Continuing to nurture traditional Vietnam – Russia relations

Friday, 2017-11-03 05:04:08
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Director of the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Hanoi Natalia Valerievna Shafinskaya
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NDO – As the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution is joyfully celebrated worldwide, Director of the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Hanoi Natalia Valerievna Shafinskaya granted Nhan Dan (People) Weekly an interview in which she highlighted the important events held during the celebrations in Russia, as well as showing her deep sentiment to the land and people of Vietnam.

Question: Can you please tell us about the main activities being held by Russian agencies to commemorate the the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution around the world and in Vietnam in particular?

Director Natalia Valerievna Shafinskaya: The October Revolution was an event of great significance in the 20th century as it caused a huge impact on the history of mankind.

In Russia, celebrations for the Revolution’s 100th anniversary were held in the two major cities of Saint Petersburg and Moscow from November 1 to 7. The Russian State agencies and social organisations also planned a range of activities in many countries across the globe, including Vietnam.

Allow me to give you the details on the activities being held in your country. The Soviet Union, now Russia, maintained close and special relations with Vietnam. Russia, which inherited the legacy of the Soviet Union, remains steadfast to the traditional Russia – Vietnam ties. The Russian Government has also attached great care and attention to all aspects relevant to the Vietnam-Russia relations.

As far as I know, celebrations for the 100th anniversary of October Revolution have been widely staged across Vietnam. For our part, the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Hanoi has co-ordinated with the Voice of Vietnam to organise the ‘An Echoed Epic of October Revolution’ programme on October 29, with Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper to stage the ‘An Epic of October Revolution’ on November 1, and the Hanoi city Department of Culture and Sports is holding a photo exhibition on November 7.

Vietnam and the Soviet Union, now Russia, have maintained a special traditional friendship. Can you please brief us on the cooperation programmes between the two Governments aiming to propel the special ties to new heights, particularly in such fields as culture, education and training?

Director Natalia Valerievna Shafinskaya: The Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership has been consolidated and promoted through the years.

The long-term ‘Russian Universities’ project, that attracts the leading universities in Russia, has been effectively implemented to introduce Russian educational programmes and systems to Vietnamese students. Thanks to the project, Vietnamese and Russians are provided with the opportunity to share their teaching experiences, hold student exchange programmes, and reach agreements on the possibility of memoranda of understanding.

Since the beginning of this year, the Russian Government has granted a total of 953 scholarships for Vietnamese students to study in Russia, and many more of them will be awarded up until 2020.

The Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Hanoi has positively introduced outstanding scientific and cultural achievements to the Vietnamese people. Can you please tell us about the notable outcomes of the centre’s operations, as well as the centre’s orientations for development in the time ahead?

Director Natalia Valerievna Shafinskaya: The friendship, cooperation and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia have been tightened, which has created favourable conditions for our centre to effectively implement large projects and programmes on both international and national scales.

Accordingly, we have hosted the ‘Russian Language Days’ and ‘Russian Cultural Days’ in Vietnam during the 2006-2017 period. From 2012 to 2016, we coordinated with the Centre for Strategic Cooperation under the State Duma of Russia to conduct a business project on technical renovations, entitled ‘Russian firms in Vietnam’s economy: Strategy of the Partnership.’

In addition, the centre hosts performances of Russian songs, as well as painting, literature, writing contests and technical competitions every year with the winners of the events being awarded scholarships to study in Russia.

We have also provided Vietnamese universities and schools with textbooks in the Russian language and worked with them in building multi-media educational programmes.

Since 2012, we have worked on the ‘Russian President’ project to translate Vietnamese and Russian literature into each other’s language.

To date, the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Hanoi has played a remarkable role in the cultural cooperation between the two countries, serving as a firm and trustworthy bridge linking Russia and Vietnam. It has established itself as the leading position among similar Russian centres of its kind in the Southeast Asian region.

You have lived and worked in Vietnam for years, how do you feel about the land and people of Vietnam?

Director Natalia Valerievna Shafinskaya: Since I was a student starting to learn the Vietnamese language, I have felt that the language is a part of me. When I was a second-year university student, I spent 10 months learning the Vietnamese language at the Hanoi University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University.

Through my contacts with Vietnamese friends and teachers, I knew for sure that I would have a long-term attachment for the beautiful country of Vietnam. I have found that Vietnamese people are friendly, kind, and elegant, who have a disposition to do good and a great spirit of solidarity and support and care for each other.

I have lived and worked in Vietnam for eight years. Whenever I’m asked about Vietnam, I reply that the more you stay in Vietnam the more your view of the country will change. After a certain time, when you look back, you will realise that Vietnam, which used to a strange country to you, has now become very close and warm in your heart.

I have tried my best so that the activities and projects hosted by Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Hanoi will be fulfilled in the most effective way, contributing to fostering Vietnam-Russia ties, while bringing Vietnamese people closer to Russia by helping them to learn more about the land, language, culture and people of Russia

Thank you so much for the interview!