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Hanoi: History lessons through visits to historical sites
Huy Anh 15:19, 2024/05/24
Multiple events are held across the capital city to make students more interested in learning history.

Historical relics and museums must help make the study of history more interesting in Hanoi, a conference heard this week.

 Hanoi high-school students play historical characters at a school event. Photo: Nam Du/The Hanoi Times

"History is becoming more appealing and interesting to students, and it's a useful subject for the promotion of Thang Long-Hanoi's historical and cultural values," said Le Thi Huyen, a teacher at Son Tay High School.

Local governments and schools should strive to develop effective materials to teach history, she added.

"Students should explore more creative, experimental activities and learn about the history and culture of Thang Long-Hanoi instead of just reading books," she said.

Teacher Tran Thi Thu said Cau Giay High School has organized many activities for students to recreate the moments, events, and people in Vietnam's history.

"They can learn history by playing historical characters, becoming tour guides to museums and relics," she said.

Sharing the idea, People’s Teacher Nguyen Quang Ngoc, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Historical Science Association cum Council member of the Hanoi Metropolitan University, said: "As Thang Long-Hanoi brings together the nation's most quintessential, noble and valuable characteristics, it is best to study the capital's historical and cultural values by involving several parties, such as historical and cultural places," he said.

According to Nguyen Thi Bich, a lecturer at Hanoi National Teacher Training University, there are many difficulties in teaching history, such as a lack of materials and a shortage of qualified teachers.

She suggested that local teachers need insightful training to improve their knowledge and skills and that local schools should hire people from the surrounding areas for their knowledge of local customs and history.

By learning the values of history and culture, Hanoi students will develop a greater love and pride for the capital and the nation, said Nguyen Anh Tuan, Chairman of the Council of Hanoi Metropolitan University.

"This would be vital for Vietnam's development and global integration, as every nation is defined by its own historical and cultural values," he said.

Le Hong Ly, Chairman of the Vietnam Folk Arts Association, said it is important to include Hanoi's regional culture as a new subject in schools.

"We should focus on intangible heritage such as festivals, traditional paintings and folk games, tangible heritage and relics, Hanoi's popular figures and local cuisine," Ly said.

 Practical programs

Located on Trang Tien Street, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Hanoi, the Vietnam National Museum of History houses more than 200,000 artifacts, documents, reading materials and national treasures of the Vietnamese people. The museum welcomes thousands of visitors every day, and about 60-70% of them are students.

The museum is conducting an experimental education program to instill pride in the memory of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu among thousands of students in Hanoi and Dien Bien Province, as well as a digital tour in honor of International Museum Day on May 18.

Speaking about these activities, Le Thi Lien, an official of the museum, said that extracurricular activities, seminars, discussions and forums are available for the museum's visitors, which include families, schools, students and tourism companies. 

At Hanoi Museum, the unique architectural design alone is a photo opportunity for young people. The museum houses more than 73,000 reading materials and artifacts about the capital and is often chosen as the venue for many cultural and historical events.

At the events, participants can try on traditional Vietnamese clothes, learn to play folk games, make traditional toys, enjoy folk dancing, singing and other shows, and test their Nom (Sinographic Vietnamese alphabet) writing skills.

The museum's Deputy Director, Dang Minh Ve, said a large portion of visitors are high school and college students. "They are our target audience, so we try to develop appropriate programs for them."

According to Ve, the museum has hosted several experimental educational activities and welcomed about 17,000 tourists as of April 2024. These events not only help schools and students improve their learning of history and culture, but also promote the museum's popularity among the general public.

In May 2024, the Hanoi Drama Theater on Trang Tien Street launched a stage performance project for local schools. Under the project, students across the capital will be able to watch plays adapted from famous Vietnamese writings.

Through the performances, students will be able to learn the history and culture and get a better understanding of the literary and historical works that are the subject of their studies. It is expected to make them aware of the ethics and spirit of the Vietnamese people.

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