June 29, 2011

Steles in Hanoi named among UNESCO Memory of the World

Vietnam’s steles at the Temple of Literature is among the 45 latest namings recognized by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program.

 

Steles in Temple of Literature 

Launched in 1992, Memory of the World program is one of the many international initiatives operated by UNESCO in an effort to preserve human’s cultural and traditional heritages. Unlike World Heritage program which celebrates the beauty of the place, Memory of the World is about archival holdings, missing documents, oral traditions and historical collections from all over the world. Vietnam’s steles at the Temple of Literature is among the 45 latest namings recognized by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program.

Founded in 1070, the Temple of Literature is the oldest university in Vietnam, though it no longer functions as one. Located about 10 minutes away from the Old Quarter, this historical site attracts hundreds of visitors per day. Its tranquil environment, historic feel and cultural charm continue to make it a highlight in the travel agenda of Hanoians and non-Hanoians alike.

The steles, which sit on the back of stone turtles, record the names of 2313 Vietnamese doctorate holders since the 15th century. The studious traditions of Vietnamese are well reflected in the 82 steles, which have survived all the turbulent war time of Vietnamese history. The recognition of this symbols as UNESCO Memory of the World further strengthens these prides and honours of Vietnamese.

Every year in late January and May, many local high school students come and rub the head of the turtle, in the wish that they will pass all the coming examinations with flying colors.

Source: http://www.vietnamonline.com

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