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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI INSTITUTE OF VIETNAMESE STUDIES AND DEVELOPMENT SCIENCES -------------------------------------------------- DO THI THUY IMAGES OF WOMEN IN VIETNAMESE TRADITIONAL FOLK POETRY MASTER’S THESIS Major: Vietnamese studies Hanoi - 2015 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI INSTITUTE OF VIETNAMESE STUDIES AND DEVELOPMENT SCIENCES ----------------------------------------------- DO THI THUY IMAGES OF WOMEN IN VIETNAMESE TRADITIONAL FOLK POETRY Master’s thesis of Vietnamese studies Code: 60 22 0113 Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. PhD. Nguyen Thi Viet Thanh Hanoi - 2015 COMMITMENT This work is the result of my authentic synthesis and research. The data and results presented in the thesis are honest under the direct supervision of Assoc. Prof. PhD. Nguyen Thi Viet Thanh. The research results addressed in the thesis have not been published in other works. All references have been clearly cited. Hanoi, January 14, 2015 The author Do Thi Thuy ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS After a time doing the research, I have completed the dissertation of “Images of women in Vietnamese traditional folk poetry”. First, I would like to give my sincere thanks to Institute of Vietnamese studies and development sciences, especially the management committee and the staff of the Institute who have supported me to complete the M.A. course of Vietnamese studies. I also sincerely thank Vietnam National University, Hanoi facilitating me in finishing my thesis. I also give my sincere thanks to Assoc. Pro. PhD. Nguyen Thi Viet Thanh, who has dedicated to help me finish my graduate thesis, I also would like to thank my family and friends who have encouraged me so much so far. Despite my best attempts and efforts, there are many the inevitable limitations and shortcomings. I look forward to receiving comments from the readers and professors for a better dissertation. Sincerely, The author Do Thi Thuy TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................ 5 1. Personal motivation .................................................................................. 5 2. Research problems and tasks................................................................... 7 2.1. Research problems………………………………………………….........7 2.2. Research tasks ………………………………………………………......7 3. Literature review ...................................................................................... 7 4.The objectives of the thesis, and research areas .................................... 12 4.1. The objectives of the thesis ................................................................... 12 4.2. Research areas...................................................................................... 12 5. Research methods ................................................................................... 13 6. Contributions of the thesis ..................................................................... 14 7.Thesis structure ..................................................................................... 155 Chapter 1: THE IMAGE OF VIETNAMESE WOMEN IN THE CONTEXT OF TRADITIONAL SOCIETY ................................................................. 166 1.1. Vietnamese traditional society .......................................................... 166 1.1.1. Natural, productive and economic situations .................................. 166 1.1.2. Social and political situations .......................................................... 166 1.1.3. Fundamental ideologies and religions ............................................ 211 1.1.4. The structure of the Vietnamese traditional families ...................... 233 1.2. Cultural attitudes toward the women in Vietnamese traditional society .......................................................................................................... 28 1.2.1. The strict concept of Vietnamese women in traditional society under the influence of Confucianism .................................................................... 28 1.2.2. The concept of promoting the women in traditional society.............. 33 1.3. Sub-conclusion ..................................................................................... 35 1 Chapter 2: TYPICAL FEATURES OF THE WOMEN IN VIETNAMESE TRADITIONAL FOLK POETRY ............................................................. 377 2.1. Physical and personality characteristics of Vietnamese women ..... 377 2.1.1. Physical characteristics ................................................................... 377 2.1.2. Personality characteristics ................................................................. 48 2.2. The images of Vietnamese women in traditional families ............... 544 2.2.1. In the spousal relationship .............................................................. 544 2.2.2. In the relationship of the daughter and her mother – in – law ......... 65 2.2.3. In the relationship of parents and their children .............................. 70 2.2.4. In the matter of love and mariage ..................................................... 76 2.3. The images of Vietnamese women in traditional social relationships ................................................................................................................... 822 2.3.1. The overview of traditional social relationships .............................. 