Update: 19:16 | 15/09/2020
An exhibition titled ‘The Tale of Kieu and its translations’ was opened in Paris on September 12 as part of the activities to mark the great poet Nguyen Du's 255th birth anniversary and commemorate his 200th death anniversary.
The opening ceremony took place in a space imbued with Vietnamese culture at the Sudestasie bookstore in District 5 of Paris. This is a Southeast Asian bookstore, with a tradition of introducing books on Vietnam for nearly 50 years.
Ambassador Nguyen Thiep, Ambassador Tran Thi Hoang Mai and French researchers at the opening ceremony on September 12.
The event was attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to France Nguyen Thiep; and Ambassador Tran Thi Hoang Mai, head of the Vietnamese Permanent Delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); along with Vietnamese scholars and French and Vietnamese writers, translators, and painters.
Ambassador Tran Thi Hoang Mai reviewed Nguyen Du's dedication as a writer who affirmed Vietnamese language as the identity of the country, emphasizing Nguyen Du as "Vietnam's most successful and talented cultural ambassador".
Just as all Vietnamese are proud of Nguyen Du and ‘The Tale of Kieu’, many foreigners also admire Nguyen Du and his work. In 2013, UNESCO's resolution 37 C / 15 recognised the great contributions made by 109 famous people in the world in culture, education and science, including Nguyen Du.
‘The Tale of Kieu’ has been translated into many languages, taught in schools, and reprinted annually in large numbers. The work was recited from generation to generation. It has its own dictionary, and its own research association (Association for Kieu Studies). The vitality of ‘The Tale of Kieu’ has also reached other art forms such as stage performance, music and painting.
‘The Tale of Kieu’ is not only an endless source of inspiration for the generations of Vietnamese people but is growing increasingly popular abroad.
At the exhibition, readers, researchers and people who love Nguyen Du and interested in ‘The Tale of Kieu’ in France discovered, for the first time, near complete translations in 21 languages. Among these was the first translation in French by the orientalist Professor Abel des Michels in 1884.
Translations of ‘The Tale of Kieu’ were presented at the exhibition.
Over the past 140 years, generations of translators and poets have constantly overcome difficulties and obstacles in language and culture to convey ‘The Tale of Kieu’ in various other languages, contributing to the excellent work of Vietnamese ancient literature to the world. More than 70 complete translations were published in over 25 countries, in addition to many other translations.
On the occasion, a set of stamps commemorating Nguyen Du’s 200th death anniversary was displayed at the exhibition. The set of stamps used an illustration of ‘The Tale of Kieu’ by painter Claudia Borchers in Germany and painter Ngoc Mai in Vietnam along with the painting "The first meeting with Dam Tien" by Vietnamese-French painter Ngoc Thach. A short documentary film "Nguyen Du with the hometown of Ha Tinh" made by Ha Tinh Television Station, was also introduced at the exhibition.
The exhibition will take place until September 26.