VN’s historical exam results court UNESCO status

50 local scholars and scientists on Saturday reaffirmed that 82 historical doctor laureate steles at Hanoi’s Temple of Literature be recognized by UNESCO .

The 82 doctor laureate steles at Hanoi’s Temple of Literature (Photo: SGGP)

The scholars proclaimed at the conference aimed at collecting experts' opinions on procedures to submit the historical doctor laureate steles into UNESCO. This action was taken after an announcement early this year that the steles are eligible for the race to enter the Asian category of the UNESCO program, Memory of the World. If successful, the steles will be entitled to ‘world document heritage.’ 

The steles were carved with the names of 2,313 doctors who passed court examinations between 1484 and 1780 under the Late Le, Mac, Trinh and Nguyen dynasties. 

Every stele was built after a doctoral examination given by the Vietnamese courts. Every stele is a database with all information related to the examination, including time, number of contestant and profile of the successful doctors. 

The conference emphasized that the steles, made of stone, are a precious treasure of Vietnam’s education. It not only provides general information about education in Vietnam within the last 300 years, but also specified the details about the examination system of past dynasties. 

Thanks to these, the steles are believed not only a historical treasure of Vietnam but also of the world.

At the conference, some ideas highlighted that the application must provide some deeper research and specify the invisible historical value of the steles. 

According to Dr Trinh Khac Manh, who heads the Institute of Han Nom Studies, the application must make clear two main values of the monument, including history and art. 

As to its art value, the calligraphy is a must-review, Dr. Manh added. 

In the opinion of Dr Dang Van Bai, the application must provide some impacts of the steles on modern life. 

Other ideas specify and detail every examination and only focus on the main points, instead of providing unnecessary information.

The proposal will be completed in September and later submitted to UNESCO

By V.Xuan – Translated by Truong Son

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