822 2.3.2. In relationships of the people in the same community, teachers and students, friends and neighbors to each other........................................... 833 2.3.3. In the relationship with upper classes ............................................. 866 2.4. Sub-conclusion ................................................................................... 888 Chapter 3: THE REACTIONS OF VIETNAMESE TRADITIONAL WOMEN TOWARD THE UNJUST BEHAVIORS IN FAMILIES AND SOCIETY...........................................................Error! Bookmark not defined. 3.1. The reactions of Vietnamese traditional women toward the unjust behaviors within family scope.................................................................... 90 3.1.1. In the spousal relationship ................................................................ 90 3.1.2. In the relationship of the daughter and her mother – in – law ......... 96 3.1.3. In the relationship of parents and their children .............................. 97 3.1.4. In the matter of love and marriage .................................................... 98 2 3.2. The reactions of Vietnamese traditional women toward the unjust behaviors in social relationships .............................................................. 100 3.2.1. In the relationship of the king as well as feudal lords and ordinary people......................................................................................................... 100 3.2.2. In the relationships of landlords and peasants ................................ 101 3.3. Sub-conclusion ................................................................................... 103 CONCLUSION....................................................................................... 1055 REFERENCES ....................................................................................... 1088 APPENDIX .................................................................................................114 3 LIST OF ACRONYMS Assoc. Prof. PhD: Associate Professor, Doctor of Philosophy P. M. A. : Page : Master of Art 4 INTRODUCTION 1. Personal motivation There have been many studies of Vietnamese women in general and Vietnamese women in traditional societies in particular approached from different angles and research methods. Based on such studies, the portrait of Vietnamese woman with the beauty of ordinary life appears as “laboriousness, considerateness, sacrifice for her husband and her children” but when the country was at risk, they became the embodiment of beauty of “heroism, indomitableness, kindness, resourcefulness”. Also through such studies that we see Vietnamese women in traditional societies, not only playing a large role in family life as well as in social development but also recognized properly, there were many women who suffered misery, injustice throughout life under the repressive prejudices of feudal society. Sympathy for the status of women in ancient society is tremendous momentum that we wish to clarify the image of women in traditional societies. In addition, the old woman herself, she was the embodiment of the traditional cultural values of the nation. Although modern society has developed very fast, the cultural values of our ancestors should still be kept and promoted. Exploring images of women in traditional society is contributing to promote traditional cultural values in general and dignity of women in particular, which promotes the good Vietnamese women’s values in today society. Folk literature is a part of folklore treasure from which the picture of traditional societies is extremely vividly reproducted under workers' perspective. In the literary treasures of Vietnamese folk, folk is a kind of the richest and most diverse genre in number and content expression. We can say that folk poems have a very strong appealling to the people of Vietnam, because they are very close to their thought and soul, with words of daily 5 voices of workers. Therefore, one of the key features of a traditional folk song is richly expressed thoughts of human emotions in general, including in particular women. The image of traditional women is expressed not only through the songs about them specifically the ones which are composed by the people to portray the image of the woman but also through narrative songs, the reader can feel all the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, their perceptions of their own identity. The folk poems having content of the image of women in traditional societies, has been the interest of many researchers who has had many valuable posts. However, the researchers only focused on reflecting each aspect, individual elements of the image of women. In addition, most of the studies were taken as research objects of folksongs with monophyletic research methods of literature, but not focusing on getting the woman is the object of study. With this starting point, we hope that this research will help to clarify the image of Vietnamese traditional women with resource-based survey was carried out as a wealth of traditional folk poems of the Vietnam. Also follow all policies and guidelines of the Party and State, Vietnam is in the process of building an advanced culture imbued with national identity. Along with the momentum of integration and quintessence of world culture, its needs to look back, to preserve the cultural traditions of the peoples is extremely important. Therefore, the study of the image of Vietnamese women through traditional