Buffalo fighting festival recognised as intangible cultural heritage

Buffalo fighting festival recognised as intangible cultural heritage

The Do Son buffalo fighting festival in the northern port city of Hai Phong will be recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage on Thursday when the festival takes place.

The announcement will be made at the festival's opening ceremony. Hundreds of artists will perform to celebrate the event and re-enact the buffalo fighting on stage.

The traditional festival, which is held annually on the ninth day of the eighth lunar month, not only expresses the martial spirit of the local people, but also helps promote the locality's image and tourism potential.

Festival highlights Mekong Sub-region

A festival opened in Germany’s capital, Berlin, on September 8 to popularise the images of countries and people in the Greater Mekong sub-region (GMS).

The biannual event, co-organised by Albert-Einstein University and the German friendship association with GMS countries, also aims to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between the regional member states.

In his speech, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Vietnam-Germany Friendship Association Wilfried Lulei underscored Vietnam’s successful efforts to overcome challenges in recent times.

Vietnam’s biggest advantages, he said, are its political stability and a rising position in the region and the world.

However, he warned Vietnam of the negative impacts of the global economic crisis on the country’s export-driven growth.

Participants in the festival enjoyed a host of performances by artists from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

A photo exhibition themed “Lives along the Mekong River” that is open until October 25 has attracted many visitors.

Strengthening connectivity between Vietnam and Japan

“Vietnam Days in Japan” will take place in major cities from September 11-23 to boost multi-faceted relations and mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Japan.

The presence of Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh who is scheduled to attend some major activities shows Vietnam’s keen interest in strengthening the state and people-to-people diplomacy with Japan.

The opening ceremony will take place in Tokyo’s Shibuya prefecture on September 12 with the participation of 1,500 guests in a special art progam. Later, diverse political, economic and cultural activities will also be held in other parts of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Fukuoka, and Nagoya.

Typically, a roadshow to promote Vietnam’s tourism and beautiful landscapes will be held on September 13 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam Airlines and the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan.

In addition, “Vietnam Festival 2013” will take place Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park on September 14-15 to introduce Vietnamese products, culinary arts and performances.  An exhibition at the 300-400 sq.m Vietnam House will focus on the growing relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The festival is expected to welcome Japanese Prince Akishino as the guest of honour and around 180,000 visitors.

A seminar will be held on September 17 in Osaka and Kobe to discuss prospects for economic cooperation between Vietnam and Japan with the participation of 300 representatives from Vietnam’s relevant ministries and businesses and Japanese businesses in Kansai.

Similar seminars will also be held in Fukuoka and Nagoya to introduce Vietnam’s business environment and promote trade and investment cooperation among localities.

Especially, around 800 visitors will enjoy art performances at the Aichi Women’s Centre on September 20 while the “Hello Vietnam-Aichi 2013” festival will be organised for the first time in Hisayaodori Park, Aichi prefecture, to introduce Vietnamese and Japanese culinary arts and handicrafts.

Int’l congress on spiritual tourism in November

The International Congress on Spiritual Tourism for Sustainable Development will take place in the northern province of Ninh Binh on November 21 and 22.

It aims to enhance the positive effects of spiritual tourism on economic and social development of communities and societies.

The event will explore ways to integrate living culture, traditions and beliefs into tourism development toward sustainability, based on the four pillars of environment, economy, society, and culture.

It will draw particular attention to the following areas: Understanding and safeguarding of spiritual, religious and cultural values and assets in the context of tourism; development, management, promotion, and interpretation of spiritual tourism products; and socio-economic inclusion and empowerment of local communities, in particular of vulnerable groups.

Hanoi to host Asian national museums conference

The Vietnam National Museum of History (VNMH) will host the 4th Conference of Asian National Museums Association (ANMA4) between October 7-9.

Under the theme of “Peace-Cooperation-and Development”, the event will attract representatives from 11 museums of 11 Asian countries including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam.

The conference provides an excellent opportunity for Asian nations to share information and knowledge on cultural properties and to encourage the application of such knowledge. It is hoped it will deepen mutual understanding  as well as boost friendship, solidarity and peace among countries in the region.

It also helps VNMH to raise its public profile and image and establish its position amongst both domestic and international museums.

As part of the conference VNMH will also open a special exhibition to introducethe  heritage and traditions of the people, history and culture of ANMA‘s member nations, with a collection of pictures, photographs and artefacts from the musuems.

‘Got to Dance’ talent contest comes to Vietnam

Vietnam Television in collaboration with Cat Tien Sa Company will now host the UK based ‘Got to Dance’ talent contest in Vietnam.

"Got to Dance" is a reality talent dance competition for all age groups and includes all dance forms such as hip hop, belly dance and ballet.

This year, the contest was launched in Vietnam in June and the will take place from September 14 and broadcast every Saturday at 9pm on VTV3 Channel.

The organizers said that in the past three months, hundreds of candidates across the country have registered to take part in the contest. The organizers selected 50 items for the entrance round.

After finishing the entrance round, the organizers will select 28 groups, couples or singles for the face to face round, which will be broadcast live on VTV3 Channel after which the jury will choose 14 groups, couples or singles for the next round.

In the contest, the audiences will enjoy not only impressive performances of contestants but also attractive performances of jury members.

Members of the jury are talent dancers and choreographers from Vietnam and other foreign countries in the fields of hip hop, belly dance, dance sport, and ballet such as choreographer Tran Ly Ly, Dumbo, Alfredo Torres Jureidini, and singer Minh Hang.

