A Czech professor has won the Phan Chau Trinh Cultural Award 2010 for his research and translation works as well as activities to promote the Vietnamese culture to the Czech community.

Starting to learn Vietnamese and do research on Vietnam in 1959, Prof. Dr. Ivo Vasiliev has made great contributions to connecting the two cultures of Vietnam and the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia ).

He is the translator of the Czech version of President Ho Chi Minh’s “Nhat ky trong tu” (Prison diary) poem collection. In addition, he has introduced to Czech readers more than 60 poems by 50 other Vietnamese authors as well as research works on the culture, history and tradition of the Vietnamese nation.

Talking with Ivo Vasiliev, one can hardly notice any foreign accent in his Vietnamese. But above all, he has a deep understanding of Vietnam .

The researcher remarked that Vietnamese people are open, friendly and fond of joking. He said he also likes the Vietnamese family ties and the way of thanking that it is a bliss when children surpass their parents.

For Ivo Vasiliev, translating Vietnamese poems into Czech is an enjoyable job as he can discover many things interesting. He said he has a passion for poems on love during the war.

At the age of 80, with over 50 visits to Vietnam , Ivo Vasiliev is still passionate about the Vietnamese topic. He confided that each visit to Vietnam for him is like “returning to the homeland”.

At present, the professor is joining with engineer Nguyen Quyet Tien, a Vietnamese in Czech, to compile two new Czech-Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Czech dictionaries.

Together with the Vietnamese Association in Czech, he is implementing a project to improve the position of the Vietnamese community in his country./.