folk poems by portraying more clearly the cultural values of traditional practices to serve the country's development is a critical job. 6 2. Research problems and tasks 2.1. Research problems The research done for contributing to learn the position, role, emotions of Vietnam women in society was reflected in the ancient folk poems. Accordingly, the image of the traditional Vietnamese woman will be approaches from two angles: the perspective of objective and subjective perspective. Angle objective is to learn traditional Vietnamese woman through the assessment of the objective nature of the women folk. Subjective perspective is the understanding of traditional Vietnamese women through their attitude before the social behavior, which includes conduct the injustices they suffered, the perception of themselves of Vietnamese women in traditional social context. 2.2. Research tasks To achieve the purpose of the study mentioned above, we set out specific research tasks as followed: - We have identified the social context of traditional Vietnam to draw social life factors that affect directly or indirectly the lives of contemporary women. - Learn the characteristic manifestations of women in traditional societies characterized by the appearance, personality, as well as the expression through family relationships and society. - Learn how the behavior of women in traditional societies through which they are incurred regardless of family life and society. 3. Literature review Folk is a genre of traditional folklore, the subject of many research works have scientific value in terms of both practical and theoretical. Researchers of literature in general and folklore in particular have defined 7 folk by different concepts. We would go through some basic concepts as follows: In the book “Major literary history of Vietnam”, Duong Quang Ham explained the concept of folk poems: “folk is short songs; the songs are not divided into chapters, etc.” [15, P.20] It is also about the concept of folk poems , in “The Literary History of Vietnam”, Volume 2 of the authors, Bui Van Nguyen (chief editor) stated: “Folk is the songs with or without the chapters created with the nation's prose (usually in traditional way of 6/8 words per sentence one after another) to describe, narrative, implied and express feelings.” [45, P.38] The author of the book “The collective folklore of Vietnamese people” by Nguyen Xuan Kinh (the chief editor) has clearly defined folk poems in relation to folk poems : “Folk poems include the words (sentences or articles), melody (voice or intonation), and methods of environmental oratorio, singing scene. Folk poemss were formed on folk poems.” [28, P.20] After the revolution in August 1945, researchers have used water collected from “modern folk” (or new folk) to distinguish them from “traditional folk” (also known as the ancient folk). Researchers generally consistently considered traditional folk (or ancient folk) is the only component conceptual language arts (poetry section) of folk (not including accompaniment, redu-language, and voiced sounds) and composed mainly collected from the previous August Revolution. In terms of content reflecting the folk poems, folk poems is the subject of many research literatures as well as the culture. There were so many great works, have been published values, represented by the following works: Folk poems reflect the lyrical content: Ma Giang Lan in research proverb - Vietnam folk commented: “Folk is a lyrical genre of folklore. These 8 works speak of human relationships at work, in family life or social life experiences speak and act, etc. They always express subjective attitudes of human beings with the objective phenomenon, rather than objectively describe the phenomenon of problems. So in folk poems, the lyrical ego is in clear salience.” [37, P.19] Dinh Gia Khanh (1973) has presented the current content in traditional folk poems in detail in curriculum “Vietnamese Folk Literature” in Part II: History and society, country and people in Vietnamese folk, etc. In addition, this content is also mentioned in several other books as presents traditional folk poems. According to Chu Xuan Dien, so the main content which is often referred to as folk history: “Historical folk are all short sentences and themed on events in history. These historical events are recorded in folk history is more or less the events that affect people's lives contemporaries”. [23, P.358] However, when referring to a specific historical phenomenon, folk history not working as described, detailed narrative, that is not reflected in historical phenomenon during its evolution. In folk history, the people just mentioned historical facts to speak up and express the attitude of his views. Research on the characteristics of folk poems, we must mention the book “The prosody of folk” by Nguyen Xuan Kinh (1992). In the work, the author has studied systematic factors in terms of poetics: Language, poetry, textured art space-time, a number of images in the folk tradition. This is a book of great value, providing readers with specific knowledge and overview of many issues, useful for studying folk. On the subject of the images of women in traditional folk poems also appeared several research works have value. When referring to the image of women in the folk poems, the proverb works, folk poems, folk Vietnam, Vu Ngoc Phan said, “Life woman has to endure suffering and disadvantaged. 