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Morality in Vietnamese Proverbs and Folk Songs – Formation Basis and Characteristics

Tran Thi Thom
World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. 2019, 5(1), 55-61. DOI: 10.12691/wjssh-5-1-8
Received April 12, 2019; Revised May 02, 2019; Accepted May 06, 2019

Abstract

Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs are popular folklore genres, which can be said to be the most popular genres of folk literature. Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs are products that crystallize Vietnamese minds and souls throughout the national history, indicating many precious spiritual values, especially the philosophy of life, morality of the Vietnamese. The article explores the basis of formation and characteristics of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs to help us understand the formation basic and characteristics of Vietnamese’s traditional conception of morality, which is reflected in proverbs, folk songs.

1. Introduction

Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs have been exploited in many aspects with many different contents. However, at present, there are only few studies on morality in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs. At the same time, there have not been any direct study clarifying the basis of formation and characteristics of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs.

We can mention some studies related to morality in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs such as: Morality in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs 1, Proverbs of Vietnamese on moral education 2 and Communication - behaviour culture in Vietnamese proverbs - folk songs 3 by Nguyen Nghia Dan; The proverbs and folk songs about family relations 4 by Pham Viet Long; Reflection of family and social relations in the folk songs and proverbs 5 by Do Thi Bay; Philosophy of human life in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs 6 by Hoang Thuc Lan; Ethics - a value honoured in proverbs, folk songs 7 of Nguyen Thi Van; Morality in Vietnamese folk songs, proverbs 8 by Vu Thi Hai; Humanism - a great cultural value in Vietnamese morality 9 by Vo Van Thang and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tho. In these works, the authors initially exploited the morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs. However, due to the object and scope of the study, the authors have not had conditions to clarify the basis of formation and characteristics of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs.

In addition, there are studies related to the foundation basis and characteristics of morality in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs such as: Social discussion on ethics in Vietnam today 10 by Nguyen Thi Tho; Vietnamese philosophy, volume 1: Traditional Vietnamese philosophy 11 by Nguyen Hung Hau; The traditional spiritual value of the Vietnam 12 by Tran Van Giau; Study of national characteristics 13 by Nguyen Hong Phong; Vietnamese - traditional and modern values 14 by Bui Thanh Son and Le Thi Thu Ngan; Vietnamese cultural basis 15 and Vietnamese cultural identity study 16 by Tran Ngoc Them; General History of Vietnamese culture 17 (including Vol 2 - Buddhism and Taoism in Vietnamese culture, Vol 3 - Confucianism and the process of penetrating in the cultural and ideological life in Vietnam) by Nguyen Khac Thuan. Although these works do not directly clarify the formation and characteristics of morality in proverbs and folk songs, they contribute to establishing a basis to explain the formation and characteristics of those traditional spiritual values of the Vietnamese in general and the morality in proverbs and folk songs in particular.

Morality is the philosophy of human life, a motto of human life. Each era, each different ethnic group has different concepts of morality. The concept of morality of Vietnamese in tradition expressed in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs has its own characteristics, reflecting natural conditions, economic basis, historical - social environment, etc. Therefore, clarifying the basis of formation and characteristics of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs is a work of theoretical and practical significance, helping us to realize the decisive role of society existence to social awareness, to explain some issues related to the personality, morality concept of Vietnamese people.

2. Content

2.1. Definitions
2.1.1. Morality Concept

Morality is an opening concept with many different approaches. In this topic, the author approaches the study of morality from Tao, one of the central scopes of Eastern philosophy and culture. In the book of Eastern Philosophical Tao 18, the author Truong Lap Van synthesized different views on Tao in Eastern philosophy to point out the Tao’s connotation with some basic contents as follows:

"1. Tao is the origin of all things in heaven and earth, referring to the super-experience that the sensory system cannot achieve, is a natural phenomenon, is the obvious thing behind the natural phenomenon. Because it is out of the natural and social phenomenon, it is invisible, only felt with rational thinking. Therefore, the ancient philosophers of China defined the Tao as invisible, soundless and unconscious one. The Tao is the basis for the existence of all things in heaven and earth, also the origin of all things.

2. Tao is the whole world’s nature, is the fundamental nature of things, is the internal relationship that constitutes the basic elements of things. People consider it the nature of things. Thus, the nature and the law are equal categories. However, being wider than the law, it is a combination of a series of nature and laws included within things.

3. Tao is the law of things, indicating the relationship of nature and stability of things ... Compared to the term of specific laws, Tao is a common law or general law.

