VietNamNet Bridge – While Ass. Prof. Ha Dinh Duc says the Hoan Kiem lake turtle is worthy of national treasures by its cultural and historical values, cultural researcher Tran Lam Bien denies this, saying that it only has the scientific value.
The Hoan Kiem lake turtle was healed in 2011.
“The turtles have attached to Hoan Kiem Lake for hundreds of years. Reminding the turtle is reminding the epic history of the nation so it is able to say that the turtles are priceless treasures, historical, cultural and intangible heritage,” Duc emphasizes.
“Experts should group up to consider the cultural, historical factors to evaluate the overall value of the Hoan Kiem Lake turtle. The criteria on national treasures should be used flexibly,” Duc proposes.
However, cultural researcher Tran Lam Bien says that, in culture, turtles and snakes are sea monsters and the enemy of the people. If we worship this animal, it is dignifying sea monsters. The image of King Le Loi holding a sword to slash into the Hoan Kiem Lake is the action against flood.
“Turtle is the animal that destroys dikes. It has spiritual value only when it is regarded as one of the four supernatural creatures. The legend about the Hoan Kiem turtle is fictional, a later legend,” Bien adds.
According to the researcher, Hoan Kiem lake turtle only has scientific value as the rare turtle, not historical and cultural value. “Hoan Kiem lake turtle does not have intangible value. We cannot mythologize it to turn it into national treasure,” Bien says.
Chairman of the National Cultural Heritage Council, Prof. Dr. Luu Tran Tieu, says he disagrees with the proposal of Ass. Prof. Ha Dinh Duc.
“Mr. Duc is enthusiastic to the protection of Hoan Kiem lake turtle but he does not understand the criteria for national treasures. Considering the criteria, the Hoan Kiem lake turtle is inappropriate,” Prof. Luu Tran Tieu says.