Vietnamese Proverbs: Values Preserved in The Modern Society


Authors: Ngo Thi Thanh Quy, Nguyen Thi Hong Minh (Thai Nguyen University of Education, Vietnam)
Speakers: Ngo Thi Thanh Quy, Nguyen Thi Hong Minh
Topic: Language Community Ethnicity
CALA 2020 Colloquium Session


Panel Abstract

Vietnamese proverbs have created long-lasting values, which are being passed on to modern society. These include humanistic values confirming the human position in life. They also comprise social values and human philosophy, as well as aesthetic values. Therefore, typical proverbs of Viet people which have been transferred to younger generations via literary works such as Việt điện u linh (A collection of Vietnamese misteries) in the 14th century, Lĩnh Nam chích quái (A selection of the Viet extraordinary stories) in the 15th century, are still being passed on until the present. With foundation in traditional Vietnamese proverbs, modern proverbs have undergone profound changes through different forms of media, including printed and audiovisual media, as well as internet. Evidently, then, traditional proverbs have regenerated themselves in new appearances.

This study investigates ways in which proverbs are reproduced in modern literary works, and hence recreated and transformed in prose, poetry and drama. The movement and development of proverbs in our modern society confirms their deep values of the traditional culture. This study then, seeks to determine ways in which, Viet writers, journalists and artists of other art forms have not only received the art tradition of word use of their ancestors but more importantly they have inherited the cultural environment, humanistic values and life philosophies in order to transfer to the next generations. Henceforth, the study reaffirms that in modern Vietnam, proverbs are not obliterated but retain their vitality through different forms, as highly popular within the set of ethnicities that constitute Vietnam.

Keywords: Vietnamese proverbs values, preservation of Vietnamese proverbs