4. Tao is the process of movement and evolution. Tao contains everything. It itself contains the contradiction and unification between “positive” and “negative” ones, “yes” and “no”, “one” and “two”, “dynamic” and “static” ones, etc. Contradiction and unification create the evolution of the natural world and the development process of human society.

5. Tao is a political principle, a moral code of state governance and behaviour. Political principle is the thought of governing the state, reflecting the principles, rules ... of the political regime, moral code, etc." [ 18; 12-14].

In this article, the author approaches Tao from a moral code, a code of behaviour (according to 5) and Tao is the law of things, indicating the nature and stability of things (according to 3). From there, it can be understood that morality is moral code, and behaviour in the natural and stable relationship of human beings.

So what are the inherent, natural and stable relationships of human beings? They are the relationships of people with themselves, with family, society and with nature.

People will inevitably have a relationship with nature, living environment, themselves and others. These are the inherent, natural and stable relationships. It is these relationships that form human nature. According to C. Marx wh once said: "Human nature is not individual thing. In its realism, human nature is the synthesis of social relations” [ 19; 11].

Since then, we can understand that Morality is moral norms, the human behaviour in relationship with themselves, with family, society and nature.

Accordingly, Morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs are moral codes of ethics, a human behaviour in relationship with themselves, family, society and nature can be present in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs.


2.1.2. Concepts of Vietnamese Proverbs, Folk Songs

Currently, there are many definitions of Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs. Depending on the area of expertise and the purpose of the research, each researcher can give different definitions, but in general, they focus on the basic contents. The reason for many definitions of proverbs and folk songs is also several complex problems in distinguishing between folk songs and proverbs and idioms. Confusion in this issue occurs regularly, to those who study literature. Therefore, here, we do not debate to define the concept of Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs but define the concept based on the views of some researchers to meet the research purpose of the article.

Vietnamese proverbs is a folklore genre consisting of short, rhyming sentences, written by the people and passed down through generations, with the function of summarizing the experience and long-standing knowledge of Vietnamese people on nature, society and people.

The Vietnamese folk song is a folklore genre consisting of lyrical, rhyming verses, composed by the people and passed down through generations, manifesting the material and spiritual life of the Vietnamese people.

2.2. The Formation Basis of Morality in the Vietnamese Proverb, Folk Songs

The concept of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs belongs to social consciousness, reflecting certain social conditions. Therefore, it has a basis of natural conditions, economic basis, historical - social environment and cultural ideological premise.


2.2.1. Natural Conditions

Natural conditions affect the cultural formation of each ethnic group. In the course of their existence and development, in order to adapt to natural conditions, each nation formed different conceptions and behaviours in human relationships, thereby forming the different concepts of morality and humanity as following:

- Diverse natural conditions in Vietnam (diversity of topography, climate and ecosystems) contributed to the formation of the concept of humanity diversity with various nuance.

Vietnam is located on the Indochinese, Pacific coast, with 4,550 km land border, a diverse terrain, including land and sea, hills and plains. Vietnam is in the tropical monsoon area, so the climate is hot and humid, unstable, differentiated by season and by region from low to high, from North to South, from East to West clearly. Mountain occupies three quarters of the territory with mainly red yellow feralit soil, which is suitable for many different crops. The plain area occupies ¼ but most of them are in the deltas which are accreted by rivers, so it is very fertile and convenient for agricultural cultivation. It is the diverse natural conditions that regulate the social consciousness characteristics in general, the moral conception and the diverse morality with many nuances in particular.

- The riverside habitat from the beginning formed the way of flexible thinking, behaviour, adapting to the changes any situation.

In many natural conditions affecting people's daily life, rivers are considered one of the most important factors, contributing to forming the behaviour of Vietnamese people. According to archaeological evidences, the main area of the ancient Vietnamese was the basin of two major rivers: The Red River and the Ma River. The topography in which Vietnamese ancestors lived and earned for livelihood through many centuries was a topography with many rivers and lakes. The residences in the past were on high mounds surrounded by water. Water forms the millennium border of each region. Old transport was mainly waterway, rivers became the main transport routes and boats were major means. And it can be said that river was the living environment of Vietnamese people. This has affected the daily life of people and imprinted on the thinking and behaviour of Vietnamese people. It is the way of thinking, flexible behaviour, adapting to the changes in any situation.

- Vietnam has fertile land, abundant resources but very harsh natural disasters that have contributed to forming the spirit of community solidarity, diligence and creativity, the will to overcome difficulties; attitude to respect life as well as love, people deeply.

