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Vietnamese youths confront cultural integration and exchange
14/3/2007 10:8' Send Print

Globalisation, global integration and the cultural exchange process has an impact on everyone, but primarily on young people due to the popular characteristics of this group. Many sociologists reasonably consider young people to be the vanguard and active envoys in the process of contacting and connecting with foreign people from different societies and cultures in the international integration process.

In Vietnam, the term globalisation no longer exists in theory but has penetrated all areas of social life. Under the impact of the open-door process, Vietnam’s young people have further been concerned with issues of the modern society especially in the areas of advanced scientific and technological knowledge. They have participated in making research and resolving some of the most complicated and difficult issues of human concern. Many young and talented Vietnamese scientists and students have earned world-renowned awards.

Vietnamese youths have taken the lead in cultural exchange with their peers in the world and the region, introducing to them the traditional values and nuances of the Vietnamese culture. According to sociological studies made by the Youth Research Institute, most Vietnamese youths held that international cultural integration and exchange is a most pressing and necessary issue for them now. Outcomes of the research showed that 99.7 percent of the young interviewees said international integration and cultural exchange in the current setting was necessary. Of these people, 64.5 percent said it was very necessary and 35.2 percent said it was necessary. Only 0.3 percent of the interviewees said it was not necessary. This showed that international integration is seen as indispensable for youths. It reflects their natural needs to learn, work, improve knowledge and compete for development. It is difficult for them to accept the habit of closing the door and clinging to old traditions. For them, it means self-denial and the sense of lagging behind.

In the globalisation, open-door and international exchange processes, some negative social practices and lifestyles from many countries which have caused problems for their own authorities, have infiltrated into Vietnam. Cultural deviations, the pragmatic lifestyle which highlights hedonism and individual lust, prostitution, drug abuse, violence, crimes, disregard of family life criteria, maltreatment of parents and old people, lack of concern for children and even sex abuse of children have penetrated our lives in the modern society.

As they lack the necessary knowledge and awareness, quite a few young people have been influenced by negative practices while advancing their knowledge and learning cultural quintessence from other countries. This has required us to strengthen young people’s awareness and improve youth activities in the global cultural dialogue and exchange.

The global cultural integration, dialogue and exchange process has become an objective indispensability for human development in face of new requirements and challenges of the era. So, in the youth strategy, plans should be developed without delay to provide young people in Vietnam and other countries with the necessary knowledge and skills to participate and respond to the positive and negative aspects of this process.

Dang Canh Khanh