Confucian relic sites are an indispensable component of Hanoi’s cultural heritage system, illustrating the traditional fondness for learning in the capital city.

According to the latest statistics, Hanoi is home to 201 Confucian relic sites, mostly temples and places of worship dedicated to scholars including Van Mieu (the Temple of Literature); 83 of which have been ranked nationally.

In the past 14 years since the Law on Culture Heritage came into effect in 2001, historic and cultural relic systems in the capital have been restored and embellished.

Hanoi has proposed ranking an additional 450 historical, cultural relic sites nationally, including 47 temples dedicated to ancient scholars.

Deputy Head of the Hanoi relic sites management board Nguyen Thi Thuy said 15 Confucian relics have been restored in recent years thanks to the Law.

The management board reviewed the status of the Confucian relic sites in the capital between 2013 and 2014, selecting those to receive upgrades and improvements, she noted.

Localities home to Confucian relic sites have been asked to collect and supplement relevant documents and objects such as epitaphs, royal ordinances, family records, and ancient books to increase the value of the vestiges.

As one of the most important Confucian symbols of the country, the Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) and Quoc Tu Giam (Vietnam’s first National University) have been notably maintained.

From 2013 to early 2015, the Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam’s Scientific and Cultural Activities Centre completed project upgrades to the Thai Hoc house, the Bell house, the Drum house and the shelters of the doctoral steles, said Deputy Director Nguyen Thi Luan.

According to Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Quoc Hung from the Vietnam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS), Confucian relic sites receive due attention from organisations and individuals, especially from schools and families.

Localities and families often hold ceremonies to pay tribute to the ancient scholars with high marks on their royal examination and organise study promotion activities at Confucian relic sites, he cited as examples.

The Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam’s Scientific and Cultural Activities Centre hosts a number of activities annually to draw students to the sites and works with other agencies to build a heritage education promotion programme.-VNA