Besides the advantages of land and natural resources, Vietnam also faces many difficulties and challenges like natural disasters, heat, droughts, floods, storms from the East Sea, ... causing great loss of human and material. This has contributed to the formation of the spirit of community solidarity to cope with difficulties and challenges; diligence and creativity, the will to master life (to regain the lost); attitude to respect life as well as love and people (to respect the values of life and people in difficulty).

- Vietnam is located on an important geographical, economic and cultural area that has formed an open-minded attitude towards life, community solidarity and a high vigilance.

Vietnam is on a very important terrain of the Indochinese, the crossroads of Southeast Asia in term of politics, economy and culture, the connecting point between the island, the ocean and the traffic hub between North and South, East and West. The bridge position of Vietnam has created the culture of convenience in interacting with different cultures in the course of its existence and development, especially China and Indian. All explain why Vietnamese culture the combination of land culture and sea culture is, including the culture of the North and the South. However, that geographical position also makes people face many ambitions of expansion of many countries. This has formed tolerance, attitude of resilience and high alertness and characteristics of Vietnamese throughout history. At the same time, it helps us to explain why the spirit of community solidarity is always a stable constant in Vietnamese cultural identity.


2.2.2. Economic Basis

For any society, material production always holds the most important position for the existence and development of that society, regulating the characteristics of the nation. Traditional Vietnamese society was a small agricultural society based on three constants: agriculture, rural areas and farmers. Agriculture was the backbone of the national economy; rural area was the true face of the country; most population were farmers. Material production activities based on agriculture formed the characteristics of the Vietnamese people.

- The rice growing agriculture formed people with the nature of love for harmony, stability, a respectable lifestyle, morality.

The economic basis of Vietnam was a seasonal rice-based agriculture that depended on natural conditions and weather conditions: "Care sky, care soil, care weather; care day and night”. The natural world is large and changing day by day, and human awareness is limited, people sometimes cannot predict what will happen. Therefore, it formed the desire to understand and harmonize with nature.

At the same time, due to the important factor of rice farming was the cultivating place (unlike the nomad life which is always on the move), it formed the preference of stable and peaceful life as “settle down and thrive”. Because living and working in a certain place form fixed relationships with neighbours and respectful lifestyle. Explaining this, Nguyen Hong Phong said: "In life, the more community relations are established, the higher requirements of morality, ... People requires each person to pay attention to others, to live for affection and gratitude, to act according to the morality of society to preserve and strengthen the sustainable and sacred traditional community relations, etc.” [ 13; 134].

- Life was closely associated with agricultural production, with rudimentary conditions and severe weather that contributed to the creation of the nature of simplicity, open hearted attitude and romantic feeling; diligence; spirit of community solidarity; attitude of respecting labour achievements, respecting the life.

The economic base of Vietnam is a long-term wet rice agriculture, so human life is closely linked with agricultural production, nature, rural areas and farmers. All formed the nature of simplicity, open hearted attitude and romantic feeling; diligence.

On the other hand, we conducted agricultural production with rudimentary, simple conditions, which required much effort, required people to work hard, "stay up late and wake up early in the morning", "toiling and moiling in the fields”. In particular, we worked in harsh weather conditions, faced natural disasters and epidemics. It is the hard-working process with full of difficult challenges that have formed the industrious spirit, spirit of community solidarity; attitude of respecting labor achievements, respecting the life.

- The economic base of Vietnam was the wet rice agriculture, completely without the nomadic economy, which contributed to the formation of respecting elder people.

Vietnamese ancestors had absolutely no experience of nomadic economy like others in Europe and North Asia. Therefore, in Vietnam, there was no tradition of choosing leaders from talented, powerful people. For wet rice agriculture with stability, the highly appreciated qualification was experience and knowledgeable about the weather. And it was elder people who owned the qualification. Therefore, the thought of respecting the elders and those who "lived for long time in the village" was formed. This contributes to explain why in the concept of morality reflected in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs is the respect to the elders. Thus, the thought of respecting elders wasn’t created in the course of Confucianism but available in the Vietnamese subconscious. It became clearer and more specific when the Confuciasm entered Vietnam.


2.2.3. Historical - Social Environment

- Vietnam often had to fight against foreign invaders, so the strong national solidarity and patriotism.

It can be said that Vietnam's history is a history of fighting against foreign invaders. According to preliminary calculations, throughout the length of national history, the Vietnamese people conducted 15 national defense wars, more than 100 resistance and national liberation wars, all lasted approximately 12 centuries. The world has 5 continents, Vietnamese had to fight against invaders from 3 continents. The intention of the invaders was not only taking appropriating the wealth and resources, but also turning Vietnam into a lever to expand territory. At the same time, in terms of terrain, Vietnam was in the impasse (the north is a huge country who always wanted to occupy Vietnam, the West is the Truong Son range, the East and South is the sea). Therefore, in order to survive, the Vietnamese people had only one way to fight against invaders. This defined the heroic nature of Vietnamese people and patriotism became the fabric of the whole Vietnamese history.

