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National language celebrated by Vietnamese community in South Korea
Jenna Duong 22:56, 2024/04/02
Learning Vietnamese not only fosters the expat children’s development, but also strengthens bonds between Vietnam and South Korea

The Launching Ceremony of Vietnamese Language Celebration Day and the Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Vietnamese class for children from multicultural families in South Korea were recently held at the Vietnamese Embassy in the country.

 Delegates and students attended the ceremonies at the Vietnamese Embassy in South Korea. Photo: MoFA

The event was attended by Le Thi Thu Hang, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairwoman of the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs and the delegation; Vu Ho, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Vietnam in South Korea; the Embassy’s officials and staff; the Executive Committees of the Association of Vietnamese People in South Korea and its affiliates; along with many Vietnamese families living here.

Speaking at the event, Hang said that this was the first launching ceremony, with a special significance for the Vietnamese community in South Korea, and would be replicated worldwide. She highly appreciated the community’s efforts to preserve the Vietnamese culture and language so far.

“The Vietnamese language is the soul of the nation. If we want to preserve the culture and traditions of our forefathers, we must first preserve Vietnamese,” she emphasized.

As she added, the Vietnamese government launched a scheme titled ‘Vietnamese Language Celebration Day in Vietnamese Communities Abroad’ in 2022. It has stimulated various activities in response, such as contests to seek Vietnamese language ambassadors abroad, the development of bookcases, the collection of Vietnamese textbooks, and the ‘Beloved Mother Tongue’ gala.

 Deputy Minister Le Thi Thu Hang presented textbooks to the Vietnamese class

At the opening ceremony of the event, Le Thi Minh Phuong, President of the Association of Vietnamese People in South Korea, expressed her hope that by learning Vietnamese, the children will both master their mother tongue and understand more about Vietnam’s culture, history and traditions.

According to teacher Bui Lan Anh, this year's class aims to help the children approach Vietnamese through daily-life topics such as family, school, toys or traffic and through diverse activities like puzzles, songs, games and everyday situations.

On this occasion, Hang presented Vietnamese books to the teachers and children, hoping the class would have a fruitful year.

Currently, there are nearly 300,000 Vietnamese people living and working in South Korea, including over 70,000 women married to Koreans. "Being born into a multicultural family can give children a great advantage. If fluent in Vietnamese and imbued with Vietnamese culture, the children will have more opportunities in life," Hang added

Vietnamese children in South Korea are encouraged to learn Vietnamese

In addition, spreading the language in other countries is also very important, as it helps promote the nation’s cultural identity to international friends. Besides overseas Vietnamese, more and more foreigners want to learn Vietnamese so that they can live and work in Vietnam.

However, Vietnamese teaching and learning abroad is also facing shortages of competent teachers, teaching locations, equipment and textbooks, as well as some overseas Vietnamese families’ neglect of teaching their children the mother tongue.

For many years, the Association of Vietnamese People in South Korea has continuously held annual Vietnamese classes for children of multicultural families and Vietnamese children living in the country, alongside competitions in the community, to encourage the younger generations to learn and preserve the Vietnamese language.

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