General Overview of Studies to be presented at the Scientific Conference
“Vietnam – India Development Cooperation on Culture, Society, Education and Training”
Assoc. Prof. PhD. Le Van Toan
Director of the Centre of Indian Studies
Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics
MA. Do Thi Thanh Ha, the Academy of Journalism and Communication, generalized the cooperation between Vietnam and India in education and training, highlighting five recommendations for the bilateral development cooperation in this field in the future. From the geopolitical perspective, Assoc. Prof., Ph.D Tran Nam Tien and author Nguyen Thu Trang from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University – HCM City, thoroughly analyzed the East Sea in the India’s Look East Policy, clearly pointing out major contents and the implementation of this policy as well as its impacts on the Vietnam – India relationship in the fields of politics and defense security. Ph.D Do Xuan Tuat, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and author Nguyen Duy Thai, the Hanoi National University of Education, approached from historical angle as well as the current viewpoints to deal with the East Sea issue to interpret causes behind the establishment of the Vietnam – India friendship, including: from similarities in history and culture; similarities in setting foundations by Presidents Ho Chi Minh and Jawaharlal Nehru and other social activists; to influences of the natural geography and geopolitics and external influences, and so forth and asserted the political determination of the Indian Government and people to support Vietnam. Mentioning the Vietnam – India security and defense cooperation examined through India’s Look East Policy, authors: MA. Do Thanh Ha, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City, MA. Nguyen Thi Thanh Van, the Organization – Personnel Department, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, MA. Vu Thu Hien, the National Academy of Politics region IV, MA. Nguyen Thi Minh Thao, the Institute of International Relations, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics approached from numerous angles, analyzed achievements and limitations in the Vietnam – India security – defense cooperation in the new era; specified the position and the role of East Sea in the Look East Policy, clearly indicated the mobilization trends of the Look East Policy in the time to come, especially the upgrading from the Look East Policy to Act East Policy of India and proposed some recommendations for Vietnam.
* In regard to the study of Indian culture and Vietnam – India cultural exchange
At this conference, the cultural aspect also draws the interest of many scholars. Prof., Ph.D Vu Duc Ninh from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, from the theory of acculturation, from the perspective of ancient epic to present the Rama epic hero, one of the four earliest civilization cradles of the human beings, a mysterious and heroic culture that played a crucial part in spiritualizing the Oriental lands. Of note, the author provided clear evidence to explain that it was the very Indian culture that had been globalized since the ancient times. The author P.K.Nagia from New Delhi, India sought for answers for the question what Indian culture is through the examination of the origin and expansion of the Indian culture, analyzed the foundations and principles of the Indian culture under the light of science and presented various aspects of culture. Assoc. Prof., Ph.D Do Thu Ha, The University of Social Sciences and Humanities, The Vietnam National University – Hanoi, analyzed and explained the two main contents: (1) studied Indian cultural values from the human rights perspective, and thoroughly analyzed aspects of cultural values and human rights values, points of convergence and conflict, the status of the Dalit people and (2) introduced Indian experience in preserving national identity in the change of value system in the globalization era and recommendations for Vietnam. Assoc. Prof., Ph.D Nguyen Thi Mai Lien, Philology Faculty, the Hanoi National University of Education studied the cultural exchange and acculturation to summarily examine influences of Indian culture on Vietnamese custom in three aspects: influence on social custom, influence on village and commune custom, and influence on national custom, through which the author asserted that different from other countries, Indian culture had entered Vietnam peacefully. Ph.D Le Xuan Kieu, Deputy head of the Institute of Culture and Development, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, studied different aspects of geopolitics, history, and culturology to clearly outline the Vietnam – India cultural exchange in the past, typically the Buddhism in the north and the Brahmanism in the south. The author maintained that Indian culture’s entering into Vietnam was a “conquest of intellects through peaceful measures”. On discussing the influences of Indian culture on Vietnam through specific areas, the papers by the authors Nguyen The Hong, Dong Thap University, Nguyen The Anh, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics region IV, MA. Doan Trung Dung, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics region IV, Ho Viet, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics region III, MA. Kieu Anh Vu, Institute for Cadre Development of HCM City, MA. Vo Thanh Hung, the Southwestern Steering Committee, MA. Le Thi Sau, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics region IV, analyzed various aspects, cases and regions that received the influence of the Indian culture, for instance, the influence of Indian culture in Vietnam through the case of Khmer ethnic group in the Mekong Delta; the influences of Indian culture on Southeast Asian culture; the influences of Indian religion on Vietnamese culture; the Indian culture in the spiritual life of the Cham people; the Vietnam – India cultural exchange from the art perspective; from the perspective of Indian culture to learn about the funeral ceremonies of the Khmer people in the south; Indian Buddhism through Vietnamese custom and practice. The author Ngo Dang Loi, a historian from Hai Phong City, approached from the perspective of natural geography and historical method to study the East terrain, particularly the Ne Le region in Do Son, to study historical data from Vietnamese and Chinese books as well as epitaphs engraved with Han Nom characters in Tien Lang, Hai Pong (15 epitaphs) and many other data to put forward a supposition that Buddhism entered Vietnam first through sea route, and was firstly introduced in Ne Le region in Do Son before spreading to Luy Lau citadel in Bac Ninh Province. The clear evidence can be found at the Dot Pagoda in Kinh Luong commune, Tien Lang District, Hai Phong City where still exit an Indian Bodhi tree more than one thousand years old. Early this year, the State of Vietnam bestowed the “National Heritage Tree” title for this Bodhi tree. The Tien Lang land is also full of historical vestiges of Vietnam – India cultural exchange, which need to be studied extensively. Ph.D Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, Science Management Department, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, approached from the historical progress during which Indian and Chinese culture influenced Vietnamese to study researches preceding from that period, and clearly presented the author’s scientific supposition on the influences of Hinduism in Vietnam through three ethnic groups of people: Viet, Cham and Khmer. The author also put forward recommendations for the preservation and development of Hinduism heritage in Vietnam.