- Village formed the community and autonomy in national characteristics, the contrary opinions on moral conception, morality.

Traditional Vietnamese people mainly lived in the villages with agriculture. Farmers must be linked together, depend on each other to live. Therefore, community was the characteristic of Vietnamese village. Vietnamese village which was formed in very diverse and natural way, was both social unit and economic self-supplying unit and a strictly organized administrative unit according to many different principles. Each village was isolated as an independent, autonomous island. All formed different characteristics: both personality and the spirit of community solidarity, promoting community values which were both conservative, slow - to- change; and desire of accessing new things.... For the new things, it is not easy to harmonize and resist, we accept and accept reasonable things in a reserved way. That explains why there are many different concepts in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs.

On the other hand, for agricultural society, village community carried many long-lasting remnants that created the speciality in the way of thinking, behaviour and lifestyle of Vietnamese people: "It is a bifurcation thinking, a specific way of thinking, that is more emotional than rational, more imaginative, conceptual, flexible, easy to adapt. It is an emotional lifestyle, attaching to relatives and villages. It is a flexible and clever action of resolving conflict in harmony, based on relationships as "using the weak to fight against the strong", “now flexible, now firm” in history” [ 14; 69].


2.2.4. Cultural Premise

Cultural premise of the formation of morality in general, the morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs in particular is very diverse, containing many different contents. In this article, the author clarified two basic contents of the ideological cultural premise that are directly related to the formation of the morality concept in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs: Firstly, indigenous belief and exogenous thoughts; Secondly, the traditional moral values of the Vietnamese.

Firstly, indigenous beliefs and exogenous thoughts

Vietnam has a long-standing, vibrant culture with its own identity, the unity in diversity, in the exchange and interaction with other cultures. In particular, especially Indian and Chinese culture with the influence of typical ideas such as Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism; and in the twentieth century, Marxism-Leninism was introduced into the country during the cause of national liberation. These thoughts greatly influenced the Vietnamese’ morality. But thanks to a strong indigenous culture, thanks to traditional tolerance in Vietnamese culture, Vietnamese culture was in harmony with exogenous religions and ideologies and localized them, combine them with indigenous beliefs, to create a unique characteristic in the spiritual life of the nation.

Vietnamese national culture raised from a specific living environment (as presented in the natural conditions, the social-historical environment) and that living environment had a significant impact on the material and spiritual cultural life, the character and psychology of Vietnamese people. According to historians, Vietnam has a large cultural community formed around the beginning of the first century BC and flourished in the middle of that century. Indigenous culture in different areas such as Red River, Ma River, Ca River Basin converged together, forming Dong Son cultural community. This was also the period of the first embryonic state of Vietnam in the form of inter-villages and super-villages to fight against the invaders and to build dikes, grow rice and the original tribes developed into the nation. In the process of living, people had their own beliefs expressing their worldview.

Basically, according to the beliefs of the Vietnamese people, there are three worlds that exist in parallel: heaven, earth and humanity, also called Tam Tai All three worlds have a close relationship. Vietnamese folk beliefs are an indistinguishable mix of worship belief and natural worship; god worship; worship of ancestors and heroes with meritorious services to the country.

Besides indigenous beliefs, Vietnam exists in the continuation with external thoughts and religions, notably Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. All had a great influence on the moral conception of the Vietnamese people.

Buddhism was introduced to Vietnam early, in two ways: from India through the trade, from India to China and then to Vietnam during the Northern domination. With the thought of compassion, tolerance, Buddhism was quickly absorbed and spread widely. Because: "Buddhism brings pure altruistic thoughts, ideology of equality based on rural communes, love for all living beings” [ 12; 71]. It can be said that Buddhism is a humanistic expression on human relationship with oneself, with spiritual world. All helped Buddhism penetrate the spiritual life of the Vietnamese people, creating a tradition of compassion, altruism and generosity. Buddhism deeply imprinted in the national culture, the customs of the people, the conception of morality of Vietnamese. And those concepts have still showed its vitality until today.

Confucianism was introduced into Vietnam in the Chinese domination period with the process of invasion and rule of Chinese feudal government. The Chinese government has spread Confucianism into Vietnam to enslave the people, serving their reign. During the time of independence with the development of feudal dynasties: Ngo, Dinh, Tien Le, Ly, Tran ..., Confucianism gradually developed and created deep influence to all aspects of political and social life. Confucianism is a political-social theory that takes morality as central point, with the goal of building a well-organized society. Confucian ethics’ morality is one of people in relation to themselves, family and society. Confucianism had a profound effect on all aspects of Vietnamese social life and left a clear imprint in the conception of morality in proverbs, folk songs.

