For the first time a Vietnamese author was awarded with the prestigious Swedish Cikada Awards, when Sweden Embassy in Vietnam granted Hoang Thi Y Nhi the literary prize on 30 November 2015.
Hoang Thi Y Nhi is one of the most famous poets in Vietnam, and her ”poetry protecting the sanctity of life” made her the winner of this years Cikada Awards, and the first Vietnamese winner too. Earlier recipients were from Japan, South Korea and China.
The poems by Hoang Thi Y Nhi are characterised as powerful, simple and with a deep melody. Through her experience of the Viet Nam war, she has woven together memories of individual destinies with expressive images from everyday chores. Her poems have been translated into various languages, and her most recent book is the 2008 essay collection Nhung Guong Mat – Nhung Cau Tho (=Faces – Poems).
Her works have been presented in ‘The Anthology Yesterday – Twelve Vietnamese Poets’ in Sweden.
“The Cikada Prize contributes greatly to the embassy’s efforts to promote cultural exchange between our countries. For several years the Swedish development co-operation focussed strongly on cultural projects in different areas, like literature, art, music and support to artists just to mention a few. Thanks to this co-operation, the works of numerous Vietnamese authors have been translated into Swedish and that has brought Sweden and Viet Nam closer to each other.” says Camilla Mellander, Swedish Ambassador to Viet Nam.
She added that culture is a vital part of the society and it influences how people perceive the world.
“Even though Sweden is on the other side of the planet, poetry has the power to bring people from different countries together and make distances disappear. Through the work of Y Nhi, people in Sweden will get a valuable insight into Vietnamese culture and daily life. They will also be able to relate the poems to their own thoughts and experiences,” she said.
The Cikada Awards was established in 2004 and is given to East Asian artists. “Cikada” is the name after a poem collection by Swedish Nobel prize winner Harry Martinson, and the prize is for East Asian poets in recognition of the importance East Asian poetry held for Harry Martinson. In 2015, the award’s frame has expanded to South Easy Asia too.
Sources: www.talkvietnam.com, www.vietnamnews.vn