Vietnam exhibits on display in Korean museum
Update: Mar 30, 2009
The Seoul-based National Museum of the Republic of Korea is holding an exhibition on Vietnamese ancient earthenware, the first ever hosted by the museum on ancient pottery from a Southeast Asian nation.
The museum, themed “A Cultural Journey” is divided into two sections, with the first presenting a general overview on the Vietnamese culture, comprising 54 ethnic groups and covering their geographical distribution, cultural identities, costumes and lifestyles.

The second part introduces cultures from various periods in
Vietnam’s history, such as the Sa Huynh and Dong Son.

The Sa Huynh culture was a late prehistoric metal age society located on the central coast of
Vietnam around the 2nd century AD. In 1909, nearly 200 urns were unearthed in Sa Huynh, in Hoi An. The Sa Huynh culture cremated adults and buried them in jars, a practice unique to the culture. 

The Dong Son culture is linked to the Tibeto-Buram culture, the Dai culture in
Yunnan and Laos and the Mon-Khmer. The Dong Son culture was a bronze culture, which included most of Southeast Asia and into the Indo-Malay Archipelago, it existed between 1,000 to 1 BC. The northern central province of Thanh Hoa is the origin of the Dong Son culture in Vietnam.

The exhibits include artifacts dating back hundreds of years, showcasing the evolution of earthenware and pottery in

Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Pham Tien Van said he and all of
Vietnam appreciates the national museum’s interest in Vietnam’s culture, and recognizes its importance to relations between the two countries.

He also said
Vietnam makes 2009 the year of cultural diplomacy with the aim of promoting Vietnamese culture overseas.

The Director of the
Korean National Museum, Choi Kwang-sick asked cultural management agencies in Vietnam to increase relic and artifact exchanges to provide more opportunities for the two peoples’ to better understand each other’s cultures and traditions.

He added that the museum is considering holding a “Vietnam Week” some time this year.

Each week, two Vietnamese students in the RoK take turns volunteering at the museum as guides at the exhibition. One such student, Kieu Huong, said the exhibition has attracted numerous Korean visitors, which she attributes to the cultural similarities between the two nations.