First Vietnamese receives South Korean Sejong award

By Viet Tuan   October 22, 2020 | 05:10 pm PT
First Vietnamese receives South Korean Sejong award
Nguyen Van Tinh (R) receives the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize from South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Park Nah Wan in Hanoi, October 21, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Nhat Hoang.
A former official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has been honored with the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize.

Nguyen Van Tinh, former head of the International Cooperation Department under the ministry, became the first Vietnamese to receive this prize, which was created in 1989 through the government of South Korea.

He beat 14 other competitors in the category of international cultural exchange, becoming the only non-South Korean to receive the prize this year.

The award ceremony is normally held in Seoul but due to pandemic travel restrictions, the South Korean Embassy organized an event to honor Tinh in Hanoi on Wednesday.

Tinh said due to the specificity of his work, his activities through the years had always closely linked to promoting activities for cultural exchange and cooperation between Vietnam and other countries, including South Korea.

"This is a bright spot in the entire strategic cooperative partnership that is developing well and effectively between Vietnam and South Korea. I am proud to have contributed a small and modest yet devoted part to boost the two nations’ relationship."

He said that in 1992, when the two countries established diplomatic relations, he together with the Cinema Department and Korean embassy held the first Korean film week in central Vietnam.

"The film week was very successful, marking a milestone for hallyu [referring to South Korean dramas that have gained success overseas], expressing the view of the Vietnamese government to put aside the past and look to the future."

The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize honors the outstanding contribution made to literacy over 500 years ago by King Sejong, who created the native Korean alphabet 'Hangul', still a valuable model and reference for the world today.

The prize rewards the activities of governments or governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) displaying merit and achieving particularly effective results in contributing to the fight for literacy. It gives special consideration to the creation, development and dissemination of mother-tongue languages in developing countries.

It consists of a sum of $20,000, a silver medal and a certificate.

go to top