TEDx and the story of traditional and modern sensibility by the 18-year-old Olympia girl

27 September, 2021

Constantly thinking about the traditional and contemporary values as well as being a juvenile who is fully aware of the strongly cross-cultural patterns between traditional and newly adopted perceptions in the 20th century, Olympian Trinh Diem Quynh has brought many cultural narratives to the stage of TEDxYouth@Hanoi. Despite being conveyed by an 18 years old, the narratives would cause any adult to contemplate life which revolves around them.


Enthusiastic, positive and full of energy are traits that can easily be seen in Diem Quynh, a member of the debating club D-DOXA, who is also the head of the Department of Internal Affairs which belongs to the Olympia student council 19-20… as well as several other achievements which was gained throughout her years studying at school. Concerning the matter of tradition and modernity, Diem Quynh had an impressive speech on the theme “Traditional or modern music, which one should we choose” on the stage of TEDxYouth@Hanoi not long ago, which attracted the mass public’s attention with over 23,000 views on Youtube. To many people, having the chance to be presented on TEDxYouth@Hanoi is a tremendous favour and perhaps, Diem Quynh is also fully aware and immensely grateful for this opportunity.


During the beginning of a new year, when anyone can obviously sense the conventional and modern impression blend in together in the stream of life, we had a chance to have a talk with Diem Quynh.




1. Hello, Diem Quynh. Recently, your speech on TEDx has been acknowledged and spread widely, can you share with us the content as well as the message behind the talk.


In the TEDxYouth@Hanoi conference that occurred, I had the honor of receiving an invitation to become the speaker in order to talk about “Preserving traditional music in Vietnam”. As a student who received international education, my peers and I are not likely to have the opportunity to come in contact with the national folk music. My everyday types of music that I listen to are hip hop, indie and pop - the gen Z ones, instead of Cheo, Quan Ho or Ca Tru. When youngsters start losing interest in traditional values, the national folk music of Vietnam would be forgotten and disappear soon. Traditional music is indeed a cultural treasure which consists of layers of deep thoughts and emotions from the previous generations.


The reason for me to choose this topic is due to the annual field trip of Olympia to Hue in September 2019, when the whole grade was able to listen to Hue Ca Tru. Not until that moment did I realize how much I have missed for not listening to folk music more.


2. What fate has brought Diem Quynh to TEDxYouth@Hanoi and how do you feel standing on such a prominent stage?


Back in the day, I won the first prize in the TEDxGPA contest and that was the fundamental helping me to once again have the opportunity to stand on the stage of TEDxYouth@Hanoi. During that time, Mrs. My Linh - an English teacher, introduced and aided me throughout the process of being a participant of the contest.


In front of such a prominent stage, I believe anyone would be nervous, worried, and afraid that they would stutter or make mistakes. However, after finishing the speech, I truly feel happy for surpassing my own fear.




3. Tradition and modernity seem to be opposite but in fact, they harmonize diligently together. At the start of the new year, what is Diem Quynh’s perspective on the Vietnamese Tet holiday and the modernized Tet in this day and age?


As I have already expressed in the speech about traditional and modern music, values which are considered as Vietnamese tradition are not required to be restrained and resembled exactly from one century to another. Traditional values of Vietnam such as Tet holiday have acculturation that happens through years in order to become suitable for Vietnamese people at each specific time. Undeniably, these variants need to be civilized, polite together with being able to preserve the formality of Tet holiday.


4. National identity of Vietnam is an aspect that is primarily considered in the Olympia school program. Do you think that it is a crucial feature of Vietnamese students and how are you personally performing it?


I think that national identity is exceedingly crucial to Vietnamese students; that is the reason why in course programs, especially in social studies in Olympia, teachers highly focus on aspects of Vietnamese identity. The field trip to Hue of our grade last year was also a means so that pupils can have the most intuitive and thorough perspective on thenational identity of Vietnam. Learning from lessons of Vietnamese identity, students are able to grasp more about their origins on their path towards the future.



5. There are only a few months left until your graduation. What is the cultural baggage that you would like to introduce to the world?


Like many other Olympia students, I aim to study abroad after graduating. Perhaps, in the cultural baggage that I would bring to a foreign country, I would want to share with friends across nations about the traditional music, folk tales that have been passed on through generations and the refined family tradition in Vietnam as well. In a modern society during globalization, you will be remembered with the cultural significance and identity that represent the nation.


6. Taking in account the amount of achievements that you have accomplished, which is your proudest attainment of the year?


The opportunity of standing on the stage of TEDx is what I am proud of the most this year. It wasn’t merely a chance to stand under the stage light and speak in front of a huge crowd or be famous; TEDx helped me surpass my own fear, be able to deliver positive messages ang bring my own passion in culture and values of Vietnam to the mass society.


Moreover, I also participated and received awards from numerous national and international debating contests as well as start-up ones.




7. The 4.0 era has wiped out many cultural values; what is your opinion about how juveniles should take responsibility for passing on the traditional values of the nation?


Youngsters should take responsibility for preserving the traditional values. During the years studying in school, acknowledging the traditional culture and its importance alone has been a huge positive age-appropriate contribution that would continue the heritages which were passed on by the previous generations.





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