9 Although contributions to society and the family is not inferior to men, but in reality women do not have power. The author also asserted reasons pushing women into inferior status, because marriage regime was built based on the old social economy” [49, P.245]. In 1969, the collective monograph “Popular poetry of Vietnam”, Nguyen Tan Long and Phan Canh analyzed very carefully and deeply about the suffering of women folk. They insisted on the contents “Woman disadvantaged and downtrodden in the society. They were dependent on men and stripped of all power, they react to the injustice in many different ways. They dared to resist harsh laws, to follow the call of true love”. [38, P. 118] 1974, in the research “The study of the process of Vietnamese popular folklore”, Cao Huy Dinh affirmed that “the human problem, first of all, the fate of people and the slaves are all working women the main topic of folk folk Woman's life is a chain of suffering long hours in line. Live Alone and suffering, pain and suffering marry well as do more if perhaps”. [12, P. 89] 1978, in The study of the historical process folklore Vietnam, folklore researcher Do Binh Tri said that “the image of women which is the most common of the two forms the song of family activities and lyrical song about love - marriage (loving folk)”. The contentz authors mentioned in this work are “songs about family activities mainly expressed profound grief of the women in the family and society”. The authors asserted, “Violent protests stemed from conflicts with severe oppression of patriarchy. On the other hand, it was also the basis of looking at the issue of love and marriage insider: For a woman, marriage based on love is a scenario in which the happiness of freedom crystals god and happy life”. [57, P. 221] Besides the typical works, which have addressed most generalizations about the image of women in folk poems , there are also many articles of the 10 researchers on the subject of women in folk. The post “Woman in folk activities”, (1986) by Nguyen Thi Hue, has affirmed, “There are folks which voiced the role of women in cultural activities, etc. The songs prove that women's talents have been put in place equally or even surpass men in the art of living”. [17] The author pointed out “The research leading to these lyrics savvy woman spirit, the study of folk oratorio form shows creative role, the study of narrative form folk chorus shows creative role, the richness of their contributions in terms of art in the field of folklore” [17]. The above article is oriented to the intensive study systematically and comprehensively through the ancient Vietnamese women folk. Besides, there are many doctoral theses, master's theses; students have continued the study of folk. Typically, doctoral dissertation entitled “Proverb, folk poems about family relationships” (2000) of Pham Viet Long has specific insight into the relationship of the Vietnamese family through proverbs and folk poems, in including specific analysis of women in the family tradition. Masters thesis “Topic of families in the Vietnamese traditional folk song” (2003) by Do Thi Thu Thuy showed attitudes and behaviors of Vietnamese people living within the family activities. Prominently, it is an important role of women in cultural behaviors Vietnamese families. The number of studies on traditional Vietnamese woman is extremely large, depending on the requirements of each specialty; the authors have studied the traditional woman from the perspective of different approaches. However, the majority of studies on this research are being carried out by specialized knowledge, mainly using analytical methods, description, imagebuilding methods of literature to reach the works of folk poems . Unlike the above studies, in my research, we define the object of study of the thesis is the 11 traditional Vietnamese woman, not the traditional folk poems and the approach is associated method industry instead of monophyletic method. We hope you will be able to achieve the purposes of the study as stated above. 4. The objectives of the thesis and research areas 4.1. The objectives of the thesis The main research object of the thesis is the image of Vietnamese women in traditional societies. The research document is based on a traditional Vietnamese folk to highlight the image of Vietnamese women in the context of feudal society. 4.2. Research areas Theme revolves around a woman with a lot of things need to be clarified, however, within the framework of the thesis we focus only clarify the characteristics of traditional Vietnamese woman, but not the women of other ethnic minorities. The Vietnamese women will be approached from two angles objectivity and subjectivity noted in the research purposes. Specifically, in order to clarify the characteristics of the traditional woman by objective perspective, besides clarifying the characteristic appearance, personality assessment recognized under the purview of his contemporaries. We also learn Vietnamese woman at the relationship between their families (spouses, parents and children, brothers, cousins) and the social relationships in which there is close interaction directly traditional Vietnamese woman (men and women, kings, ministers, landowners, etc.), which are the typical relationship of women outside the scope of traditional families. Subjective perspective, still in the relationships, as the contemporary social prejudice revolves around the lives of women, to curb oppression, pushed their lives in circumstances very well hurt