The first prize to the best winning contestant is worth VND300 million and a performing contract worth VND 200 million; the second prize is worth VND150 million; and the third prize is worth VND100 million.

‘Got to Dance’ contest was produced by Shine Media Group and broadcast on Sky One in the United Kingdom for the first time. Since 2009 the contest has been reproduced in many countries around the world such as the United States, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

HCM City hosts Int’l Exhibition on Food and Beverage

An International Exhibition on Food and Beverage will be held at the Tan Binh International Exhibition & Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh City from September 11-14

The Vietfood and Beverage-Propack Vietnam 2013 is expected to attract more than 350 booths of 300 enterprises from 18 countries and territories.

The event will present to visitors food and drink products, food packaging materials, processing equipment, refrigeration and air-conditioning technology.

According to a Business Monitor International report, average food consumption per capita is VND5.8 million (US$316) per year and the Vietnamese market is regarded as an attractive market for domestic and foreign food processing and packing enterprises.

The event is organized annually by Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company-Vinexad, with the support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the HCMC Food & Foodstuff Association, Vietnam Beer, Beverage & Alcohol Association, and other sponsors.

Da Lat holds photo exhibition on Southeastern Provinces

The Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists in collaboration with Lam Dong Association of Literature and Art opened a photography exhibition in Da Lat on the Southeastern Provinces of Vietnam on September 8.

The exhibition displays 168 of the most impressive photos, which were selected from 2,040 participating photos by 279 photographers from eight of the Southeastern Provinces.

All photos on display express the beauty of the land and the people and the rich cultural life of the ethnic minority groups, besides highlighting recent achievements in the field of economy, culture, and social life.

The organizers selected 13 of the best photos to award, and the gold medal went to the photo ‘Swallow’s Nest’ by photographer Le Van Hung.

Fair for unique antiques in Hanoi

A weekly fair in Hanoi has become a unique venue for lovers of antiques across the country.

Many of the merchants at the market sell objects that may look like rubbish to many, but have great value to the trained eye.

The market welcomes shoppers every Saturday and is in alley 456, of Hoang Hoa Tham Road.

A great diversity of objects are sold there, from appliances to spoons, bowls and water pots. Even old high-end motorbikes can be found.

Many of the most popular items are from the Soviet period, such as old telephones and typewriters, but some of the things sold date back much longer.

Kieu Quoc Khanh, founder of Do Xua or “Old Things” market said, “The idea came from an intention to preserve traditional culture and remember it through its different periods of development, especially in Hanoi. I hope it helps young people understand their past."

He added that the market started on June 8 of this year. He initially wanted to hold it once every two weeks, but it attracted so many people that he decided to do it weekly.

Stores selling old dong money attract the most visitors.

The way of trading is also different from other modern markets. Lively auctions are often held for especially sought-after antiques.

Some of those who run the stands are not even willing to sell. They come just to display the things they have collected.

Many antique lovers travel a long distance to attend the fair, in search of that special item. Some of them are just people that have an understanding of the cultural and historical relevance of the things on display and would like to get a look.

Nguyen Hai Dong, a middle-aged man from Hanoi’s Ha Dong District said, “I’m very happy to know about this market. I bought an old dong note.”

“Lua Phat” to open film festival in UK

Vietnam’s first fiction film “Lua Phat” (Once Upon A Time in Vietnam) has officially been selected to open the East Winds Film Festival in the UK.

The event, to take place from October 31- November 3, 2013 at the Conventry University, aims to raise the awareness of students and local community in the UK’s central region of East Asia’s cinematography.

The film, by Vietnamese-American director Dustin Nguyen, holds the record of a Vietnamese film with the most copyright deals with various film distributors for screening in many countries like the Republic of Korea, India, Nepal, China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and in North America.

Japanese films screen in capital

A series of Japanese films on natural disasters will be presented in a film festival at Hanoi’s National Cinema Centre from September 13-15.

The Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam is holding the event to celebrate the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Year and to remind people of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Tohoku, Japan.

The aim of the festival is to advise audiences how to handle similar disasters happening elsewhere. All the screenings relate to natural disaster in Japan, according to cinema centre official Huyen Trang.

The film festival opens with a documentary, The Radio of Hope (2012). It depicts the struggle of town residents caught up in the Japanese disaster. They ran an emergency radio station to try and cheer up victims. The documentary has been a long-running hit in Japan since its first screening last year.

Free tickets are available at the Japan Foundation, 27 Quang Trung Street, Hanoi.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology celebrates Southeast Asian culture

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is hosting a mid-autumn Southeast Asian Cultural Festival from September 14-15, which features a wide range of activities and games for festival goers.

The festival provides children from Southeast Asia a chance to introduce their culture through music, dance, folk games and workshops, according to museum official Nguyen Thai Hoa.

Through the event, Vietnamese children are going to get an opportunity to learn about how other Southeast Asian countries celebrate the mid-autumn festival, Nguyen Thai Hoa added.

Festival goers will also have an opportunity to partake in a wide variety of games and events such as "walking on coconut shells" (from Laos, Thailand and Indonesia), the "pebble board game" (Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam), "hopping" (Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam), "pick-up-sticks" (the Philippines and Vietnam), "tug-of-war" (Thailand and Vietnam) and "spinning tops" (Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam).

Among the other events planned for the eagerly-awaited festival are photography contests, workshops, and a talk by PhD Nguyen Van Thinh from the Vietnam University of Social Sciences and Humanities on ‘tien si giay’ (paper figurine), a traditional toy of Vietnamese children.

buffalo fighting, festival, heritage