Ass. Prof. Dr. Nguyen The Ky, Chairman of the Central Committee for Theory and Criticism of Literature and Arts, talks about the upcoming National Cultural Conference.
On November 24, 1946, the first National Cultural Conference was held in Hanoi. In the opening speech, President Ho Chi Minh pointed out: "Culture must guide the nation to realize independence and self-reliance. Culture must light the way for the nation." This is the guideline throughout all activities of the cause of building and developing Vietnamese culture in the Ho Chi Minh era.
Seventy-five years after that meaningful event, the National Cultural Conference on implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress will be held on November 24.
Ass. Prof. Dr. Nguyen The Ky, former member of the Party Central Committee, former General Director of the Voice of Vietnam, Chairman of the Central Committee for Theory and Criticism of Literature and Arts, talks with VietNamNet before the conference.
Ass. Prof. Dr. Nguyen The Ky.
- The National Cultural Conference will be organized on November 24. What do you think about this event?
This conference is held at the time our country, our cultural career is facing a great opportunity, a turning point: We are accelerating industrialization, modernization and deeper and stronger international integration; We enter the fourth industrial revolution with a new mindset and new aspirations. We have had a 75-year process of building and developing culture and people, now we look back and comprehensively to evaluate what we have achieved to promote the good values of the nation, people and culture of Vietnam, to add new content in science, democracy, humanities...
We have heard leaders and experts talk about green economy, digital economy, digital society, digital culture, digital communication... or new and modern technology platforms that make an impact on every corner of social life and every person. We have a new, smarter, broader perspective to behave, act, and create, even in the field of cultural and human development.
We have also operated very deeply and strongly the socialist-oriented market economic mechanism. The market economic mechanism in general has both positive and negative side. The positive side is to make the economy in particular and the whole society in general have more space for development, have new vitality, new resources, and new creations. But there are cultural products that can be turned into goods for profit, taking into account only economic values without regard to social and human factors, from which negative sides arise.
Obviously, this is a period where we are in a new transition, both opportunities and challenges. This national cultural conference is to implement the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress. Moreover, it is a deeper, comprehensive and complete awareness of the Party's lines and views, Ho Chi Minh's thought, the State’s laws and policies on culture, bringing the cultural cause to a higher, faster and more sustainable stage.
- In the context of globalization and the rapidly developing scientific and technological revolution, if we do not pay proper attention to the position and role of culture, what consequences will be?
The 4th industrial revolution, the digitalization process affects every field, every home, everyone in society, especially young people. Of course, this revolution will present many opportunities for us to grow in many fields, but it also poses many challenges. For journalism and communication, the problems are fake news, malicious information, images, cultural products, which are inappropriate, offensive, insulting to the reputation, honor and dignity of organizations and individuals.
We must implement the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress well to gradually build, supplement and complete the national value system, the Vietnamese cultural value system, the Vietnamese human value system associated with preserving, promoting Vietnamese family values.
Young people must also have their own set of values. Perhaps we have to build a value system in concise terms. There must be scales of values for groups of people in society. The common governs the particular, the particular enriches the common, thereby we can develop culture and build people in a good and sustainable way.
If we develop politics, economy and society without cultural depth, without a cultural-based regulatory system, without attaching importance to the inheritance and promotion of national cultural identity, without absorbing the cultural quintessence of humanity, not building bravery, a good cultural "resistance", we will be affected or even overwhelmed by negative and toxic cultural products. Our young people have many dreams and ambitions, are eager to innovate, love new things. There are new things that have real values, but there are also new things with imaginary values.
The biggest consequence is that when we lose our national cultural identity and nature, and we go to the world without the "cultural identity" of our nation, it is easily to be dissolved. The history of our nation has vividly and convincingly stated this. We were under the domination of foreign invaders for hundreds of years, but in the end, the strength of Vietnam's culture helped us not only survive, but win and stay strong.
The fact that we create for ourselves a cultural identity, bravery, and endogenous strength, then culture is really both the driving force and goal for sustainable development of the country, along with human development. Humans are both a product of culture and at the same time the creator of new cultural values. Our culture is an advanced culture imbued with national identity, democratic, scientific, advanced and humanistic features.
- In your opinion, how does culture have special power with the human value system in the new period?
Culture is a value system, a measure, and a standard to regulate all activities of the whole society and each individual. We look at the common value scales of Vietnamese culture and people to practice and strive to achieve authentic, sustainable and long-term values. The new value system of the nation and of Vietnamese culture today is an independent, unified country with free people, who have a prosperous, happy, democratic, equal and developing life; in society, people love people, respect and honor ancestors; inherit and promote tangible and intangible cultural heritages, especially those recognized by the UNESCO.
When we build the current Vietnamese human value system, those are the values that have been built, cultivated, and forged for thousands of years. That is patriotism, solidarity, standing side by side in the fight against enemies and natural disasters; being brave, industrious, talented, studious and creative; the virtue of humility, harmony, humanity, tolerance... From such standards, each person looks into it to see their love for the country, community, people, and nature, thereby adjusting their perception and behavior. Those values are meant as models for everyone to follow.
- Where should we start to invest in culture in the new era?
Investment in culture is essentially investment in people, and investment in people is in fact investment in the sustainable development of the country, investment in a solid future. So, we have to take care of people for the people, from generation to generation.
President Ho said: "For the sake of 10 years of planting trees / For the benefit of a hundred years of cultivating people". "Human cultivation" is to foster material and spiritual values for people. The new Vietnamese people not only have awareness, consciousness, knowledge, qualifications, and capabilities, but also have to be physically, mentally, and ethically healthy. If you want to go to the world, master the world, in addition to talent, bravery and methods, you must also have health. Investing in people is investing in everything: investment in education, science and technology, economy, society, environment, and other activities.
In order to revive culture and build people, it is necessary to focus on planning, training, fostering, arranging and using a team of cultural workers in a more professional, qualified and capable manner, who have professional ethics, love and desire to develop the country's culture.
- What are you expecting from the upcoming Natural Cultural Conference?
The conference will be held in a ballroom of the National Assembly building, with about 500 delegates attending directly, connected online to 62 provinces, cities, and many relevant agencies at all level.
The national cultural conference is an opportunity for us to look at culture more deeply, comprehensively, systematically, and more fully. From there, we determine the direction, goals, tasks, solutions to develop culture and people for many years to come.
From the fact that we recognize both the strengths and advantages as well as limitations and weaknesses, the development of Vietnamese culture and people in the coming period will have stronger and more solid steps. Through the conference, we will pay more attention to institutionalizing the lines and views of the Party and the State's policies through laws and mechanisms. The Party's resolutions are guidelines, which must be institutionalized by policies to come into life.
Culture is a front, the impact of culture in life is huge. To build a strong culture, we must have suitable people for the new steps of the nation. Those are competent, qualified and ethical people, from the central to grassroots levels. To do this, attention must be paid to the planning, training and fostering of staff.
The Secretariat of the Party Central Committee will host the online National Cultural Conference with the participation of representatives of all 63 provinces and cities in the country and a number of ministries and state agencies on November 24.