Well-known Vietnamese professor Dang Vu Khieu, who turned 97 on September 19, plans to complete a book titled Van Hien Thang Long (The Thousand-Year Culture of Thang Long) by the end of this year.

At his birthday celebration held at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's main hall on the same day, the professor received many wishes and flowers from the Party, State and local leaders.

A picture made up of 12,000 small pictures of Khieu with his international friends was presented to him.

"It is very moving because so many people have turned up today. I guess I will live until 103 years old, and I will work until my last breath," the professor said.

The first of the three-volume Van Hien Thang Long was released to mark the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi in 2010. The completed book, about 2,400 pages, records Khieu's memories related to the thousand-year Thang Long Citadel.

"At the beginning, it was not the thousand years of Thang Long Citadel, it was the thousand years of the nation," said the professor.

Khieu's other two books, Truong Son Mau Lua Van Dai Anh Hung (The Forever Heroic Blood and Fire Truong Son Battle) and Ho Chi Minh – Ngoi Sao Sang Mai Tren Bau Troi Viet Nam (Ho Chi Minh – A Star Forever Bright in the Vietnamese Sky), were published earlier this year.

Khieu was born in Xuan Truong district in the northern province of Nam Dinh. His books and scientific research have made significant contributions to the nation's revolutionary cause and cultural development.

He was director of the Institute of Philosophy , the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and the Institute of Sociology , and deputy-general director of Vietnam News Agency. He was also a deputy-head of the National Assembly's Committee on Social Science.

Khieu founded the Vietnamese sociology.

"His vision helped shorten the gap of this important science between Vietnam and the world," said Prof Tuong Lai, former director of the Institute of Sociology , established in 1983.

Prof Khieu is also regarded as a leading researcher on Vietnamese aesthetics after he published a book titled Dep (Beauty) in 1963.

"His profound knowledge covers a wide range including philosophy, aesthetics, history, literature and sociology," said Prof Phong Le, former director of the Literature Institute.

At 85, Khieu was awarded the Ho Chi Minh Prize in 1996 and named a Labour Hero.

"I planned to retire when I was 85. However, after receiving the title Labour Hero, I thought a hero cannot retire," said Khieu.

"I continue to work and promise myself that I will work until my final days."

He is now working ten hours per day with five assistants.-VNA