suffering, torment, they react in a particular context and thus 12 see the self-perceived myself with what traits. As such, we will aim to clarify the characteristics of traditional Vietnamese women from these two angles. Regarding literature, we focus on the sources of all of the Vietnamese folk poems ; specific survey materials are mainly in: Total collection of Vietnamese Folklore (2002), Scientific and social studies Publishers. This is a collective work meticulously compiled including 19 sets in all genres of Vietnamese folklore. We have used a set of 15, 16 books (part one, part two) talking about the Vietnamese folk poems. In addition, we may refer to “The Vietnamese folk Treasure” (1995), four episodes, written by Nguyen Xuan Kinh, Phan Dang Nhat (chief editors), Culture and Information Publishing House; “Folk proverbs” (1957, reprinted 1998) by Vu Ngoc Phan; “Collections of Vietnamese proverbs and folk” (2001) by Nguyen Cu, Nguyen Thi Hue, Tran Thi An (editor), Literature Publishing House. 5. Research methods Traditional Vietnamese Woman is a class object exists in space Vietnam traditional culture. Therefore, besides the internal factors they themselves are affected by factors such as age factor historical, economic social, cultural, etc. Therefore, to achieve the purpose of the study was the image of Vietnamese women through a traditional folk perspective as we approach the subject in the direction interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinary research methods are needed and have proved extremely usefully in this case to be able to clarify the object of study of the thesis. Subjects of the study were Vietnamese women in traditional societies bearing the characteristic of gender as well as the definition of society during the feudal society. Objective oriented approach using interdisciplinary methods; specifically we will approach the subject from the following research directions. The first is from the perspective of history because they are the subjects of history; to measure 13 the angle of the object is anthropology because Vietnamese woman, from a regional perspective to study localized Vietnamese women and people women of other ethnicities. Study subjects are seen through folk so indispensable combination of methods that are strong in folk studies such as analysis of literature, linguistics, cultural learning. In addition to the above research method, the research process we combine statistical methods, analysis, synthesis of research during the Vietnamese folk treasure. The method proved very useful to study the nature of data sources harboring small but large numbers, and content rich folk. 6. Contributions of the thesis - Vietnamese woman was the truth of the nation’s cultural values. The in-depth research is very necessary that we also look for the real images of women in traditional society as well as promote traditional values in a modern society. - The thesis is the references for those who wish to learn and have further research on the images of Vietnamese women in traditional societies. - The thesis initially uses interdisciplinary methods to approach the subject of Vietnamese women in traditional societies. With this approach, we want to avoid unilateral comments of the research subject. Interdisciplinary research methods proved very effective in this case when we can not access the object of study directly because specific objects are Vietnamese woman in a historical period which has passed, insteads, we must approach the object in an indirect manner, namely through the folk material (other subjects). 14 7. Thesis structure Besides the introduction and conclusion, the thesis is deployed into 3 chapters: Chapter 1: The images of Vietnamese women in the context of traditional society Chapter 2: Typical features of the women in Vietnamese traditional folk poetry Chapter 3: The reations of Vietnamese traditional women toward the unjust behaviors in families and society 15 Chapter 1: THE IMAGE OF VIETNAMESE WOMEN IN THE CONTEXT OF TRADITIONAL SOCIETY 1.1. Vietnamese traditional society 1.1.1. Natural, productive and economic situations Economic base of agriculture Vietnam is incorporated with small industries and businesses with the most common characteristics are as follows: - State agricultural fields is the main economic base, which is the dominant crop, livestock and small rely heavily on farming. Agricultural production that relies on manual labor, technical muscle doing the thinking based on experience, there is no scientific and technical support; Moreover, the production takes place in a tropical climate with unusual events (droughts, floods, pests, etc) always happens to make life precarious, heavily dependent on natural course. - Commercial: domestic trade mainly with rural market system (village markets) and small trade flow. Vietnamese society based on Confucianism, considered as degenerate art and craft wholesale traders considered the last class of the “Four classes” (Cholars - Farmers - Manufacturers - Traders). In the above conditions, the traditional Vietnamese woman has a very important position in the maintenance and development of the economy reflected in the family to team up with her husband and other members of the production workers and the unique role of the wife in trade. 1.1.2. Social and political situations Factors that greatly affect the lives of women in society and the traditional Vietnamese families: 16
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