the long-lost royal decrees, the Ha Dong Intellectuals group has contributed to preserving and honoring Vietnam’s national culture while inspiring other groups and individuals to pay more attention to presenting the royal decrees to their rightful places.