Along with Buddhism and Confucianism, Taoism also had a certain influence in Vietnamese culture and spread to Vietnam after Buddhism in a short time. If Confucianism mainly influenced in the educated class, Taoism affected all classes. Due to the theory of anti-ruling, Taoism was used as a weapon to fight against Chinese feudalism. Taoism had many magical and mystical elements which were compatible with traditional beliefs of Vietnamese people, so when it was spread into Vietnam, Taoism developed strongly. Taoism included fairy Taoism and folk Taoism. Fairy Taoism was less influential, and folk Taoism developed strongly and integrated naturally in the people's cultural life. Along with the progress of national history, Taoism withdrew from politics but in society, it still showed the vitality, the spread and integration with the folk beliefs of the people. Taoism "brought the spirit of solidarity and humanity, justice to the people to fight against all injustice and oppression of village bullies and kings "[ 12; 74].

Marxism-Leninism was officially propagated into our country in the 30s of the twentieth century, was a revolutionary theory to pave the way for the Vietnamese revolution in the struggle for national independence and in the cause of state construction and defines today. With the spirit of humanity, revolution, Marxism-Leninism had a great influence to the revolution of the country and an addition of new values to the concept of morality of the Vietnamese.

It can be said that the external thoughts and religions spead into Vietnam were mixed with indigenous beliefs to affect the moral conception of the country. Vietnam. The influences were different in each state but all coexisted in a combination with indigenous culture without creating conflicts. It is the pure, flexible behaviour in Vietnamese culture in general, in the humanity of Vietnamese culture in particular: "Vietnamese people have an open-minded attitude about culture and beliefs; have few religious prejudices and are willing to select external cultures to enrich their unique culture. Vietnamese people can also accept different beliefs from outside and harmonize them with traditional beliefs” [ 14; 71].

Secondly, the traditional moral values of the Vietnamese

One of the important bases for the formation of the moral conception in general and Vietnamese in proverbs and folk songs in particular is the traditional moral values. It is the moral tradition that forms the basis of the moral conception and it is the moral conception that express deeply traditional morality of the Vietnamese. Therefore, it would be a mistake to explain the basis of forming the conception of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs without the traditional moral values.

When discussing the traditional moral values of the Vietnamese, researchers had different views but all refer to the good moral values passed from generation to generation, typically:

According to Prof. Vu Khieu, the ethical tradition of the Vietnamese includes 0patriotism, tradition of solidarity, diligence and creativity, humanitarian spirit, compassion and respect 20.

According to Professor Tran Van Giau, the traditional moral values of the Vietnamese people are: patriotism, diligence, heroism, creativity, optimism, compassion 12.

In the Party’s documents, moral values are often mentioned and considered outstanding values with sustainability including: "passionate patriotism, deep sense of community, morality "Do as you would be done by", diligence, etc." [ 21; 19].

Within the scope of this article, on the basis of inheriting the views of researchers, the author mentioned the traditional ethical values of Vietnam in order to explain the basis of forming the conception of morality in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs, including: patriotism, community solidarity, diligence and creativity, compassion and respect. Those are the core, outstanding values passed from generation to generation in the development of Vietnam, helping the Vietnamese to survive and develop through many historical events. These moral values show the necessary moral standards to everyone in relationship with oneself, with family, society and nature. It is recognized and respected by the whole society and is the basis for forming the conception of morality in general, and is reflected in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs in particular.

Natural conditions, economic base, historical - social environment and cultural and ideological premise are the basis for the formation of conception of morality reflected in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs. The formation of the conception of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs is not only due to the effect of a particular factor but also the result of many factors, in which, there always is key factors.

2.3. Characteristics of Morality in Vietnamese Proverbs and Folk Songs

Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs are a treasure of experience knowledge, diverse contents, especially moral education in many generations. Morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs have some of the following characteristics:

Firstly, the morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs emphasizes the traditional moral values of Vietnam.

Being a product of crystallization of Vietnamese mind and soul throughout the history, reflecting the material and spiritual life of the Vietnamese people through many generations, morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs are expressed in lively way, with many different perspectives, reflecting different social existence conditions, with positive and negative sides. However, the tendency throughout the concept of morality reflected in proverbs, folk songs is to appreciate the good, criticize the bad and the negative, thereby affirm the traditional moral values of the Vietnamese, such as:

In terms of the concept of morality in people - people relationship in society, besides the solidarity of the community, there is still an individual concept like "A blood is thicker than water" [ 22; 347]. However, the main spirit is still to promote the good, the positive and condemn the negative, the thought is still the solidarity of the community "Within the four seas all men are brothers" [ 1; 216].

