The Hanoitimes - "We want to give Hanoi people an opportunity to access European culture in street space instead of in museums or at concerts," shared Bruno Angelet, Ambassador, Head of the delegation of The European Union (EU) in Vietnam.
The acapella performance by Berywam from France or the stiltwalking show by nearly 50 Belgian artists from the De Steltenlopers art troupe are just a few “color strokes” of the 2018 Europe Village event, held for the first time in Vietnam and Hanoi capital.
Taking place in 3 days (May, 4-6) in the area of Ly Thai To statue and the walking streets around Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi, the 2018 “Europe Days" in Vietnam, highlighted by the “Europe Village” program, has brought a "miniature Europe" to the center of the capital with 30 rich events, from music concerts, sports, cultural performances, fashion, to creative games for children and interesting interactive learning activities. Specific cultural and artistic shows include Flamenco Guitar shows (Spain), jazz performances by Dutch artists Saskia Laroo and Warren Byrd or the stunt stitlwalking performance by nearly 50 members of the "De Steltenlopers" group from Belgium ...
Nguyen Thi Le Thu, a former study-abroad student in Bulgarie under the government education program of the 1990s, delightedly shared: "This Europe Village event gives me an overview of the European countries I have been to and intend to visit. The art performances are truly diverse, and well prepared. We really hope that this event will continue for many years to come and that it may be integrated with Vietnamese culture in order to have a more interesting connection," she said.
Stilt walking performance from Belgium artists
Queuing in line for her turn to enjoy the UK specialty – tea with cakes - at the cultural display zone, Vu Ngoc Anh, now working at Easia Travel, excitedly said that despite numerous opportunities to travel abroad due to the nature of her work, this visit to Europe Village was a "second-to-none" experience for her and showed the event’s simulated "passport", fully stamped with all sorts of “visa” issued upon each visit to the "display booth" of each country.
Lia Nijs, a foreigner living and working in Hanoi, was excited to take a photo with a traditional wooden clog symbol in front of the Dutch display booth. "This is an exciting experience for Hanoians and tourists, as well as foreigners living in the capital like me."
In addition to art performances, traditional sports are among the "bridges" that connect participants with European culture. Nguyen Mai Chi, program officer at the Embassy of Ireland, shared that at this event, the Embassy had built up puzzle games to find out about Ireland, and recreated Ireland’s well known Hurling game which was welcomed enthusiastically by participants.
Not just a cultural story
According to Hoang Trung Duc, a member of the Vietnam Sustainable Place program for environment development, this is also an opportunity for young people to have access to information about advanced education in Europe.
"In addition to participating in entertainment and cultural exchanges, these booths display a wealth of European social, cultural, as well as educational information. The event also helps young people and those who have not had the opportunity to travel abroad gain motivation to reach out to the world, " Duc shared.
Mini gameshow in front of Irish embassy's booth
Participants also have the opportunity to raise environmental awareness, climate change or efficient energy use from European experience. Airphin representative, Javier Costa, said the company had coordinated with the Spanish Embassy to host a small-scale knowledge competition on air environment combined with cultural exploration within the framework of the Europe Village program, with the awards being typical gifts from Spain.
"Not only do we introduce a unique culture, we also want to support Hanoi in sustainable development and this is an opportunity to promote Europe's in-depth experience in this regard," said Javier Costa.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Duc Chung stated that the Europe Village event was an opportunity for visitors and the people of the capital city to enjoy the diverse cultural forms of Europe right in the heart of Hanoi. Through this event, the people of Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular will know more about Europe, especially the achievements of science and technology, labor disciplines, culture, arts, education, cuisine… The event was held on the occasion Vietnam and many EU member countries mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties, further underlining the friendship between the two sides.
In the same spirit, Ambassador Bruno Angelet shared about three reasons why the EU delegation decided to organize this event. The first is to express the impression with and support for Hanoi’s pedestrian street initiative, which has been implemented and expanded by many European countries.
Second, the delegation expects this event to bring European culture to all Hanoians in particular, Vietnam in general, through street interaction, instead of the concert or museum spaces as before, which truly connect Europe with Vietnam.
Third, "We love Hanoi, a unique city in the Asia," the Ambassador said. The Ambassador affirmed that this was one of the efforts to increase understanding between the two sides, thereby promoting economic and tourism development, in which to increase the number of Vietnamese tourists to Europe to over 500,000 annually.