Vietnam/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and civil initiatives  

8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs

Before 1986, cultural houses were very important institutions for cultural activities in Vietnam. It was difficult to find their equivalent in other non-communist countries. Today, due to many reasons, cultural houses are less important than they used to be. The system of cultural houses has tried to strengthen their activities by reforming the modes of organisation and activities, upgrading their equipments and infrastructure, and updating with the cultural demands of people. However, their low efficiency and insufficient level of adaptation to contemporary requirements is acknowledged.

In 2012, Vietnam had seventy-two provincial cultural houses under different names including sixty cultural centres, three cultural houses, four centres for information and exhibition, and five other names such as exhibition house, centres for exhibition, fairs, advertisement, etc. At district level, there are 542 cultural houses under the names of centres for culture and information, centres for culture and sports or district cultural houses. It occupies seventy eight percent of the total district in the whole country. At communal level, there are 4.823 cultural houses per 11.100 communes (or 43.4 percent of total communes). At village level, there are 45.259 cultural houses per 101.231 villages (or forty five percent). These village cultural houses are usually combined with broadcasting units and reading rooms to organise cultural and art activities.

Beside these cultural houses run by culture sector, there are many cultural institutions operated by different ministries and associations such as the Culture House of Labour Union of Vietnam; cultural palaces or children cultural houses from Hồ Chí Minh Youth Union of Vietnam, and cultural houses from the Ministry of Defence.

An important programme had been launched by the overall plan for the development of grassroots cultural institutions until 2010, and the strategy of cultural development until 2020 signed by the Prime Minister to set the target of 90–100 percent total number of districts, from 80 to 90 percent communes; and 60–70 percent villages having cultural houses until the year 2015 and 2020. To meet with this target, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is now creating guideline documents on the regulation of cultural houses.

Chapter published: 30-11-2013