A host of events to celebrate the 250th birth anniversary of Nguyen Du, prominent Vietnamese poet and World Cultural Celebrity (1765 – 2015), will be organised this year, the authorities of central Ha Tinh province told the press in Hanoi on June 2.

The highlight will be a national ceremony to pay homage to the poet this November in Ha Tinh. Although the poet spent his life in Hanoi, his family roots stem from Ha Tinh and will be the centre of the celebrations.

Other activities, including a number of seminars, talks and competitions on Nguyen Du and his hallmark “Truyen Kieu” (the Tale of Kieu) alongside several documentary film and theatre productions based on life of the poet and his family are scheduled to be launched throughout the year.

These events present an opportunity to educate the youth of the cultural celebrity and the beauty of his cultural legacies as well as promote the image of the province’s people and landscape, the provincial authority said.

Nguyen Du, also known as To Nhu and Thanh Hien, was born in 1765 in a noble family in Thang Long ( Hanoi ). His father was the former prime minister under the Le Dynasty.

His most beloved work is the Tale of Kieu, a 3,254-line classic verse novel written in “luc bat” (six-eight), a traditional verse form of Vietnam.

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, so much so that many people know the epic by heart and it has been published in 30 languages worldwide to date.

Last month, a French rendition of the Tale of Kieu, namely Kim Van Kieu or a Joke of Fate, was performed by the French Isabelle Genlis in Paris with Vietnamese Ho Thuy Trang playing “Dan Tranh” – Vietnam’s folk 16-cord zither – in the background.

The passionate melodious version enchanted local audiences during the hour-long show.

It took Genlis, who works at the institute for contemporary oral literature in France, three years to translate the poem into French, she said.

The artist affirmed that she would bring the Tale of Kieu to more French audiences this year in honour of Nguyen Du, who she regarded as the Shakespeare of Vietnam.-VNA