The Temple of Literature
Our last day in Hanoi we visited the Temple of Literature.
It is the original National University of Vietnam, founded in 1076. (That's not a typo -- Ten seventy six A.D.) The University was moved to Hue a few hundred years ago, now the Temple is a museum.
An old classroom.
One of the central halls.
The label under this parchment says, "The King's nomination of Tran an Triem to the post of Director of National University, 1732."
The mission statement of the university, written in 1442, suggests a long history of valuing education in this culture.
Part of the Temple of Literature with a more recent Hanoi neighborhood in the background.
These stone tablets recorded the names of those receiving doctorates from the university from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Nadia received both her doctorates in the 20th century.
There was a concert of traditional music in the central hall. This woman was playing an instrument faintly reminiscent of a pedal steel guitar.
This woman made a beautiful melody by rapidly clapping her hands in front of pieces of bamboo cut to different lengths, an acoustically driven xylophone, if you will.
The musicians invited us up onstage for a photo-op after the show. Nice.
We loved Hanoi, but it was time to move on. Nadia made us reservations at an inn on the Perfume River in Hue.
We took the overnight train south, sharing a sleeper car with friends we met on the train, Debra and Kantaro.
© 2005 Lee Fike
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