In addition to the idea of loving labor, trying to master life, there are still passivity, laziness and lack of will to develop as “A light heart lives long” [ 22; 140]. But the main ideology is still to love labor, the will to rise to master life, criticize the lazy attitude as “Like sleeping more than working” [ 22; 157], “No one can do other’s work” [ 23; 94], “The more you eat and sleep, the poorer you become” [ 1; 347], “Life is a hand, it is a half when you fond of sleeping” [ 23; 71].

Secondly, the morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs appreciate the moral values. In which, loving people is the basis of morality and patriotism, the highest expression of morality.

Appreciating and respecting the moral values is a cultural tradition of the Vietnamese. Morality in Vietnam’s tradition in general, in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs in particular, therefore, also expresses the high appreciation to moral values in a clear way: "As a citizen, it is necessary to respect the king, the parents, get along with siblings, create harmonious relationship between husband and wife, to be honest to friends” [ 3; 151], "Money is brick, faithfulness is gold" [ 23; 152], "Honora is more precious than money" [ 1; 309], "Don’t give up faithfulness for gold" [ 1; 410], "Affection and gratitude are more valuable than materials" [ 23; 164].

In the human relationships, Vietnamese always take love as a basis for the morality: "Do as you would be done by" [ 23; 151], "Oh gourd, love the pumpkin. Though of different species, you share the same trellis" [ 22; 158], "People in a country love each other" [ 1; 309]. At the same time, based on the history as the country faced with foreign invaders, patriotism became a philosophy of humanity, the highest manifestation of morality, is a profound expression of morality in human relationships with themselves, with family and with society: "It is better to die than to live without freedom" [ 1; 99], "... For my beloved country, stand up to defeat all enemies and get over challenges” [ 22; 459-460]. Prof. Tran Van Giau once affirmed: "Patriotism is the greatest affection and thought of Vietnamese. Patriotism is a fabric of the whole history of Vietnam from the ancient to the modern" [ 12; 100].

Thirdly, the dominance of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs is a spirit of autonomy, equality and humanity.

Because the feudal regime existed in the long time and because Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs were born mainly during the feudal period, which made morality in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs be influenced with the feudal ideology. However, most of the Vietnamese did not turn themselves into the helpless, passive complying with the feudal ideology but expressed their opinions and behaviour with autonomy, equality and humanity. For example:

In the spousal relationship, beside the thought of "Wife follows husband everywhere" [ 23; 151], proverbs, folk songs also aim at democratic society in which the role of women is emphasized: "Water follows river, husband follows wife" [ 1; 23], "The master's orders are drowned by the mistress's gong” [ 23; 98], "Wife is the best" [ 23; 121]. At the same time, proverbs and folk songs emphasize the autonomy, equality and kindness, faithfulness to build a happy family: "A good wife makes a good husband" [ 23; 58], “Husband and wife get on well with together” [ 4; 83], "Behind every great man, there is a great woman" [ 23; 148]; “Go up the mountain to find firewood together, Husband carries the yoke, his wife carries the rattan. The black firewood and great love, promises are written on stones, please don't forget each other” [ 23; 637].

In the relationship between parents and children expressed in proverbs and folk songs, filial love in the Confucianism has changed quite a lot, it is no longer harsh like "Children must obey their parents”. Here, the relationship between parents and children is built on true love through the fulfillment of duties and responsibilities from both sides: "Parents give birth and bring up children” [ 23; 37], “Dad’s labour is as big as the Thai Son Mountain, Mom’s love is like water flowing from the source. With all my heart I respect and honour my parents, To uphold the [filial piety] is my duty as a son/daughter” [ 22; 345].

Fourthly, morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs always appreciate harmony, solidarity in all human relationships.

One of the outstanding point in the conception of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs is the focus on harmony, flexibility, solidarity in every relationship in the family and the society. It is also the nature, the morality of the Vietnamese. Because they always faced with natural disasters and enemies, the Vietnamese people had a desire for peace and harmony to live a peaceful and overcome all difficulties. challenges. Therefore, harmony - flexibility - solidarity became the principle of solving problems in life. In family and society, we all see the consistency of this principle. In the family: "All members get along well with each other, the family is happy" [ 4; 106], "Husband and wife get on well with each other" [ 22; 315]; in the society, “retreat to avoid a conflict" [ 23; 62], “Faithful living with full of affection and gratitude” [ 22; 46].

