Learning literature is critical for children in forming personal traits, ideals, and attitude towards life. Therefore, children should be taught about their birth country’s literature as well as other countries’, which are of the same amount of importance. The 2 main reasons are that other countries’ literature offers as much value as one’s own country does, and that ignoring other countries’ literature would lead to a biased view towards the world.
Other countries’ literature provides students with many lessons like their home country does. Literature works, regardless of the origin, all promote multiple values through the depiction of the country’s history and culture. Vietnam, as a country suffering from plenty of wars, has many literature works that reflect that period of time and promote humanity, empathy, love etc. such as “Tat Den” by Ngo Tat To, or “So Do” by Vu Trong Phung. Similarities can be found in foreign literature. Demonstrating heart-breaking civil war time in French history, Les Miserables promotes compassion, strong will, and the anti-war ideology via the life stories of different characters from different backgrounds, from men to women, from elders to children, from the rich to the poor… In contemporary literature, Vietnam has Nguyen Ngoc Anh. His short stories give lessons about family, friendship, social responsibility, etc. These can be related to “The Christmas Carol,” which teaches people about kind and appropriate behaviors in different kinds of relationships.
Moreover, placing any less importance on other countries’ literature can form incomplete understanding about the world. Different countries have different historical events and cultural practices. Having to learn literature of one’s own country and degrading others’ may form misleading ideas about life outside of one’s hometown. This may also later affect the cross-culture interpersonal skills required for one to work in the globalization era. For instance, Vietnam has tons of literature works about wars and how other countries were destroying lives of millions of Vietnamese. Imagining studying extensively about Vietnam’s literature, we can say that children would fail to develop compassion for other nations and rather form a hostile attitude. History depicted by different nations consist of certain subjective beliefs. Therefore, it is crucial to remember that to have a thorough perspective free of biases.
Moreover, Vietnam or any country has its unique culture. It is, thus, advisable to extend knowledge on other countries via their own literature works, to understand and most importantly, adjust one’s behaviors in different cultural contexts.
In conclusion, the literature of one’s home country or of other countries are of the same importance and children should be provided with education in both.