Proverbs represent important data depicting the traditional culture of each nation. Vietnamese proverbs of the Vietnamese, dating back thousands of years, encapsulate immensely valuable treasure of experience which the Vietnamese people desire to pass to younger generations.
This paper aims to explore the unique and diversified world of intelligence and spirits of the Vietnamese through one of the most condensed and special literary genres in Vietnam, as well as the rich traditional values of the nation (Nguyen Xuan Kinh 1998, Tran Ngoc Them 2002, Le Chi Que 2014). Through an interdisciplinary approach, from an anthropological perspective, to research the value of proverbs, the study exposes the vast treasure of knowledge and culture of all Vietnamese generations. The study thus examines over 16,000 Vietnamese proverbs and analyses three groups expressing Vietnamese people’s behaviors toward nature, society, and the self. Finally, the study compares these with English and Japanese proverbs.
The research attempts to explore the beauty of Vietnamese language, cultural values and the souls and personalities of Vietnam. Approaching Vietnamese proverbs under the interdisciplinary perspective of language, culture and literature offers innovative elements for a research direction in the field of Social Sciences and Humanity in Vietnam. From these perspectives, it is seen that that proverbs have contributed remarkably to the language and culture of Vietnam, as well as, and constructed to, the practice of language use in everyday life, that language which is imaginary, meaningful, and effective in communication. Furthermore, the study seeks to inspire national pride in Vietnamese youth, and to encourage their preservation of and promotion for traditional values of the nation in the context of integration and globalisation.
Keywords: Vietnamese proverbs, cultural values, national identity, interdisciplinary approach, cultural perspective