Fifthly, morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs is a harmonious combination of the endogenous and the exogenous, between tradition and modernity, nationalism and revolution, expressing the spirit of openness and tolerance.

Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs are the voice of the people through generations, the mirror reflecting Vietnam’s social history under the influence of different ideas, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism in the Chinese domination period and when the Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh's thought was spread in 1930. However, when Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and Marxism-Leninism were spread into Vietnam, it was selected, localized to suit the national culture and those ideas were reflected in proverbs and folk songs, they were localized. Therefore, although the morality in proverbs, folk songs have a mix, harmony, and imprint of many different ideas but do not create any conflict and create a continuation to suit the national culture. It is the tolerance and openness in the conception of morality reflected in proverbs and folk songs.

Sixthly, morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs are both philosophical and lyrical, having an effective educational function.

Proverbs summarize experience while the folk songs are lyrical and emotional. Although both focus on the morality, they have different approaches to the morality, which makes the concept of morality in proverbs, folk songs emotional and lyrical. Therefore, thanks to proverbs and folk songs, we see a profound and lively treasure of behavioural experience. With the simple words and the carefulness in expressing content and format, proverbs and folk songs have the great expressiveness, are very easy to remember. They have the function of effective education and propaganda.

It can be said that morality in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs is the summary of the Vietnamese people's experiences and philosophy through generations, reflecting the identity of Vietnamese culture. It is a culture "always taking tolerance and sociability as a basis to consider natural, social phenomena and human beings, to conduct cultural creative solutions; is humanism integrated from traditional and modern thoughts; is an open culture in space, in time changing according to the process of social adjustment; is a transformable and contrastive culture; is a cultural rich in people and community" [refer to 4; 204-205].

3. Conclusion

Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs are a treasure of experience, philosophy of life drawn through many generations. In particular, it can be said that the concept of morality is most clearly expressed. Morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs are the spiritual property of the Vietnamese, belong to the social consciousness, therefore, it is inevitably subject to the rules of social existence: natural conditions, economic basis, historical - social environment, and at the same time it is under the impact of ideological cultural premises. All stipulate the content and characteristics of morality in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs. Being aware of the formation basis and characteristics of morality in proverbs and folk songs is very important, helping Vietnamese people to better understand themselves, have a basis to explain moral concept as well as national cultural identity.

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[5]  Do Thi Bay, 2011, Reflection of family and social relationships in folk songs, Labor Publishing House,
In article      
 
[6]  Hoang Thuc Lan (editor), 2017, Human philosophy in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs, Vietnam Education Publishing House.
In article      
 
[7]  Nguyen Thi Van, 2014, "Morality - a value honored in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs", Yearbook of the scientific conference "Morality in Vietnamese culture", Hanoi University of Education (Faculty of Philosophy), Publisher of Political Theory, p.278-294.
In article      
 
[8]  Vu Thi Hai, 2014, "Morality in Vietnamese folk songs, proverbs", Yearbook of the Scientific Conference "Morality in Vietnamese culture", Hanoi University of Education (Faculty of Philosophy), Publisher of Political Theory, p.339-352.
In article      
 
[9]  Vo Van Thang and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tho, 2014, "Compassion - a pretty cultural value in the morality of Vietnamese people", Yearbook of the Scientific Conference of "Morality in Vietnamese culture", Hanoi University of Education (Faculty of Philosophy), Publisher of Political Theory, p.48-57.
In article      
 
[10]  Nguyen Thi Tho, 2017, Discussion of filial piety in Vietnam today, Social Sciences Publishing House.
In article      
 
[11]  Nguyen Hung Hau, 2017, Vietnamese Philosophy, Vol 1: Traditional Vietnamese Philosophy, Truth National Political Publishing House.
In article      
 
[12]  Tran Van Giau, 1980, Traditional spiritual values of the Vietnamese, Social Science Publishing House.
In article      
 
[13]  Nguyen Hong Phong, 1963, Study of national characteristics, Science Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[14]  Bui Thanh Son and Le Thi Thu Ngan, 2007, Vietnamese People - values of tradition and modernity, People's Army Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[15]  Tran Ngoc Them, 1998, Vietnam’s Cultural Base, Education Publishing House.
In article      
 
[16]  Tran Ngoc Them, 1997, Study of Vietnamese cultural identity, Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House.
In article      
 
[17]  Nguyen Khac Thuan, 2001, General History of Vietnamese Culture, Education Publishing House.
In article      
 
