Ray Edmondson, Chair of the Asia-Pacific Regional Committee for Memory of the World Programme, saw wood blocks printed with Buddhist Sutras that are seeking for UNESCO’s World Documentary Heritage recognition at Vinh Nghiem pagoda in the northern province of Bac Giang.
The UNESCO official, accompanied by the Sectary General of the Vietnam UNESCO Committee Pham Sanh Chau and others, visited Vinh Nghiem pagoda and held a working session with provincial authorities on March 5.
Ray Edmondson said he was touched when seeing with his own eyes this collection of valuable woodblocks while other people can only view them via video.
Vinh Nghiem pagoda houses 3,050 woodblocks, which provide a wide range of information on the formation, development and ideology of Truc Lam Zen Buddhism, founded by King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong in the 11 th century.
The blocks also tell a history of wood block carving in Vietnam and the careers of some eminent monks.
Vice Chairman of the Bac Giang provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Linh said the study, preservation and promotion of woodblocks’ values will greatly help local people be aware of conserving traditional culture and promote the regional community’s understanding on the preservation of oriental culture.
Pham Sanh Chau emphasised the woodblocks kept in Vinh Nghiem pagoda were unique as they signified Truc Lam Zen Buddhism’s ideology of bringing religion into life by the founder, King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong, which made it different from other Zen sects.