Song, W. (2020). Nation-Building in Vietnam: The Vietnamese National Narratives, from 2016 to 2020. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2268
Inspired by my study abroad experience in Vietnam from 2016 to 2017, this thesis-project seeks to present the Vietnamese national narrative. It utilizes the approach of Benedict Anderson who discusses nation, nationalism, and nation-building in terms of “national identity, memory, and history.” There are two aspects to this: the narrative of the people (society) which is expressed in the way the people themselves express their understanding of history, national imagining, and national sentiment; and the narrative of the state, which is expressed in and through official state institutions and vehicles of communication and education such as museum, schools, and textbooks. Both aspects represent powerful and influential instruments or vehicles by which Vietnam tells its story or relates its national narrative. It is a story or narrative that is both complex and compelling. It reveals a country characterized by invasions, wars, resistance, resiliency, heroes, heroines, competing ideologies of Marxism/communism and nationalism, and a poor, but proud, people eager to move into the 21st century. It is a story or narrative that shows that nation-building, in general, has been successful in Vietnam and demonstrates that the national story of the people primarily coincides with the core narrative presented by the state. It is a story or narrative that has somehow connected its past with its present, creating a sense of continuity as it positions itself for a significant role in the 21st century.