"Truyen Kieu" exhibited at museum (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The bilingual Vietnamese-Russian edition of “Truyen Kieu” (The Tale of Kieu), an 18th century poetic masterpiece by Nguyen Du, was launched in Hanoi on February 25 by the Russian Culture and Science Centre and the Vietnam Writers’ Association.

At the launching ceremony, Russian Charge d’Affaire in Vietnam Vadim V.Bublikov thanked the translation group for its efforts in the edition and hailed the translated version’s quality.

He expressed his hope that the bilingual edition will further Russian people’s understanding about Vietnamese classic literature, while serving as a valuable resource for Vietnamese studies’ students and lecturers.

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Pham Vinh Cu, who once taught Russian culture, said that the translated edition precisely conveyed the meaning and spirit of the classic novel. He wished that the bilingual books will bring Vietnam’s outstanding culture closer to Russian friends.

1,000 bilingual books have been published so far. Each book contains 20 illustrations drawn by famous Vietnamese painters such as Nguyen Do Cung, Tran Van Can, Bui Xuan Phai and Ta Thuc Binh.

Prominent Vietnamese poet and World Cultural Celebrity Nguyen Du, also known as To Nhu and Thanh Hien, was born on January 3, 1766 to a noble family in Thang Long (Hanoi).

His most outstanding work is the Tale of Kieu, a 3,254-line classic verse poem written in “luc bat”, a form that consists of alternating lines of six and eight syllables, a traditional verse form in Vietnamese poetry.

It recounts the life, trials and tribulation of Thuy Kieu, a beautiful and talented young woman, who had to sacrifice herself to save her father and younger brother from prison. She sold herself into marriage with a middle-aged man, unaware of his profession as a pimp. He later forced her into prostitution, marking the start of a series of tragic events in her life.

Throughout the poem, Nguyen Du depicted the beauty of true love and loyalty, and the unyielding hope for justice.

In Vietnam, the Tale of Kieu is vastly popular, with many people knowing the epic by heart, and it has been published in more than 20 languages worldwide to date.-VNA