* In regard to the study of ancient India
The ancient India is extremely mysterious. This is the land of major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) and is a sub-continent accommodating the greatest number of religions, including both local and foreign religions (Sikhism, Jainism, Catholicism, Islam, etc.). All these religions are tolerant and peacefully co-exist under the sky of Indian culture. Such mysteriousness makes the study of ancient India not an easy task. However, at this conference, we received quite a few papers studying ancient India by scientists.
Prof., Ph.D Nguyen Hung Hau, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, employed the philosophical methodology to dig deep into particular traits of the thought of the ancient Indians. The author compared the thought of the ancient Indians with Westerners in various aspects: the content of the thought, the concern of the though, directions of the thought, epistemology, instruments of awareness in thinking, and the dialectics in thinking methodology. The author clearly pointed out differences and similarities in the Indian thought and Western thought, in which the differences are fundamental. When comparing the Indian thought with Chinese thought, the author indicated that Chinese thought is of yin-yang equilibrium whereas the Indian thought is more high-faluting because the Indians do not attach much importance to the specific and limited things; they want to approach the unlimited and absolute things through the specific and the limited ones. The author also answered the question: which letter did India send to the humankind? Assoc. Prof., Ph.D Do Thi Lan Hien, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, compared the difference between Vedaism and Buddhism, analyzed major contents in the thought of the Buddhism such as: the negation of sacred standpoints determines the destiny of a person, the dependent origination theory (commonly known as the causation theory), the impermanence doctrine to assert that the Buddhism obviously features the fundamentals of the ancient Indian thought. The author also indicated its significance in the present. Assoc. Prof., Ph.D Dinh Ngoc Bao and Ph.D Nguyen Phuong Lan, the Ha Noi National University of Education, employed the historical methodology and other inter-sectoral approached to find a way out for their study to indicate the linkage from the release ideology in Indian Buddhist philosophy to the liberation ideology of President Ho Chi Minh. The authors studied the “release” in the ancient Indian philosophy and religion, especially in the Buddhism and highlighted that the ideology is a representative of equality, aspiration for freedom and peace. They maintained that President Ho Chi Minh acquired and convert this ideology as well as the humankind cultural quintessence for the Vietnamese revolutionary, and for the development of Vietnamese country and people. Ph.D Vi Thi Huong Lan, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics analyzed in depth the origin, key contents, position, and role of the liberation thought in the Indian philosophy and indicated the impacts of this thought on the spiritual life of Vietnamese people. Assoc. Prof., Ph.D Tran Le Bao, the Ha Noi National University of Education generalized the process of Buddhism entering into Vietnam, fully analyzed Buddhism sects in Vietnam; the relationship between royalty and Buddhism in the history of Vietnam, in which the author pointed out the system of moral standards – the consequence between the King and Buddhism, the fusion between government and theocracy to assert the close-knit attachment of the Vietnam Buddhism with the national destiny, with the Fatherland and witch each soul of Vietnamese people. Ph.D Le Thi Bich Thuy, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, summarily examined the Indian epic, especially the two works of Mababharata and Ramagana, redrawing the spiritual space of the hero and satan presented in the epic to learn about the spiritual space of the ancient Indians. The author analyzed the conception of Hinduism and indicated paths leading to liberation: the intelligence path, the action path, the fervent belief, ect. and maintained that the spiritual space also presents elements of thought, conception and dream of the ancient Indians. MA. Chu Duy Ly, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, the Vietnam National University – Hanoi, fully analyzed the ancient Indian political treatise Arthashastra (Economics) by Indian royal advisor Kautilya (370-283 BC), clearly indicated a number of viewpoints about war and diplomacy, and fully analyzed the Mandala theory of interstate relations which was thoroughly demonstrated in the work of this Indian philosopher. The author asserted that Indian thoughts of international relations appeared from the ancient times, which are one of achievements of the ancient Indian civilization. Also studying these aspects, the paper written by MA. Doan Trung Dung, the author Vo Van Chi, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics region IV, approached from the past and present perspective to study researches on the ancient Indian philosophy in Vietnam, through which highlighted the India – Vietnam relationship on the thinking aspect. MA. Tran Nam Cuong, Research Institute of Communications and Development, Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, analyzed the standpoint in building a sustainable political system of Nagarjuna – one of the key leaders of the Mahayana Buddhism movement in India. The paper also indicated values of such state-governing principles towards the modern time. (Part 3)