ExperiencesCity & CultureNational University of Hue - The oldest school in the ancient capital
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City & Culture

National University of Hue - The oldest school in the ancient capital

Translated by Bing
At 5pm, when the sunset falls red on the Perfume River, the gentle white tunic on the bicycle from the school gate is like beautiful butterflies.

Hue is gentle behind the wheels, not too crowded with traffic, not bustled by the whistle, the roads are lined with flying tamarind, the cool breeze from the Perfume River blows to soothe, it is pleasant. Parallel Le Loi street, there, there is a famous national school with more than 100 years of age, two-storey houses painted pink and red under green trees.

The school only opens its doors at certain hours for high school girls to enter and exit, the rest, only a small gate is ajar. Tourists who visit this street are attracted by the beauty of the school, everyone stops to walk around the school. The atmosphere of the afternoon in class, listening to the sound of lectures, the faint laughter of mischievous students.

Hue National University was established in 1896, with the construction style of the Nguyen Dynasty with long walls surrounding itself with exquisitely carved places and the style of Phap with two-storey houses painted red. The school has changed its name over the years: École Primaire Supérieure (Primary College) but commonly known as Quoc Hoc (1896-1936), Khai Dinh High School (1936-1954), Ngo Dinh Diem High School (1955-1956), and was returned to its original name in 1956 until now. The school gate is built on two floors, the upper floor hangs a plaque engraved with the words National Hoc School painted with gold lacquer, on both sides embossed two dragons with porcelain fragments and on the fence wall to the right of the main gate there is a "screen", marking the 117-year history of the school.

Behind the gate is an old tree-lined path, mossy trees, four seasons shade the schoolyard. Rows of two-storey houses are under the green canopy, long corridors smoke, windows open to catch the sun. The rows of houses are connected by corridors, which are the girls' relaxation spot at recess.

The schoolyard is large, the green grass, the stone benches, the tamarind leaves and the pale pink cherry blossoms at the end of the season are still here. This Hue National School's own flower season blooms in late February and early March, a pink color covers the school, scattered all over the streets, landing on the spring grass branches. Then, through that flowering season, the whole school yard was bustling with purple and phoenix flowers, the color of the season of flowers that bid farewell to the school days. At those times, the schoolyard was gorgeous in the colors of flowers and colors of pristine white tunics like beautiful butterfly wings, in the sunny smile of the gentle schoolgirl but the corners of her eyes glittered with tears of farewell to summer.

Walking along the small paths of the oldest school in Vietnam, I feel like I am returning to an ancient time. There used to be many famous people attending and today, the class of successive generations adds fame to the school. Hue National University is still there, silent under the shade of ancient trees, in the sound of summer noon, welcoming the warm sun and cool breeze by the Perfume River. Very deep but also very gentle!


Spy Huang

Photo: VnE

Image source: Multiple authors
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