I am going to give a controversial argument that we, Vietnamese, should not make too much effort in reviving the traditional Vietnamese culture. What are the aspects of traditional culture that are lost and need to be revive?
Is it the fact that people are becoming more materialistic in modern-day societies that they overlook the 5 core traditional values of Nhân (treat each other well), Nghĩa (only follow the act of righteousness), Lễ (respect the laws, seniors and basic ethics), Trí (think thoroughly before acting), Tín (maintain your credibility and trustworthiness)? It might be true that some individuals overlook them, but a majority of Vietnamese recognises, respect and uphold these values. Our education covers a wide range of traditional literatures that highly praise the 5 core values’ importance and inspires a stable and thriving societies base on these virtues. Hence, traditional values are not lost but embraced by modern Vietnamese.
What about our cuisine? Our cuisine involves much fresh herbs and vegetables, has mild taste and comes with fish sauce. This is quite distinct from the strong, spicy taste, curry-influenced or deep fried cooking of our neighbouring countries. It is quite interesting that our well-known dishes were only recently introduced in 19th - 20th century, which coincides with the twists and turns of our history that makes up our identity. As history progresses, we should enrich our culture with modern aspects as well.
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The monumental events in the 19th - 20th centuries also revised our traditional costumes. Áo dài from its ancient version of Áo tứ thân broke free from the influence of Sino costumes and were modernised so that they are not too highly intricate and can be wore by students on a daily basis, yet are formal for Vietnamese women to wear on special occasions.
My point is that we are doing fine in preserving the valuable traditional values of our culture, yet enriching it with modern facets. There might not need a great effort to revive the out-dated aspects as culture also evolves with time. What we are inventing today, might be the legacies and culture of future generations. I personally prefer the modern features of Vietnamese culture as they break free from Sino influence yet carry many essences of East and South East Asia culture.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the above images.