“Vietnam Days Abroad 2023” promotes country to international friends

Vietnam Days Abroad 2023 successfully promoted Vietnam’s image, people, and country to international friends, fostering friendship and cooperation between countries.

Efforts to spread Vietnamese culture

After 13 years of implementation, “Vietnam Days Abroad”, an annual national promotion program assigned by the prime minister to be hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has set foot in 18 countries with many exchange and networking activities in three fields of politics, economics, and culture.

In 2023, “Vietnam Days Abroad” was held in South Africa, France, and Japan, on the occasion of celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and South Africa and 50 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan and France.

This year’s program welcomed Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan and a high-ranking delegation during their official visit to South Africa in September.

Representative of the Organizing Committee, Hoang Huu Anh, Deputy Director of the Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO, said that South Africa, France, and Japan are all important partners of Vietnam in three different continents, with rich indigenous cultures. Therefore, this year’s program had been carefully researched with appropriate adjustments made in each area.

South Africa was the first destination and also the furthest destination of the series of events this year. Here, the Vietnamese community is sparse, and cultural connections and exchanges to the local community are limited.

When “Vietnam Days in South Africa 2023” was held on Sept. 14 and 15 in the capital Pretoria, it attracted the attention of local people and international friends, successfully promoting the image of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people in South Africa and Africa.

Hoang Huu Anh, Deputy Director of the Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO, speaks about this year’s “Vietnam Days Abroad” program. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam

In the program in Paris, many contents were selected to highlight the cultural connection between Vietnam and France over the past half century.

Artist Luong Minh Hoa brought a collection of engraved lacquer with the theme of French architectural works to Vietnam, receiving the attention of many attendees. The photo series “Vietnam I Love” by Armelle DG, wife of former French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery is also a vivid testament to the emotional attachment of a French person to Vietnam.

A highlight of “Vietnam Days in France 2023” was also the Vietnamese cuisine introduction area, where attendees enjoyed more than 500 bowls of Pho Thin from Hanoi.

With “Vietnam Day in Japan 2023”, the organizing committee has integrated into the program famous historical stories such as the love story of Princess Ngoc Hoa and businessman Araki Sorato, or how patriotic writer Phan Boi Chau and doctor Asaba Sakitaro worked to honor the two long-standing cultures and friendship between the two countries.

Appreciating history, looking toward the future

The series of events at “Vietnam Days Abroad 2023” chose “Origin, vitality, and continuity” as the main theme, conveyed throughout the activities of the Vietnam Cultural Space event and art performances in South Africa, France, and Japan.

It was an opportunity for international friends to learn about the origins of the Vietnamese people through the Exhibition of World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO in Vietnam and through the Golden Journey, which recreated the costumes of kings and mandarins of the Nguyen Dynasty, showcased Dong Ho folk paintings and the making of Vietnamese old-time flour-based toy To he.

The performances also introduced Vietnamese traditional arts, many of which have been recognized by UNESCO as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, such as Vi Giam folk songs and Van-Hau Dong Gia singing.

An art performance in “Vietnam Day Abroad 2023 in Japan”. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam

Dong Ho folk painting artist Nguyen Dang Tam, who has made efforts to promote Vietnamese culture abroad, said: “Through paintings made from natural materials such as vermilion pebbles and indigo leaves, flowers, bamboo leaves, and scallops, I hope international friends can somehow understand the daily life of the people of the northern delta in Vietnam in the past.”

The next keyword in the main topic of the program was taken as the name for the promotional photo set, Vietnam Vitality.

The photos looked ordinary and simple, but they clearly portrayed a friendly, hospitable, beautiful, and dynamic Vietnam, ready to welcome international friends.

The continuity and development of Vietnamese culture were clearly shown through the story of Pho Thin Bo Ho, a famous dish from the capital Hanoi, and the art of engraved lacquer.

The series of events at “Vietnam Days Abroad 2023” ended with success, leaving a deep impression in the local public and the Vietnamese community far from home.

This was the result of efforts from the organizing unit – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, localities, businesses, and cultural practitioners who accompanied the program because of the common desire to promote Vietnam’s culture and elevate the country’s image everywhere.

“Cultural diplomacy always brings special emotions, helping people of different countries understand and love each other more, while at the same time evoking the spirit of national pride among Vietnamese overseas. The program “Vietnam Days Abroad 2023” is a gift to the Vietnamese community far from home,” Anh said.