Life in Vietnam

Tuesday, 13/06/2017 10:48

Hà Nội researcher dies

Ha Noi researcher Vu Tuan San. Photo
Viet Nam News

HA NOI — Vu Tuan San, a veteran researcher of Ha Noi and Han-Nom studies, died after prolonged illness last Friday in Ha Noi. He was 102.

The researcher received the grand prize in the 2014 Bui Xuan Phai — For Love of Ha Noi Awards for his contribution to research on Ha Noi. He was born and raised in Dai Tu Village, in present Hoang Mai District, Ha Noi. He is considered a pioneer for his research on the Vietnamese Nom language of Thang Long-Ha Noi.

Being a master of Han Chinese and Vietnamese Nom ancient script, French and English, he is acknowledged as a path-finder in the research on Thang Long-Ha Noi. He taught French in the hope of preserving Vietnamese culture during French colonialism.

He was among the first Hanoiologist to participate in a project to clarify certain issues of Ha Noi’s geography and culture. He worked at the Ha Noi Department of Culture and Information, where he made many researches on Han Chinese and Vietnamese Nom ancient script and Vietnamese folklore culture.

"He eagerly rode his bike to the ancient works around Thang Long Citadel to make notes and carry out cultural research," said Professor and Doctor Mai Quoc Lien, director of Centre for Vietnamese National Studies. "His researches on old and present Ha Noi are worth reading."

Any enthusiast of  Ha Noi’s culture and history knows San’s book Ha Noi Xua Va Nay (Ha Noi Now and Then). The 980-page book, which took decades to write, is divided into five parts – history and geography, relic sites, famous figures, literature, and traditional culture and handicraft.

He is also known for his translations of Han Chinese and Vietnamese Nom poems, being published under his pen name Tao Trang.

Poet Bang Viet, chairman of the jury board of Bui Xuan Phai awards, said that what researcher San had done for Ha Noi showed how much he loved the city.

"During his life time, he has had plenty of time to accumulate and discover interesting and beautiful things about Ha Noi. He has put all his thoughts and love for Ha Noi into his work. He has devoted his entire life to Ha Noi.”

Last year, researcher San donated 500 books of Han Chinese and Vietnamese Nom literature to the Han Nom Research Institute in Ha Noi.

The books include several unique printed versions of history, geography and literature that the researcher had kept for the past 50 years and are written in the Han Chinese and Vietnamese Nom ancient script. — VNS


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