[18]  Truong Lap Van, 1998, Eastern Philosophy, Social Science Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[19]  C. Marx and F.Engels (1995), Complete work, Vol 3, National Political Publishing House.
In article      
 
[20]  Vu Khieu, 1974, New Ethics, Social Science Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[21]  The Communist Party of Vietnam, 1993, Politburo Resolution on some current ideological orientations.
In article      
 
[22]  Vu Ngoc Phan, 2010, Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs, Literature Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[23]  National Center of Social Sciences and Humanity, 1999, Collection of Folklore, vol. 4, book 1: Proverbs - Folk songs, Education Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 

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Tran Thi Thom. Morality in Vietnamese Proverbs and Folk Songs – Formation Basis and Characteristics. World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2019, pp 55-61. http://pubs.sciepub.com/wjssh/5/1/8
MLA Style
Thom, Tran Thi. "Morality in Vietnamese Proverbs and Folk Songs – Formation Basis and Characteristics." World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 5.1 (2019): 55-61.
APA Style
Thom, T. T. (2019). Morality in Vietnamese Proverbs and Folk Songs – Formation Basis and Characteristics. World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 5(1), 55-61.
Chicago Style
Thom, Tran Thi. "Morality in Vietnamese Proverbs and Folk Songs – Formation Basis and Characteristics." World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 5, no. 1 (2019): 55-61.
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[1]  Nguyen Nghia Dan, 2000, Morality in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs, Youth Publishing House.
In article      
 
[2]  Nguyen Nghia Dan, 2007, Proverbs of Vietnamese ethnic groups on moral education, Education Publishing House.
In article      
 
[3]  Nguyen Nghia Dan, 2013, Communication - behavior culture in Vietnamese proverbs - folk songs, Information Culture Publishing House.
In article      
 
[4]  Pham Viet Long, 2010, The proverbs, folk songs about family relationship, Hanoi National University Publishing House.
In article      
 
[5]  Do Thi Bay, 2011, Reflection of family and social relationships in folk songs, Labor Publishing House,
In article      
 
[6]  Hoang Thuc Lan (editor), 2017, Human philosophy in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs, Vietnam Education Publishing House.
In article      
 
[7]  Nguyen Thi Van, 2014, "Morality - a value honored in Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs", Yearbook of the scientific conference "Morality in Vietnamese culture", Hanoi University of Education (Faculty of Philosophy), Publisher of Political Theory, p.278-294.
In article      
 
[8]  Vu Thi Hai, 2014, "Morality in Vietnamese folk songs, proverbs", Yearbook of the Scientific Conference "Morality in Vietnamese culture", Hanoi University of Education (Faculty of Philosophy), Publisher of Political Theory, p.339-352.
In article      
 
[9]  Vo Van Thang and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tho, 2014, "Compassion - a pretty cultural value in the morality of Vietnamese people", Yearbook of the Scientific Conference of "Morality in Vietnamese culture", Hanoi University of Education (Faculty of Philosophy), Publisher of Political Theory, p.48-57.
In article      
 
[10]  Nguyen Thi Tho, 2017, Discussion of filial piety in Vietnam today, Social Sciences Publishing House.
In article      
 
[11]  Nguyen Hung Hau, 2017, Vietnamese Philosophy, Vol 1: Traditional Vietnamese Philosophy, Truth National Political Publishing House.
In article      
 
[12]  Tran Van Giau, 1980, Traditional spiritual values of the Vietnamese, Social Science Publishing House.
In article      
 
[13]  Nguyen Hong Phong, 1963, Study of national characteristics, Science Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[14]  Bui Thanh Son and Le Thi Thu Ngan, 2007, Vietnamese People - values of tradition and modernity, People's Army Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[15]  Tran Ngoc Them, 1998, Vietnam’s Cultural Base, Education Publishing House.
In article      
 
[16]  Tran Ngoc Them, 1997, Study of Vietnamese cultural identity, Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House.
In article      
 
[17]  Nguyen Khac Thuan, 2001, General History of Vietnamese Culture, Education Publishing House.
In article      
 
[18]  Truong Lap Van, 1998, Eastern Philosophy, Social Science Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[19]  C. Marx and F.Engels (1995), Complete work, Vol 3, National Political Publishing House.
In article      
 
[20]  Vu Khieu, 1974, New Ethics, Social Science Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[21]  The Communist Party of Vietnam, 1993, Politburo Resolution on some current ideological orientations.
In article      
 
[22]  Vu Ngoc Phan, 2010, Vietnamese proverbs, folk songs, Literature Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[23]  National Center of Social Sciences and Humanity, 1999, Collection of Folklore, vol. 4, book 1: Proverbs - Folk songs, Education Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article