(CPV) - On September 15, House of Knowledge Publishing, in conjunction with the Phan Chau Trinh Culture Foundation, The French Cultural Centre and Bac Co Far East Institute in Hanoi held a talk show to present the book entitled “Ba-na people in Kon Tum” by Nguyen Kinh Chi and Nguyen Dong Chi at The French Cultural Centre in Hanoi (L’ESPACE), 24 Trang Tien.
The talk show panel boasted many experienced and respected researchers including Associate Professor Dr. Andrew Hardy, head of Bac Co Far East Institute in Hanoi; Associate Professor Dr. Le Hong Ly, Deputy Director of the Institute for Cultural Research at The Việt Nam Academy of Social Sciences; GS. Nguyen Hue Chi, the former Head of Department of modern and ancient Vietnam Literature and the former Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Literature of Academy of Social Sciences of Vietnam.
The talk centred on an ethnographic study entitled “Kon Tum ethnic minority” which was first published in 1937 and translated and published in billingual Vietnamese–French by Bac Co Far East Institute and House of Knowledge Publishing under the title “Ba-na people in Kon Tum” (2011). This is one of the first comprehensive national studies of Vietnam's ethnic minorities.
In 1933, when he was 18 years old, Nguyen Dong Chi, along with Nguyen Kinh Chi, travelled to Kon Tum for business. During their 10 day trip, the two men spent time researching and collecting documents on the Ba-na around Kon Tum City and their customs. His writings presented the Ba-na people as a beautiful and innocent community, living in harmony with both nature and other groups Their voices are respected by authors and are presented vividly and objectively with much love and passion.
As well as the talk show, an exhibition with more than 30 photographs documented the Ba-na and their living space in Kon Tum in the early decades of the 20th century. The exhibition included portraits of residents of Kon Tum and how the village’s architecture has changed over the years. Photos also showcased the life of people living in the village of Kon Mahar in 1950. All the images of the exhibition, which is open from September 5 - 19 at L'Espace, 24 Trang Tien, can also be seen in the book “The Ba-na in Kon Tum”.
At the opening ceremony of the exhibition the organisers commemorated Mr. Georges Condominas - a French ethnographer who had a strong attachment to the Central Highlands in Vietnam. He was also a teacher, colleague, and friend of many generations of researchers in the field of social sciences in Vietnam. At the age of 90 Mr. Condominas died on July 17 2011 at the Broca Hospital in Paris. He was known as a man who had a profound gratitude for mankind and is said to have "devoted his all life to make all the world know and understand the way of life of the Mnong Gar"./.